(Reuters) – Rory McIlroy will try to complete his collection of World Golf Championships (WGC) titles when he stares down a stacked field in Mexico City this week that includes defending champion Dustin Johnson.
With a victory at Club de Golf Chapultepec, world number one McIlroy would join Johnson as the only players to complete the ‘WGC Slam’ by winning all four World Golf Championships events.
The elite field of 72 competing at the WGC-Mexico Championship boasts 42 out of the top 50 in the world rankings although Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose are among those not competing this week.
Woods finished last among those to make the cut at last week’s Genesis Invitational, where he served as tournament host. The 15-times major winner said he was so busy with the event that he was not really focused on Mexico City.
McIlroy, who finished runner-up to Johnson last year, is coming into the event fresh off a share of fifth place at the Genesis Invitational where he was a co-leader after 54 holes before closing with a two-over-par 73.
The Northern Irishman has finished inside the top five in all four of his starts this season, including a title at the WGC-HSBC Champions last November.
McIlroy will play the opening two rounds with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and American Gary Woodland while Johnson will be in the company of former British Open champion Francesco Molinari of Italy and Mexican Abraham Ancer.
Big-hitting Johnson will be looking for his third win in fourth start at the course where his prodigious length off the tee at high altitude has always given him an upper hand.
Johnson, whose six WGC titles is second all-time behind Woods (18), will feel right at home on a course where he has fired 11 consecutive rounds in the 60s.
A revitalised Adam Scott will also look to build off some recent momentum as the former world number one enters the week fresh off a two-shot win at the Genesis Invitational.
That was a second consecutive victory for Scott, who triumphed at at the Australian PGA Championship in late December to snap a victory drought of nearly four years.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ian Chadband)