A new country, great excitement in Mexico for Tiger Woods

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MEXICO CITY (Swing Update) – Two spectators, big and small, with caps that they wanted to sign, others with a phone to capture at the moment, have been cashed from both sides. other of a covered tree path. They shouted a word that translates into all the languages ​​of the Mexican Championship.

"Tiger!"

Tiger Woods ended up going to the beach at Chapultepec Golf Club, and the volume became stronger.

He is used to such receptions wherever he goes, especially since he's made a full return to golf last year and that he's finished the season with an 80th win in career. Take it elsewhere, like Bellerive for the PGA Championship or Innisbrook for the Valspar Championship, and you'll feel like a rock concert.

This world championship golf brings another element. It's his first competition in Mexico.

"I'm sure the energy will be on the rise, that people will be excited," Woods said Wednesday. "I think yesterday was a closed day, but there were a lot of people, a lot of members and a lot of kids who did not go to school, and I'm sure that's the way the rest of week, and it will be very fun for all of us. "

It will certainly be an experience for Abraham Ancer, who will play with Woods and Bryson DeChambeau in the first two rounds.

The Mexican player with the best world ranking enters the group of 72 men. Ancer, who grew up just south of the Texas border at Reynosa, played at 260th place last year. Now he is at No. 61, knowing that he has a chance to get out of the top 50 in the world to carve out a place in the Masters.

He said that he idolized Woods and that playing with him "would be something unforgettable".

If he stands too close to DeChambeau, it will be perhaps as unforgettable. Mexico City is at an altitude of about 7,800 feet, although it depends on the definition of altitude, for DeChambeau mentioned 9,000 feet.

So, are 7,800 feet incorrect?

"Maybe," DeChambeau said with a smile. "It's more than just altitude.You could have a system of atmospheric pressure that looks like the level of the sea that runs through it and that effectively changes it.That's what I mean by the."

He also mentioned the slower deceleration of rotation speed without air resistance, but suffice to say that the ball goes father this week for everyone.

Ian Poulter was preparing to hit the driver on Wednesday at the 316-yard opening hole when Dustin Johnson interrupted him.

"Is not it going to fly over the green?" Johnson said.

Poulter looked up and replied, "I do not wear the ball 370 meters in the air."

Johnson played the first nine with Woods, and reigning champions Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm joined them. It was the last day of practice, and yet the right side of the fairway looked like Sunday at Chapultepec last year. This is the Tiger effect.

Mexico is the 21st country where Woods has competed, so he is used to the reaction of those who see him for the first time.

Golf is still in its infancy in Mexico, although the attraction changes when one of the most recognizable athletes in the world is in town. Security has increased this year, mainly because of Woods.

Grupo Salinas took on the sponsorship of this WGC in the summer of 2016, while Woods was recovering from two back surgeries. There was no guarantee that his game would come back, so the news of his decision to play last week was massive for the small golf enthusiast sector in Mexico.

"Tiger definitely moves the needle," said Benjamin Salinas, CEO of TV Azteca and Grupo Salinas spokesperson at the Mexican Championship. "When he announced his arrival, ticket sales increased tenfold and he moved to Mexico."

Salinas has announced two other chapters of The First Tee in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, bringing the total to five chapters with the goal of one in each state. He said that 100 boys and girls are involved, so it's a slow start. The next on his list of priorities is the construction of public facilities, which will one day require government assistance in a country that reveres football, baseball and the NFL.

But they all know Tiger.

"This event is very useful to show what the possibilities are," said Woods. "After that, we try to get access, to try to get the kids, we can excite them for the game, but it becomes problematic when the excitement does not really turn into participation."

The excitement does not seem to be a problem.

Woods has not played aloft for 20 years, in Castle Pines, in the suburbs of Denver. So there are adjustments to bring to the air and a new golf course to learn. Woods has a history of victories on familiar courses – 42 of his 80 wins on the PGA Tour have been played on seven courses.

But this World Golf Championship again illustrates that Woods can, at its best, win everywhere. He has won this event seven times over six courses: Valderrama in Spain (1999), Mount Juliet in Ireland, (2002), Capital City Club near Atlanta (2003), Harding Park in San Francisco (2005), The Grove near London (2006) and twice at Doral near Miami (2007, 2013).