BlogWorld Wide Technology Championship Preview and Picks

World Wide Technology Championship

November 2nd – 5th, 2023

El Cardonal at Diamante

Los Cabos, Mexico

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,452

Purse: $8.2 million

with $1,476,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Russell Henley (not playing)

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 5 players from the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with the highest rank player being #17 Cameron Young.  There is a total of 23 top-100 players in the field, after Young its #29 Sahith Theegala, #32 Lucas Glover, #34 Emiliano Grillo, #47 Chris Kirk, #58 Ludvig Aberg, #59 Adam Svensson, #62 Andrew Putnam, #63 K.H. Lee, #64 Matt Kuchar, #65 Lucas Herbert, #66 Keith Mitchell, #73 Justin Suh, #75 Beau Hossler, #77 Taylor Montgomery, #80 Luke List, #81 J.J. Spaun, #82 Thomas Detry, #85 Mark Hubbard, #92 Zac Blair, #94 Chez Reavie, #96 Stephan Jaeger, and #98 Austin Eckroat.

Last year there were 13 top-50 players and a total of 32 players in the top 100.

The field includes all 4 of the 16 past champions: Matt Kuchar (2019), Patton Kizzire (2018), Charley Hoffman (2015), and Brian Gay (2008).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the World Wide Technology Championship 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 World Wide Technology Championship in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the World Wide Technology.

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 World Wide Technology Championship

