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BlogMayakoba Golf Classic Preview and Picks

Mayakoba Golf Classic

December 3rd – 6th, 2020

El Camaleon

Playa Del Carmen,, Mexico

Par: 71 / Yardage:

Purse: $7.2 million

with $1,296,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Brendon Todd

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 8 players from the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with the highest rank player being #3 Justin Thomas.  There is a total of 29 top-100 players in the field, after Thomas its #12 Brooks Koepka, #13 Daniel Berger, #19 Tony Finau, #22 Abraham Ancer, #26 Viktor Hovland, #27 Marc Leishman, #33 Harris English, #35 Gary Woodland, #42 Billy Horschel, #45 Joaquin Niemann, #47 Brendon Todd, #49 Rickie Fowler, #52 Kevin Streelman, #54 Chez Reavie, #55 Corey Conners, #56 Russell Henley, #58 Sebastian J Munoz, #60 Will Zalatoris, #63 Joel Dahmen, #65 Carlos Ortiz, #69 Byeong Hun An, #73 Adam Hadwin, #74 Graeme McDowell, #75 Adam Long, #82 Sunghoon Kang, #88 Alex Noren, #91 Rafa Cabrera Bello, #93 Brian Harman.

Last year there was 8 top-50 players and a total of 29 players in the top-100.

The field includes 7 of the Top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2021.  Those players are #9 Carlos Ortiz, #10 Justin Thomas, #15  Brian Gay, #16 Peter Malnati, #23 Russell Henley, #124 Harry Higgs and #25 Harris English.

The field includes all 9 of the 13 past champions: Brendon Todd (2020), Patton Kizzire (2018), Pat Perez (2017), Graeme McDowell (2016), Charley Hoffman (2015), Harris English (2014), John Huh (2012), Johnson Wagner (2011) and Brian Gay (2008).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Mayakoba field is our performance chart listed by average finish. Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the  Mayakoba in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Mayakoba Golf Classic

