TIGER Woods will break new ground this week when makes his debut appearance at Chapultepec Golf Club, as the 14-time Major Champion prepares for his first event played in Mexico.
The 43-year-old has triumphed at this week’s WGC-Mexico Championship seven times in its previous guises and is looking forward to putting on a show and competing for title number eight in front of a new audience.
Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships events, with six of his seven victories at this one coming over different layouts, and the American insists it is the occasion more than the course that brings out the best in him.
And the 14-time Major winner is still the man everyone wants to be seen with – Moor Park’s Matt Wallace, one of the European Tour’s rising stars who was unfortunate to miss out on lining up against Tiger in last year’s record win over America by Europe in the Ryder Cup at Le Paris National, grabbed a shot in the locker room during practice.
Tiger said: “This is very special. I was scheduled to play here a couple of times. Unfortunately, my back wasn’t very good and I had to go in to have a couple of procedures done.
“So this is exciting for me to be here in Mexico City to play it for the first time. This is going to be an exciting week.
“The people are into it, the golf course is going to be a challenge trying to figure out what we’re going to do and how far the ball goes here. It’s going to be an exciting week for all of us.
“Hopefully I can play well, the people will come out and support the event and I’m sure there will be some amazing energy out there. I take a lot of pride in playing well in the biggest events. I think my record has been pretty good in those events.
“So just because this event has been in different places, it still gets the best players in the world and I’ve always enjoyed competing against them and trying to beat them and win an event.
“I think I’ve had some success in World Golf Championships no matter where they’re played,” said Tiger playfully when questioned by reporters.
Woods has won a remarkable 18 world titles, 13 more than any other player, including the WGE event held at The Grove, on the outskirts of London back in 2006 – the year his father Earl passed away.
The 43-year-old has triumphed in three of the four categories of WGCs – aside from the WGC-HSBC Champions – and has enjoyed most of his success at Firestone Country Club with eight titles, and in this week’s event, which he has won seven times.
Woods has yet to triumph at Chapultepec Golf Club – host to the tournament since 2017 – and all signs suggest the former World No. 1 is well-placed to mount a challenge in Mexico.
With less of a demand off the tee – players have hit fewer than 10 drives on average over the last two years in Naucalpan – there is more of an emphasis on approach play where Woods has been particularly strong so far this season, in his appearances at Torrey Pines during the Farmers’ Insurance Open and last week’s Genesis Open, Riveria, both classical tracks that have hosted the US Open.