Player Zozo Champ. Shriners Children’s Sanderson Farms BMW PGA Fortinet Champ. European Masters Tour Champ. BMW Champ. FedEx St. Jude Irish Open Wyndham Champ. 3M Open British Open
Beau Hossler
(200.33 pts)
T2
(100)
T7
(55)
T28
(14.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T13
(12.33)
DNP
Ludvig Aberg
(179.67 pts)
DNP T13
(37)
T2
(66.67)
T10
(20)
DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
T64
(0)
DNP
Lucas Glover
(136.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T18
(16)
T22
(14)
Win
(66)
DNP Win
(44)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Luke List
(128.33 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
Win
(88)
DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Emiliano Grillo
(111.67 pts)
T10
(40)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T29
(10.5)
T31
(9.5)
T20
(15)
DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
T6
(40)
Adam Svensson
(110.33 pts)
T41
(9)
T18
(32)
T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T15
(17.5)
T37
(6.5)
DNP T7
(18.33)
T37
(4.33)
DNP
Sahith Theegala
(101 pts)
T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP T15
(17.5)
T13
(18.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
J.J. Spaun
(98.33 pts)
T6
(60)
T46
(4)
DNP DNP T11
(13)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(13)
DNP T38
(4)
T37
(4.33)
DNP
Taylor Pendrith
(80 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Ryo Ishikawa
(80 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chesson Hadley
(78.33 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
T35
(10)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
T27
(7.67)
DNP
Callum Tarren
(78 pts)
T31
(19)
T23
(27)
T43
(4.67)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T13
(12.33)
DNP
Erik Van Rooyen
(77.67 pts)
DNP T23
(27)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(11.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Henrik Norlander
(75 pts)
DNP T35
(15)
T2
(66.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T57
(0)
DNP
Ben Griffin
(69.67 pts)
T64
(0)
CUT
(-10)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T24
(13)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T20
(10)
CUT
(-6.67)
Robby Shelton
(67 pts)
T4
(80)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Sam Ryder
(65.83 pts)
T64
(0)
T28
(22)
T51
(0)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP DNP T31
(9.5)
DNP T38
(4)
T7
(18.33)
DNP
Tyler Duncan
(65.33 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
T16
(22.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(4)
T20
(10)
DNP
Kelly Kraft
(62 pts)
DNP T23
(27)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
WD
(-1.67)
DNP
Vince Whaley
(60 pts)
DNP T13
(37)
T28
(14.67)
DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Cameron Young
(57 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T15
(17.5)
T31
(9.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T8
(33.33)
K.H. Lee
(56 pts)
T41
(9)
T7
(55)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Cameron Champ
(55.33 pts)
T59
(0)
T18
(32)
T9
(30)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Isaiah Salinda
(55 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Michael Kim
(54.33 pts)
T41
(9)
T18
(32)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Justin Suh
(54.33 pts)
T10
(40)
T56
(0)
DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
T24
(8.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T43
(2.33)
DNP
Kensei Hirata
(53.33 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Mark Hubbard
(53.33 pts)
T31
(19)
CUT
(-10)
T6
(40)
DNP T17
(11)
DNP DNP DNP T66
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Stephan Jaeger
(52 pts)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP T14
(12)
T30
(6.67)
DNP
Thomas Detry
(51.83 pts)
T51
(0)
DNP DNP T33
(8.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
T23
(9)
21
(9.67)
DNP T13
(24.67)
Davis Thompson
(50.33 pts)
DNP T35
(15)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T22
(9.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Keith Mitchell
(49.17 pts)
T21
(29)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T43
(3.5)
DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
DNP
Taylor Montgomery
(48.83 pts)
T16
(34)
T35
(15)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T37
(6.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Lanto Griffin
(45 pts)
DNP T13
(37)
T28
(14.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Troy Merritt
(45 pts)
DNP T64
(0)
T9
(30)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T58
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Matti Schmid
(42 pts)
DNP T26
(24)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T24
(8.67)
DNP DNP DNP T79
(0)
T22
(9.33)
T20
(10)
DNP
Akshay Bhatia
(42 pts)
T21
(29)
T35
(15)
T43
(4.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Harry Hall
(41.33 pts)
T21
(29)
T26
(24)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Carl Yuan
(36.67 pts)
DNP T52
(0)
T6
(40)
DNP 68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 73
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Nick Hardy
(36.17 pts)
T41
(9)
55
(0)
T35
(10)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T49
(0.5)
DNP T27
(7.67)
T13
(12.33)
DNP
Martin Laird
(33.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T56
(0)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T58
(0)
T2
(33.33)
DNP
Chad Ramey
(33.67 pts)
DNP T46
(4)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T53
(0)
DNP
Davis Riley
(27.83 pts)
T31
(19)
T28
(22)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T43
(3.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Andrew Putnam
(27.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T10
(20)
T24
(13)
DNP T27
(7.67)
DNP T55
(0)
Ryan Moore
(25.33 pts)
DNP T13
(37)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Ben Taylor
(25.33 pts)
77
(0)
T28
(22)
T73
(0)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
71
(0)
DNP
Matt Kuchar
(24.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP T38
(4)
T43
(2.33)
DNP
Greyson Sigg
(24.33 pts)
DNP T28
(22)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(4)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Adam Long
(22.67 pts)
DNP T35
(15)
T35
(10)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T37
(4.33)
DNP
Zac Blair
(22.33 pts)
T38
(12)
T42
(8)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T13
(12.33)
DNP
C.T. Pan
(21.67 pts)
DNP WD
(-5)
T9
(30)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
70
(0)
DNP
Chris Kirk
(17.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T29
(10.5)
T16
(17)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Nate Lashley
(17 pts)
T41
(9)
T42
(8)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
T57
(0)
DNP
Jason Dufner
(10.33 pts)
DNP T66
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T20
(10)
DNP
Austin Smotherman
(9.33 pts)
DNP T35
(15)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T27
(7.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the Field for the World Wide Technology Championship

Player Zozo Champ. Shriners Children’s Sanderson Farms BMW PGA Fortinet Champ. European Masters Tour Champ. BMW Champ. FedEx St. Jude Irish Open Wyndham Champ. 3M Open British Open
Ryan Armour
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Kevin Roy
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brian Stuard
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Kevin Tway
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Nick Watney
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Augusto Nunez
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T72
(0)
DNP
MJ Daffue
(-21 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T43
(2.33)
DNP
Paul Haley II
(-21 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T43
(2.33)
DNP
Nico Echavarria
(-20 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Austin Eckroat
(-20 pts)
T68
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

So, after a week off, the tour moves to Mexico for the World Wide Technology Championship, but there is a twist. For 16 years, the event was played at El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa Del Carman, a small community 30 miles south of Cancun off the Gulf of Mexico. Players loved the course along with the location, and the course was a favorite of many players. But when El Camaleon was named on the LIV golf schedule in 2023, the event had to go elsewhere.

