• DJ, Rory lead first WGC battle

    Dustin Johnson
    DJ is back to defend his title

    Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy loom large this week as the elite field of world stars head to Club de Golf Chapultepec for the first World Golf Championship, WGC-Mexico Championship.

    DJ has two wins and a scoring average of 67.08 in 12 rounds places the target on his back as the defending champion. The big-hitting, now former World No 1, has three top 10s in four starts worldwide in 2020 heading into this lucrative event.

    Should he successfully defend, Johnson would become only the second player in World Golf Championships history to achieve this feat, following Tiger Woods who has successfully defended WGC titles on eight occasions.

    Last year, he held off a final-round challenge from McIlroy, carding a final-round 66 to finish five strokes ahead of the Northern Irishman. The victory was his sixth World Golf Championship title, second on the all-time list behind Woods, who has 18 victories across these four events.

    McIlroy is expected to tie Nick Faldo for weeks spent at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking following the conclusion of this event. He will enjoy his 97th week as World No 1 next week, joining Faldo in joint-third place on the all-time list. Only Woods (683) and Greg Norman (331) have spent more weeks at the top of the OWGR.

    But McIlroy will have his eyes on more silverware this week at Chapultepec GC, bidding to become the third player to win consecutive World Golf Championships titles following his victory at the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions four months ago.

    In his last 12 worldwide appearances, McIlroy has two victories, a runner-up finish, two thirds, two fourths and a fifth, and has finished outside the top 20 at an event just once.

    McIlroy arrives with something of a sour taste in his mouth after he coughed away 54-hole co-lead at Riviera with a closing 73 to finish T5. Still, it was his fifth consecutive top-five finish worldwide.

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