Player RSM Classic Masters Houston Open Bermuda Champ. Zozo Champ. CJ Cup Shriners Hospitals Sanderson Farms Corales U.S. Open Safeway Open Tour Champ. BMW Champ.
Justin Thomas
(335.17 pts)
DNP 4
(160)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
T12
(12.67)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP T2
(50)
T25
(12.5)
Corey Conners
(180.17 pts)
T10
(40)
T10
(80)
T24
(17.33)
DNP T8
(33.33)
T61
(0)
DNP T17
(11)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T33
(8.5)
Brooks Koepka
(164 pts)
DNP T7
(110)
T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Harris English
(162 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
10
(13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP T12
(19)
T40
(5)
Sebastian Munoz
(157.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T19
(62)
DNP DNP T14
(24)
9
(15)
T27
(7.67)
T23
(9)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP T8
(25)
T8
(25)
Tony Finau
(152.17 pts)
DNP T38
(24)
T24
(17.33)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP 17
(16.5)
5
(35)
Abraham Ancer
(142.5 pts)
DNP T13
(74)
DNP DNP T35
(10)
T28
(7.33)
4
(26.67)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP T18
(16)
T33
(8.5)
Russell Henley
(137.5 pts)
T30
(20)
DNP T29
(14)
DNP T4
(53.33)
T3
(30)
T27
(7.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
Joaquin Niemann
(134.83 pts)
T44
(6)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
6
(20)
T13
(12.33)
DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP T27
(11.5)
T3
(45)
Carlos Ortiz
(105.83 pts)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T35
(10)
T48
(0.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP T25
(12.5)
Will Zalatoris
(99.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T8
(16.67)
T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP
Adam Long
(90.67 pts)
T30
(20)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP T66
(0)
74
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
5
(23.33)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
Sepp Straka
(88.67 pts)
T44
(6)
DNP T5
(46.67)
T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP T43
(2.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T33
(5.67)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP
Viktor Hovland
(82.67 pts)
DNP DNP T15
(23.33)
DNP T47
(2)
T12
(12.67)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP T20
(15)
T40
(5)
Brian Gay
(81.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Marc Leishman
(77.83 pts)
DNP T13
(74)
DNP DNP T70
(0)
T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 29
(10.5)
69
(0)
Peter Malnati
(77.67 pts)
T48
(2)
DNP DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
2
(33.33)
T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Scott Piercy
(75 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP T32
(12)
T14
(24)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
T57
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Brian Harman
(74.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP T26
(16)
T28
(7.33)
T13
(12.33)
T37
(4.33)
DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP T12
(19)
Patton Kizzire
(74.33 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(8.67)
T59
(0)
T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Alex Noren
(74.33 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T17
(22)
76
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP T40
(5)
Doug Ghim
(73.67 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP DNP T14
(24)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP
Denny McCarthy
(71 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T38
(8)
T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP 57
(0)
T6
(20)
T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Daniel Berger
(70 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP T15
(17.5)
T25
(12.5)
Emiliano Grillo
(63 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP T34
(5.33)
T35
(5)
T21
(9.67)
DNP T29
(7)
DNP DNP
Charley Hoffman
(63 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP T29
(14)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T6
(20)
T14
(12)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP
Kyle Stanley
(62 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T28
(7.33)
DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP DNP
Billy Horschel
(57.83 pts)
DNP T38
(24)
DNP DNP 69
(0)
T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(8)
DNP 30
(10)
T33
(8.5)
Chez Reavie
(56.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T29
(42)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 63
(0)
T46
(1.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T3
(30)
DNP DNP
Camilo Villegas
(55.67 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T55
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T23
(9)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Chesson Hadley
(55 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T51
(0)
T14
(12)
DNP DNP
Ollie Schniederjans
(53.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
John Huh
(49.67 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Roger Sloan
(49 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP DNP T32
(6)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Rory Sabbatini
(47.33 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T52
(0)
T12
(12.67)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Joel Dahmen
(46.67 pts)
T50
(1)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
T38
(4)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T52
(0)
DNP T20
(15)
Rickie Fowler
(46.67 pts)
DNP T29
(42)
DNP DNP T57
(0)
T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Brendon Todd
(46.33 pts)
T37
(13)
CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T47
(2)
T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP T20
(15)
T8
(25)
Keegan Bradley
(44.33 pts)
T15
(35)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T4
(26.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Charles Howell III
(44.33 pts)
T30
(20)
T46
(8)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T34
(5.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
30
(13.33)
DNP DNP T48
(1)
Russell Knox
(44.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T15
(23.33)
T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
DNP DNP
Maverick McNealy
(38.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T20
(20)
T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T17
(11)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T40
(5)
Kevin Streelman
(37.67 pts)
T54
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T28
(14.67)
T21
(9.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T3
(30)
DNP T51
(0)
Austin Cook
(37.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP
Michael Gligic
(36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP T27
(7.67)
T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Mayakoba Golf Classic

Player RSM Classic Masters Houston Open Bermuda Champ. Zozo Champ. CJ Cup Shriners Hospitals Sanderson Farms Corales U.S. Open Safeway Open Tour Champ. BMW Champ.
Bo Van Pelt
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Michael Kim
(-31.67 pts)
WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Martin Trainer
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Matt Every
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Sam Ryder
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Chris Baker
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Graeme McDowell
(-26 pts)
T59
(0)
CUT
(-20)
T44
(4)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
(-25.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
62
(0)
DNP T52
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T46
(1.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Kevin Stadler
(-25 pts)
DQ
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brandon Hagy
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Have to say looking forward to the Mayakoba Golf Classic for one reason.  It will be the last PGA Tour event of 2020, after this week we will have a month off and be able to look at this terrible year in our rear-view mirror.  Tomorrow I will be flying off to California, by first plane trip since last years British Open.  It will be a few days with my dad and then travel to Arizona and Ed and I will be planning some new things for Golfstats in 2021.