The sponsor wanted to stay in Mexico, and they found another great course, but on the Pacific side of Mexico. They picked the El Cardonal Golf Course at Diamante in Los Cabos. The course, which opened in 2014, has the distinction of being the first course completed by Tiger Woods and will be the first Woods-designed course on the PGA Tour.

The course is on a parcel of land that has this desert look to it. Palo Verde trees, cacti, and scrubby desert flora are on the property, and it’s at the base of the hill and has a 240-foot drop in the stretch of land. The property is just above the Pacific, and the third hole is about 1,000 yards from the water. Since the course has no barriers, it will get the full wrath of the wind that will blow off the Pacific, creating a real challenge. It has the characteristics of a desert course in which green grass strips run through the desert and arroyos. The course will play to a par of 72 over 7,452 yards and has a 75.9 rating and 140 slope. It will have a different feel to it compared to El Camaleon Golf Club, which had a distinctive difference as the course was a combination links feel along with some of the holes running through forests of trees. Since the course is part of a resort, the fairways are wide and generous, with massive greens that average 8,300 square feet. For many of the players, El Cardonal will be very reminiscent of the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui. Both courses were built on a foothill. The only difference is that El Cardonal won’t have the same drastic elevation changes. But both courses will feel the same.

It will be interesting to see how players react to this new course. The Plantation Course at Kapalua has been around since 1991, and in the first decade, it had as many players who didn’t like the course, but over time and change, it’s very loved by most players. This course may have the same reaction. For the average player, the course is challenging, but for the best players in the world, El Cardonal may become a birdie feast; it will depend on the weather and wind.

For some, this week will be critical.

After this week, there are just two events left, Bermuda and RSM Classic. The goal of a dozen in this week’s field is to finish the year in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings at the end of the year, getting them into a lot of events in 2024 including the Masters.

Those players are on the bubble, amazing how many of them aren’t playing this week:

World Ranking – Player

  • 47 – Chris Kirk (Playing this week)
  • 48 – Adam Hadwin (Not playing this week)
  • 49 – Eric Cole (Not playing this week)
  • 50 – Nick Taylor (Not playing this week)
  • 51 – Taylor Moore (Not playing this week)
  • 52 – Billy Horchel (Not playing this week)
  • 53 – Brendon Todd (Not playing this week)
  • 54 – Robert MacIntyre (Not playing this week, will play in South Africa next week)
  • 55 – Byeong-Hun (Not playing this week due to being suspended that ends in December)
  • 56 – Tom Hoge (Not playing this week)
  • 57 – Lee Hodges (Not playing this week)
  • 58 – Ludvig Aberg (Playing this week)
  • 59 – Adam Svensson (Playing this week)
  • 60 – Alex Noren (Not playing this week)

Now you also have the list of players that are trying to get into the top 60 and get into the Sentry and Genesis.  Attendance is a lot better for those in this group:

FedEx Ranking – Player

  • 55 – Alex Smalley (Not playing this week)
  • 56 – J.J. Spaun (Playing this week)
  • 57 – Mackenzie Hughes (Playing this week)
  • 58 – Stephan Jaeger (Playing this week)
  • 59 – Luke List (Playing this week)
  • 60 – Thomas Detry (Playing this week)
  • 61 – Mark Hubbard (Playing this week)
  • 62 – Davis Riley (Playing this week)
  • 63 – Sam Ryder (Playing this week)
  • 64 – S.H. Kim (Not playing this week)
  • 65 – Brandon Wu (Playing this week)

Now for those staying and getting into the top 125 is very important and players on the bubble are in the field this week:

  • 121 – Maverick McNealy
  • 122 – Chesson Hadley
  • 123 – Doug Ghim
  • 124 – C.T. Pan
  • 125 – Erik Van Rooyen
  • 126 – Zecheng Duo
  • 127 – Cameron Champ
  • 128 – MJ Daffier
  • 129 – Jimmy Walker
  • 130 – Patton Kizzire
Welcome back

Maverick McNealy will play in Mexico this week, it’s his first start since the RBC Canadian Open in June. McNealy had a lot of momentum last year when he finished T-10th at the Shriners, T-12th at the Zozo Championship, T-18th at the CJ Cup, T-10th at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, and T-7th at the Sony Open. After finishing T-31st at the Farmers Insurance, he was 26th in the FedEx Cup rankings, and things looked positive for the year. He was returning to Pebble Beach, where he had happy memories from living just off the 15th green of Pebble. In 2021, he was 2nd at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am and had high hopes for the week. But at Pebble, he hurt his left shoulder and was forced to withdraw. He also withdrew from Phoenix the next week and tried to play through the problem. He struggled most weeks, and by the time Canada arrived, he missed the cut, and it was time to listen to the doctors. McNealy tore the anterior sternoclavicular ligament in his left shoulder, and he had two choices: surgery or rehab. He chose the latter and started a comprehensive treatment of Physical therapy, biomechanics analysis, golf swing modifications, regenerative stem-cell treatments, and rest from golf. During the time off, he not only got engaged but also got his pilot’s license and then went through instrument training so that he could fly in adverse conditions.

He also moved to Las Vegas and plans to fly in events in the southwest. McNealy hasn’t played since Canada five months ago but has been practicing for the last month and returns this week in Mexico. He has to play well since he is 121st in the FedExCup and could risk losing his tour card. So, the question is whether McNealy will be in the mix this week. He hasn’t played competitively in five months and will be rusty. But at the same time, McNealy plays well on courses by the Pacific, and if he is putting well, he is 1st in Strokes Gained Putting; he could be good value. As for putting him on your DraftKings team, I would avoid that since there is a good chance he won’t make the cut. If McNealy is healthy, he will be a player to watch on the West Coast swing.

Another injured player to watch this week:

For Lanto Griffin, the last 18 months have been pure torture. After his decisive win at the 2020 Houston Open, the thought was the sky was the limit. But six months later, in May 2000, Griffin ruptured his L5-S1 disc. He tried to play with the tour starting back after three months off for Covid, but his game just wasn’t there. He struggled with things, changing his swing to help ease the pain, but despite it getting better, it ruptured again in January of 2022, and by July, the pain was too deep, and he couldn’t swing a club. In July 2022, he underwent surgery and didn’t play for six months. He returned this January for the Farmers Insurance Open, a wrong decision because even though he thought he was healthy, he wasn’t. He fractured a rib and pulled some muscles in his mid-back less than a month later at The Genesis Invitational. That sidelined him for an additional two months.¬†One of the cures for Griffin getting better is ice baths as you can see in this video:¬†One of the cures for Griffin getting better is ice baths as you can see in this video:

He returned for the Valero Texas Open, and he was finally pain-free. He started to swing more free since he had no pain, but his putter torpedoed his chance of playing well. At the end of summer, he saw golf coach Scott Hamilton, who made changes to the way he was addressing putts, and the Sanderson Farms showed some progress. For the week, he was 1st in Strokes Gained Putting, and in putts inside ten feet, he felt more comfortable. In putts inside seven feet, he was 53 for 53, and for 54 holes, he was in good shape at 10 under par. He struggled to a final round 72 to finish T-28th. He felt good going to Las Vegas and started off with rounds of 64-66 to co-lead and with a third round, 68 co-led going into Sunday. Again, he struggled in the final round, shooting 70 to finish T-13th four back of winner Tom Kim. For the week, he was 15th in Strokes Gained putting, but despite being a perfect 52 for 52 inside five feet, he was 14 for 16 from six to ten feet. Griffin goes into Mexico this week 169 in the FedExCup fall standings and needs to get into the top 125 since his Houston Open win exemption is up. At the same time, he doesn’t have to stress too much because he has a dozen starts due to his medical problems, so he has some time. Still, we like Griffin this week because he will be looking to improve over his last two starts.

Is he still for real?

Ludvig Aberg is back this week in Mexico after taking two weeks off. His story has been well documented. Yes, this 24-year-old (his birthday was Tuesday, Oct. 31) could be a future star. Since turning pro last June, Aberg has played in 12 PGA Tour and DP World events with a victory at the Omega European Open, a runner-up at the Sanderson Farms, and T-4th at the John Deere. Already, Aberg has played in the Ryder Cup despite not making a major start, and each week, he seems to find a way to be in contention. We have seen this story before. In December 2012, Jordan Spieth was a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Texas when he decided to move on. He did so despite having no playing status on any tour. Spieth had just competed in the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School as an amateur, finishing T-26th at TPC Craig Ranch to miss advancing to the final stage by three shots. After missing the cut at the 213 Farmers Insurance Open, Spieth finished T-22nd at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, then T-2nd at the Puerto Rico Open. Spieth followed that with a T-7th finish at the Tampa Bay Championship. At that point, he’d earned enough money ($521,893) to claim special temporary member status, allowing him to accept unlimited sponsor exemptions. He continued playing well, finishing T-9th at the RBC Heritage, T-7th at Colonial, and 6th at the AT&T National. But after winning the John Deere Classic in July, he won his PGA Tour card, and we know what happened. We saw a similar story happen in 2019 when, in June, Collin Morikawa graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and then turned pro. Playing on sponsor exemptions, he was T-14th at the RBC Canadian Open, T-35th at the U.S. Open (qualified for this one), T-36th at the Travelers, and T-2nd at the 3M Open. With that, he earned a special Temporary Membership into the PGA Tour and was T-4th at the John Deere Classic. In his eighth PGA Tour start (six as a pro), he won the Barracuda Championship to earn his full-time PGA Tour card.

So Aberg fits into this mold of being a star of the future. Before he even turned pro, Aberg, as a senior at Texas Tech, became the winner of the newly created award of finishing 1st in the 2023 PGA Tour University Award. With that, he became the first PGA Tour University player to earn direct access to PGA Tour membership for the remainder of 2023 and the 2024 season. So, in a way, he was playing with a loaded deck. He had the rest of 2023 and 2024 to prove himself, which he did. With his win at the Omega European Open, he gained an exemption for that tour for the rest of 2023 and ’24, but he will play the bulk of 2024 on the PGA Tour. Now, with his instant success, Aberg has a hefty price attached to himself.

This week at the World Wide Technology Championship, Aberg is the favorite. On DraftKings Sportsbook, he is +900 (meaning if you bet $10, you win $100). Not only is he a 9 to 1 favorite (very high), he is the favorite in DraftKings fantasy game, and to make him one of your six picks, he will cost you $11,200. With this, it begs the question, when will he falter? Unfortunately, we all know everyone at some point has to falter. For Morikawa, it was a while. He played over a year as a professional before he missed his first cut in his 25th start at the 2020 Travelers. Even the great Tiger Woods went 25 starts and a year before missing the cut in his 26th start at the 1997 Canadian Open. So, who knows, it could be a while before Aberg falters, but you can see the unusual pressure Aberg will have with each start. This week, I feel he will do well, based on the course he is playing. As we have said, we think those that will play well will drive it long, hit a lot of greens, especially from 100 to 150 in, and make their share of putts. In looking at Aberg’s nine starts on the PGA Tour, he is 4th in driving distance, 3rd in Greens in Regulation, and T-2nd in Proximity to hole. These are all excellent signs from tee to green, but putting is slightly different. He is 63rd in Strokes Gained Putting and 65th in putting inside 10 feet. So, with all this data, the best bet is that Aberg will make the cut and has an excellent chance of another top-ten. But on the point of betting along with Aberg, he is probably not a great pick because his odds are just too great for this week.

