How Rory McIlroy Can Make History at the WGC-Mexico Championship
Rory McIlroy has the chance to make history this week at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. McIlroy, the current number one player in the world, is coming off a T-5 finish at The Genesis Invitational and leads a dynamic field that will attempt to conquer the Club de Golf Chapultepec this week. Rory is one of seven of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking in the field in Mexico. Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, and Tiger Woods are skipping the event.
How many World Golf Championships are there?
There are currently four World Golf Championships on the golf calendar. First launched in 1999 as a way to attract some of the biggest names in the sport, there were initially only three and the fourth was added later.
This week’s event, the WGC-Mexico Championship, was first known as the American Express Championship. After the first two tournaments were played in Spain, the United States hosted this championship until 2017, at which time it was moved to its current location in Mexico.
The WGC-Match Play event, which will this year be held from March 25-29, is the only of the World Golf Championships to be contested under match play rules. This typically features the top 64 players in the world squaring off in one-on-one matches.
The WGC-Fed Ex St. Jude Invitational, formerly known as the NEC and Bridgestone Invitational, moved to Memphis in 2019. Outside of 2002, this tournament was played from 1999-2018 at famed Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. It now takes place at TPC Southwind and will be played from July 2-5 in 2020.
The final World Golf Championships event of the year, the WGC-HSBC Champions, will take place in Shanghai, China from October 29-November 1. The defending champion at this event is none other than Rory McIlroy.
How many World Golf Championships has Rory McIlroy won?
During the course of his already-historic career, Rory McIlroy has played in 38 World Golf Championships. In those 38 events, the four-time major champion has racked up an astonishing 25 top-10 finishes, including three victories.
Rory’s first World Golf Championships win came in 2014 at the Bridgestone Invitational. McIlroy shot four rounds in the 60s that week to finish at 15-under, two strokes ahead of Sergio Garcia.
McIlroy’s next win came the following year at the Match Play event. The top seed at the event, Rory knocked off Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, and Billy Horschel in group play. In bracket play (the final 16), McIlroy defeated Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey, and Jim Furyk before besting current U.S. Open champ Gary Woodland in the finals.
Rory McIlroy’s latest World Golf Championships victory came in Shanghai near the end of 2019. Tied with Xander Schauffele at 19-under after 72 holes, McIlroy won on the first playoff hole with a birdie.
How can Rory McIlroy make history at the WGC-Mexico Championship?
With a win this week at the WGC-Mexico Championship, Rory McIlroy can become just the second player to complete the “WGC Slam.” Only one other player, former world number one and defending champion Dustin Johnson, has won all four World Golf Championships. This is Rory’s first attempt at the feat after winning the third leg of the slam in Shanghai. McIlroy will also attempt to complete golf’s “Grand Slam” when he tees it up at The Masters in April.
McIlroy can also become just the third player to win back-to-back World Golf Championships. Tiger Woods accomplished the feat in 1999. Dustin Johnson did so in 2017.
Rory McIlroy begins his quest for the “WGC Slam” when he tees it up on Thursday at 12:51 p.m. Eastern alongside Gary Woodland and Tommy Fleetwood.