Of course if any of you have some ideas, please pass them our way, you can reach me at Sal@golfstats.com

Since this is probably my last story till Kapalua in January, Merry Christmas to you all and hope all of us can say goodby to 2020 on December 31st.

For some this week will be very important

As we all know the goal of any player is to make sure they end the year in the top-50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.  For those it’s a ticket to unlimited golf, you get to play in not only the best events on the PGA Tour but also get invites to play in the majors and GWA events.  This is a perk worth more for the sanity of knowing were to play, but also the golden ticket to play in the majors.

So this time of year a lot of players will be on the bubble.  Guys like Lee Westwood who is 48th, Rickie Fowler who is 49th and Matt Wallace who is 51st are very vulnerable.  Now for Wallace he is playing this week in the European Tour event in Dubai plus he will play in the season ending event along with Westwood.  Se there chances of finishing in the top-50 are good.  Now Rickie Fowler will be under a lot of pressure this week to stay in the top-50.  His year has been one of looking for the right thing, he changed coaches at the start of the year and has been struggling with a swing change.  I can’t stress the importance for Fowler to finish the year in the top-50.  Now #50 Mackenzie Hughes doesn’t have the same pressure, he finished 7th in the FedEx Cup standings and those in the top-30 have the same invites as those in the top-50 have.  Also playing this week that are looking for a move into the top-50 are #52 Kevin Streelman, #54 Chez Reavie, #55 Corey Conners, #56 Russell Henley and #60 Will Zalatoris.

Course information:

El Camaleon was built by Greg Norman and opened in 2004. The course wines through three distinct landscapes tropical jungle, dense mangroves and sand-lined oceanfront. The design even incorporates a cenote – an underground cavern common to the area – into the heart of the first fairway. The PGA Tour made its first stop in 2007, spending six years opposite the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship until getting its own fall date this year.

Located 45 minutes south of Cancun, in the heart of the Riviera Maya, Camaleon is aptly named for its diverse layout and ever-changing landscape, always in total harmony with the region’s natural beauty.

For those that think that this is a resort course and is a pushover, that’s not the case.  So what will the field be challenge by?  Conditions of wind on holes that get close to the sea, the par 3 7th and 15th are on the beach.  Course water hazards comes into play on six of the holes and there are 36 bunkers to avoid.  The greens average 7,000 square feet with the grass being a special blend called Sea Isle 1 Paspalum which is unique because you can use a seawater blend in irrigating the fairways, tees and greens.  The course has a rating of 73.8 from the back tees with a slope of 137.

In looking at long range forecasts the weather is suppose to be ok with partly cloudy skies every day and winds coming out of the east at 7 mph.  Temperatures will be good averaging around 85 each day.  There is a good chance of thunderstorms on all four days, other than that it should be ok.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at El Camaleon

This is based on the most vital stats from El Camaleon based on data from last year’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2021.
This is the 14th year that the Mayakoba Golf Classic is at El Camaleon. With it played in Mexico, we don’t have true Shotlink stats to work with, so we are stuck with the old-fashioned stats of fairways hit, driving distance, greens hit, and scrambling number of putts, birdies, and eagles made. The one thing to understand about this week, last year El Camaleon played to a 70.09 average, which was a shot under par as it ranked the 21st hardest course on the PGA Tour. It played just about a shot tougher than it did in 2019 when it played to a 69.25 average. That is because of the poor weather and higher than normal winds. In 2018 it played to a 70.32 average, while in 2016, it was played at 70.02, both years in windy conditions. In looking at the long-range forecast, they expect Thunderstorms each day, but winds will be low at 8 mph, so scoring should be easier this year.

So the course did play easier, it ranked 16th (PGA Tour) last year, while in 2019, it ranked 27th in fairways hit, while in 2018, it ranked 32nd. In driving distance, it ranked 5th last year compared to 15th in 2019 and 4th in 2018, meaning that players don’t hit it very long on this course, last year it averaged 285.3, probably again due to winds. Maybe that is why short hitter tends to do very well on this course as Charley Hoffman in 2015 was the only long hitter. Last year Brendon Todd won, and he ranked 187th in driving distance, meaning he is one of the shortest hitters on tour. In 2019 Matt Kuchar won, and he ranked 135th on tour in driving distance. The point is that this event doesn’t see bombers doing well, you need a lot of other things to win, so you can’t call El Camaleon a bombers delight.

So what can we look at historically to help us find players that should do well this week? Looking at the field from last year, all of them hit seven and a half out of 14 fairways (56.91%), a meager percentage, when you consider that the easiest course the Plantation Course at Kapalua, they hit 12 of 15 fairways (80.93%). They also hit lots of greens at El Camaleon, 12 of 18 (67.15% ranked 22nd). They got it up and down just under 6 out of every 10 tries (60.67%) and averaged 28.68 putts per round of the greens that they missed. So it’s easy to see how each of the players in the field averaged 3.88 birdies per round and either made birdie or eagle on a quarter of the holes they played. So frankly, for the average pro, El Camaleon is a lay-up.

In looking at the 27 players that have finished 5th or better in the last five Mayakoba’s, the trend is that driving the ball is not important. Of the 27 players, only nine players finished the week in the top-ten in fairways hit, and six players finished in the top-ten in driving distance. In 2018 only one player in the top-ten finished in the top-ten in fairways hit, while in 2019, two finished in the top-ten. Those same 27 players, 10 of them were in the top-ten of greens hit, with two players leading that stat. Of the 27 players, 15 of the players finished in the top-ten in putts per round (last year 4 of the top five were in the top-ten). Looking at the 27 players, they averaged playing the par 3s in 4 under, the par 4s in 6 under, and the par 5s in 8 under. The 27 players average making 23 birdies, so you can see it’s essential to play the par 5s well and make lots of birdies.
In looking at last year’s winner Brendon Todd, he was 79th in driving distance, and T-25th in fairways hit, so that holds up with our thoughts that driving is meaningless at El Camaleon. Now he was 3rd in greens hit, T-4th in scrambling, and 13th in putts per round. Going a step further, Todd had one 3-putt and was T-13th in one-putts, showing that around the greens and on the greens was important in his win. On the par 3s, he played them in 7 under, 2nd best of the week. On the par 4s, he was 9 under, tied for the best of the week. But on the par 5s, he only played them in 4 under, which is the worst of any winner since Harris English also was 4 under in 2014. Todd made 24 birdies tying for the most in the field.
Showing how this could be the norm, look at 2019 championship Matt Kuchar and how close his stats were compared to Todd. Kuchar was T-28th in driving distance, and T-3rd in fairways hit. Now he was T-9th in greens hit, T-5th in scrambling, and T-21st in putts per round. Kuchar had one 3-putts and was T-39th in one-putts, showing that around the greens and on the greens was important in his win. On the par 3s, he played them in 4 under, the best of the week was Danny Lee at 6 under. Were Kuchar excel on was the par 4s and par 5s. He was 10 under on the par 4s (he was best in the field), and he was also best in the field on the par 5s at 8 under. Kuchar made 26 birdies, again best in the field.

So in looking at our four categories, we will bring a premium on putting and hitting greens. To lead off, we will use strokes gained – putting, with the understanding that of the 11 events played, nine of those events had numbers to do this stat. Last year El Camaleon didn’t have that stat but was 32nd in putting average. Our next important stat is greens hit, that is a stat that is important for El Camaleon, last year on tour, it was 22nd. Our third important stat is par breakers, making lots of eagles and birdies are important, last year, it ranked 22nd best. Last we look at Par 4 leaders since this was an important stat for those on top of the leaderboard, on tour El Camaleon ranked 24th last year.

One last thing to watch for is players that did well last year, and be sure not to forget about Korn Ferry.Com tour players. Remember, the tour has been off a week, and the Masters was three weeks ago, so players will be a little rusty as many of them were only able to play once in the last three weeks.

*Strokes Gained – Putting: A look at who gains the most strokes putting

*Greens in Regulation: Who hits the most greens during the week.

*Par Breakers: A combination of eagles and birdies made during the week to see who has the most.

*Par 4 leaders: A look at who plays the par 4s the most for the week.

121 of the 132 players from this year’s field with stats from 2020

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is the link to the whole story and all 121 player stats.

 

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Justin Thomas – $11,400
  • Brooks Koepka – $11,000
  • Tony Finau – $10,700
  • Daniel Berger – $10,400
  • Harris English – $10,100
  • Abraham Ancer – $9,900
  • Viktor Hovland – $9,700
  • Rickie Fowler – $9,500
  • Russell Henley – $9,300
  • Will Zalatoris- $9,200
  • Joaquin Niemann – $9,100
  • Carlos Ortiz – $9,000

Just remember in picking that marquee names, or in this game players with high price tags don’t seem to win.  So fantasy golf wisdom states you don’t take any of the top players.  Frankly have to say that Justin Thomas at $11,400 is a high price for what he has done lately and I would say he is not a person I would pick.  Same with Brooks Koepka at $11,000 I just don’t think his heart will be into it.  Tony Finau at $10,700 just may hit it too far for this course so take a pass on him.  Daniel Berger at $10,400 is a possibility but he only has played the course once and was T-51st in 2015.  Now Harris English at $10,100, he was 5th last year and won the event in 2014.  His game has gotten better in the last month, he was T-6th at the RSM Classic, so English is your first yes.  I also like Abraham Ancer at $9,900, he was T-8th last year and T-9th in 2018.  His game has been ok in the fall, his last start was T-13th at the Masters, finishing with a disappointing 76 on Sunday.  Viktor Hovland at $9,700 is a big no, he has missed the cut twice at Mayakoba.  Rickie Fowler at $9,500 is a tough call, yes was T-16th in 2019 and runner-up in 2018, but his game in 2020 has a big question mark on it and feel that will continue this week, so don’t pick him.  Russell Henley at $9,300 is a tough call, he hasn’t played well at Mayakoba and despite some good starts at Shadow Creek and Zozo wasn’t as great in his next two starts.  Still he can play well this week. Will Zalatoris at $9,200 is a good question, his game has been great since starting up in June and he was T-8th at Corales and T-16th at Bermuda, so he does ok in windy courses on the ocean.  Joaquin Niemann at $9,100 is another tough choice, he hasn’t played well on this course and has had mixed results this fall, my first thought is to say no on him.  but look at his stats, good with the putter, hits lot’s of greens and is high up in making birdies and eagles plus plays well on Par 4s, so yes he is a choice.  Carlos Ortiz at $9,000 could be a good choice, he was runner-up last year at Mayakoba and he won at Houston, his last start.  I say take a chance on him.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Sebastian Munoz at $8,500 is a good choice, has played well in the fall.  Emiliano Grillo at $8,300 is a smart pick, has three top-15 finishes in the last four years.  Also like that he hits a lot of greens, putting is a problem.  Charles Howell III at $8,100 is a tough call, plays the course well with three top-tens in 11 starts.  Over the fall he has been steady, yes he makes cuts but has troubled to get inside the top-25.  Joel Dahmen at $8,000 is good due to him finishing 6th last year at Mayakoba.  Yes putting is a question mark, but the rest of his game is good for El Camaleon.  Patton Kizzire at 8,000 is worth watching, he won the event in 2018 and has been playing well of late finishing T-10th at RSM Classic.  Seems like $8,000 is a good number, Scott Piercy is at that figure and worth it.  Was T-6th in 2019 and T-4th in 2017 and on the PGA Tour has been steady making his last five cuts.  Adam Long is at $7,900 and in his only Mayakoba start was T-2nd last year.  I like his game for this week, has played well all fall and could be a winner here.  Also have to like Brian Gay at $7,500, he won this event in 2008 and in his ten starts has not missed a cut.

