With just over a month to go until the 2017 Masters at Augusta, all eyes will be on Mexico this weekend as Golf’s biggest names go head-to-head.
And that includes Rory McIlroy, who is making his return from a rib injury at the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City.
The Northern Irishman has been out for nearly two months, but arrives at the WGC-Mexico Championship having courted a tad more press exposure than he perhaps intended after playing a round with US President Donald Trump last week.
But as far as this weekend is concerned, McIlroy feels his enforced lay-off may have been a blessing in disguise, and has been quoted this week saying he feels stronger than he did at the thick end of 2016.
And our traders have seen fit to chalk up the 27-year-old as 12/1 fourth favourite, but he’s up against the best of the best in Mexico City.
World number one Dustin Johnson leads the way at 7/1, and the American is in great form having won the Genesis Open in California last time out, after carding a third place at the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.
Jordan Spieth was victorious at Pebble Beach, while he was 22nd as Johnson won last weekend.
The 23-year-old is showing plenty of signs that he is due a big year in 2017, and victory here at 8/1 would all but confirm that.
Both men may have to fight off Hideki Matsuyama at 14/1 however, with many tipping the 25-year-old to rule the roost this year.
The Japanese ace missed the cut last time out, but having posted five top-twos in his last eight events – including three wins – you simply can’t ignore his claims.
In many ways this is an excellent tournament for McIlroy to make his comeback in. Among an top-quality field there is nowhere for him or his ribs to hide.
A final note worth mentioning this weekend – and which could prove a factor – is altitude.
The Club de Golf Chapultepec sits almost 8,000ft above sea level and it’s the first time since 2014 that the PGA Tour has played at anything like such a height.
It’s expected that balls will fly almost 15 feet further than at most other PGA venues, and should that serve up some unpredictability, McIlroy could be prime to pounce on his comeback weekend.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing