Best bets for PGA World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba

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Seamus Power followed up three rounds of 65 with a final-day 70 to edge Belgium’s Thomas Detry by one shot at last weekend’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Power won his second career PGA Tour event at a price of 25-1 and has reached a career-high of 32nd in the OWGR. The Irishman is firmly on the radar of European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald. Patrick Rodgers, Ben Griffin and Yu Chun-An finished T-3 and rounded out the top 5. Our nearest tip was 250-1 long-shot Monday qualifier Aaron Baddeley, who was in Saturday’s final group and was two strokes back starting Sunday’s final round but fell to a T-6 finish.

Power (50-1) makes the trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, to play in this week’s World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Scottie Scheffler (9-1) lost his OWGR No. 1 ranking to Rory McIlroy two weeks ago at the CJ Cup but can get it back with a victory at Mayakoba, where he finished fourth last year. Viktor Hovland (11-1) is looking for a three-peat as he is the two-time defending champion of this event. Billy Horschel (18-1) has three consecutive top-10 finishes leading up to this week and finished fifth here in 2020 and eighth in 2019. Collin Morikawa (18-1) is still winless in 2022 but won the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai around this time last year. Tony Finau (18-1) has two top-10s for this event in 2014 and 2020.

 

Aaron Wise (20-1) was the runner-up to Hovland in 2020. Maverick McNealy (30-1) has made the cut four straight times in this event and has three consecutive finishes of 18th or better leading up to this week. Taylor Montgomery (35-1) had four consecutive top-10 finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour and has not finished lower than 15th in his four events since becoming a full-fledged PGA Tour member. Tom Hoge (35-1) finished third here in 2020 and comes in with three top-10 finishes in his last five events. Emiliano Grillo (40-1) has two top-5 finishes in his last four events leading up to this week and also has three top-10 finishes in six appearances at Mayakoba.

There is a much stronger field this week with 13 of the top 50 ranked players in the world in attendance. Taking it a step further, 24 of the world’s top 75 will be at Mayakoba.

​The Event

The Mayakoba Golf Classic debuted on the PGA Tour in February 2007 as an alternate event that was held opposite the WGC Match Play. In 2013, the event was moved to November as part of the PGA Tour’s Fall Series. With that move, the tournament became designated as a "full event" meaning that full FedEx Cup points would be allocated along with a Masters invitation for the winner and over a 60% increase in the overall tournament purse. The current $8.2 million purse is nearly 2.5 times greater than the inaugural event. Last year, St. Louis-based technology services provider World Wide Technology, named as one of the 100 Most Influential Companies by Time Magazine, signed on as the title sponsor of the tournament through 2027.

This year will be the last year that this event will be held at El Camaleon as the course, designed by Greg Norman, will be hosting a LIV event next year.

The Course

The scenic El Camaleon Golf Club is a resort course that was designed by Norman in 2006 and has been the host course for this event each year since 2007. It is part of the all-inclusive Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and sits about 50 miles south of Cancun near the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. The track is the ninth shortest on the PGA Tour and plays at just over 7,000 yards (7,034) and is a 36-35 format par-71 layout. The course runs through dense tropical jungle, mangrove forests and oceanfront. The tree-lined fairways, which protect the players from the wind even though this is a coastal resort course, are of average width and constructed from Sea Isle Paspalum. The rough at two inches is not all that penal, but the jungles and canals can punish errant tee shots. Because of the Paspalum surfaces, the ball tends to sit up higher on this grass, which allows for elite ball-strikers to have the most success. The greens, of the same surface, are relatively slow on the stimpmeter (10 feet). The Paspalum green complexes (7,000 square-foot average, ninth largest on tour) are similar to what players see at the Puerto Rico Open and Corales Puntacana Championship. Low scores are the norm here and if you look at the previous winners, the driver is not required much.

As for the course layout itself, the four par-3s are the easiest on tour, averaging 2.87 per hole. Three of the four holes measure under 155 yards with the 116-yard fourth hole playing as one of the shortest anywhere. Meanwhile, the three par-5s are also among the shortest and easiest on tour as well. The longest plays at just over 570 yards, making all three reachable in two shots provided the wind cooperates. The five par-4s that measure over 450 yards are the tougher holes on the course.

This 36-35 setup always plays easier on the outward nine, which features two of the three par-5s.

The closing stretch from the 14th onward will test the leaders come Sunday.

Correlated courses to El Camaleon include Waialae, Port Royal, Sedgefield, Sea Island, Harbour Town, Corales and Pebble Beach.

Recent History/Winners

2021: Viktor Hovland (-23/261); 18-1

2020: Viktor Hovland (-20/264); 22-1

2019: Brendon Todd (-20/264); 110-1

2018: Matt Kuchar (-22/262); 60-1

2017: Patton Kizzire (-19/265); 70-1

2016: Pat Perez (-21/263); 125-1

2015: Graeme McDowell (-18/266); 33-1 *

2014: Charley Hoffman (-17/267); 60-1

2013: Harris English (-21/263); 25-1

2012: John Huh (-13/271); 35-1**

2011: Johnson Wagner (-17/267); 150-1*

2010: Cameron Beckman (-15/269); 100-1

* playoff win over Jason Bohn and Russell Knox

** playoff win over Robert Allenby

*** playoff win over Spencer Levin

Statistical Analysis​​

Jungles, mangrove wetlands and canals surround many of the fairways, so Driving Accuracy is important as it is around 5% tougher than tour average. Distance means little, but hitting fairways is even more important than normal.

Fairways Gained (Last 36 rounds)