*Some of the “bargains” this week at the Mayakoba Golf Classic

John Huh at $7,400 is another past winner from 2012 that still has some game.  His game is steady, he hits lots of greens and makes birdies, his putter is hot and cold, so it depends which one shows up.  Now we have a bunch of good putters to watch, first is Denny McCarthy at $7,400, he was playing well until missing the cut at RSM, still like his game.  The choice I like the most is Peter Malnati at $7,300, he has played great of late and can play well this week.  Also like Harry Higgs at $7,000.  Feel he will make the cut and could get hot.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Mayakoba Golf Classic:

The key stat for the winner:

In a tournament that has a history of younger players participating, older more experience players have done well.  One historic oddity is the fact that eleven of the 13 past winners were over 30 with all the average winners just a month short of being 35.  Last year’s winner Brendon Todd was 34 years old, 2019 winner Matt Kuchar was 40 years old. The first winner Fred Funk was 2 months short of his 51st birthday and 2017 winner Pat Perez was 40 years old. So old may be something to look for this week.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

Tournament has had limited stats, still we can see that if you hit it straight, can deal with the wind, hit a lot lots of greens and putt reasonably well you can win here.  Again long hitters will spend a lot of time at the beach instead of being in contention.  Also in looking at the past winners of this event, done of them were favorites so look for the player you least expect winning.

 

Who to watch for at the Mayakoba Golf Classic

Best Bets:

Justin Thomas

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T23

Of course he should be the favorite, but have to wonder if he is serious about this or if this is an excuse for a vaction. Now the reason he is my top choice I thought the same of Thomas when he played at Kapalua and he won, so maybe another seaside course will fit his eye and game.

Will Zalatoris

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Has really played great the last two months, so good that he is now on the PGA Tour for 2021. Think he can win this week, course plays into his strong suit.

Peter Malnati

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T58 CUT CUT CUT T10 15

Yes not a mistype, think he has the game and will be at the right place at the right time to win again.

Best of the rest:

Abraham Ancer

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T8 T21 T9 T55 CUT

Like this guy this week, if he makes some putts he can win.

Harris English

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
5 T68 CUT CUT CUT T37 Win

Past champion, his game is in the right place right now between being able to putt well, make lots of birdies and play well on the Par 4s.

Patton Kizzire

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T58 T55 Win T58

Came close at RSM and his the stats to play well again this week, he too has won this event so he knows what to do right.

Emiliano Grillo

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T41 15 T9 T10

Hits a lot of greens, if his putter gets hot he will be hard to beat.

Carlos Ortiz

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T2 CUT T45 T55 CUT T9

Good memories from almost winning last year and winning for the first time at Houston.

Solid contenders

Brooks Koepka

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT

Important week for him, we are going to see which direction he goes as he gets ready for 2021. Feel he will play good, but not good enough to win.

Danel Berger

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Has slowed down a bit after a fast start to his summer/fall season.

Russell Henley

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T29

Another fall wonder I feel he could win, this course is a lot like the course he won the Sony Open in Hawaii on.

Denny McCarthy

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T48 T41 T68

Hot putters due well on this course and McCarthy is great with the flat stick.

Long shots that could come through:

Brian Gay

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T14 T41 T25 T28 T45 T55 T5 T20 Win

Knows the course well as a past champion. He has shown us that he can still compete at the tender age of just a couple days short of his 49th birthday.

John Huh

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T25 T28 CUT T29 T23 Win

Another past champion who hits a lot of greens and can still go low on this course.

Corey Conners

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T75

Looking for that surprise player, here is a good choice.

Joel Dahmen

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T6 T41 T23

Is a quiet guy that has the game to do some damage, he finishing 6th last year and if his putter gets hot he will be around on Sunday.

Ending a terrible year:

Rickie Fowler

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T16 2

He can’t wait to see 2020 in his rear-view mirror. Nothing as worked and he isn’t go to find in this week, just have to wonder if 2021 will be any better?

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