It looked like Rory McIlroy was poised to run away with the tournament early on Friday at Club de Golf Chapultepec. The Northern Irishman got off to a torrid start, making birdies on three of his first four holes to reach 11 under. In the group behind, Dustin Johnson was losing ground, having made par on the first three holes, two of which were par 4s he could drive.
But things flipped quickly, as McIlroy ran into trouble at the par-5 sixth, making bogey for the second straight day. At the short par-4 ninth, he found the fringe right of the green with his second shot, 15 feet from the hole, but walked away with a double bogey. Meanwhile, Johnson plugged along, eventually carding a bogey-free 67 to pair with his opening bogey-free 64. It's the first time in his PGA Tour career that he has not dropped a shot over his first 36 holes.
"I've just done a really good job with controlling my distance with my irons and giving myself a lot of looks at birdies," said Johnson, who ranks first in the field in strokes-gained/approach-the-green.
This is Johnson's ninth consecutive round in the 60s at Chapultepec, where he won the first edition of the WGC-Mexico in 2017. Seems fair to say he is a fan of the place.
"I just enjoy playing this kind of golf, it makes you focus, you've got to think and you're doing a lot of calculations with the numbers, trying to figure out how far the ball is going to actually go. So, I enjoy it, and yeah, I like this golf course, it does set up well for me. It's pretty narrow, but it's tree-lined, so I do like that."
McIlroy was able to settle in on the back nine, carding a one-under 35 to post 70. Even with the lackluster round, he's still just two back at nine-under 133, tied for second with Matt Kuchar, who fired a four-under 67.
Sergio Garcia shot a five-under 66, putting him in a tie for fourth with Tommy Fleetwood, who shot the round of the day, a six-under 65. They are at seven-under 135. Tiger Woods' five-under 66 got him into a tie for eighth at five-under 137.
Up-to-the-minute leader board and other scoring information for the WGC-Mexico Championship, Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico City, Mexico, Feb. 21-24, 2019