Course information:
  • El Cardonal at Diamante
  • Los Cabos, Mexico
  • 7,452 yards ¬† ¬† Par 36-36–72

El Cardonal was built by Tiger Woods and opened in 2014. El Cardonal encourages swinging away off the tee with spacious driving widths of 60 yards wide that are countered with plenty of bunkers and death if you leave the short grass. The length and undulating greens will test the best of players while the ocean views distract players and will be the only natural defense for the course, ocean breezes.

Though there are some short par fours, you’ll rarely be tempted to hit anything but the driver on the non-par threes given the width of the short grass and confidence it breeds. On a calm day, you almost can’t miss a fairway, but when the wind is up, which it often is, things get tough quickly, and leaving the fairway often results in a lost ball. The difficulty in the course comes from the overall length combined with the pin placements. Some pins could prove to be diabolical to contend with, but enough real estate on the greens would allow easy pins as well. The course is kept in good shape, and you’ll enjoy rolling your putts, taking note that balls tend to break towards the water.

The course has six par 4s over 450 yards, and since the course is at sea level, that yardage is big. There is only one short par 4s under 400 yards on both sides, the 351-yard third hole and the 344-yard tenth hole. Three of the par 3s are over 189 yards, and the shortest is the 11th at 189 yards. The par 5s will get destroyed this week. Three of them are between 554 and 585 yards. The Par 5 sixth hole is 601 yards.

Bunkering is the weakness of this course. There are only 48 of them, and they are straightforward, not deep, and not that challenging for PGA Tour players. It’s hard to believe there is only one water hazard on the right side of the third fairway, and you have to hit an inferior drive to find that hazard. We have said how wide the fairways are. You can land a 747 on them. But if you stray off them, don’t even look just play another ball. Off the fairway is instant death.

There will be two key stats to watch. Look for players that hit it close from 100 to 150 yards. Since the fairways are so wide, length off the tee is important to leave players with 125-yard shots into the green. If we look at the stat for the players who hit it the closest from 125 to 150 yards, those in the field that are leading that stat are (1) Chris Kirk, (4) Charley Hoffman, (5) Ryan Moore, and (7) Cameron Young. Our second important stat is Putts Inside ten feet and those in the top ten that are playing this week are (3) Maverick McNealy, (5) Taylor Montgomery, (6) Andrew Putnam, and (7) Taylor Pendrith.

Remember this, the player who hits his irons into the greens the closes and makes those putts inside ten feet will win.

Looking at long-range forecasts, the weather is supposed to be picture-perfect for the week. Every day will be 87, and Thursday and Friday will be partly cloudy with sunshine over the weekend. Now, for the players, winds will be very light in the 7 mph range, so look for really low scoring this week.

Most DraftKings points earned

We have put together a database beginning at the start of the 2023 season and going through the 2023 Zozo Championship (We don’t include team events), a total of 50 events. The database consists of how many points a player won during the event and his cost. Out of the database, we can determine the total DraftKing points earned and the players’ average points earned per event and average points based on the number of rounds played.

Of the players in the field, here are the top 50 playing in at least ten events:

 

DraftKings tips

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

  • Ludwig Aberg – $11,200
  • Cameron Young – $10,900
  • Sahith Theegala – $10,700
  • Stephan Jaeger – $10,200
  • Lucas Glover – $10,100
  • Beau Hossler – $9,900
  • Emiliano Grillo – $9,700
  • Thomas Detry – $9,400
  • J.J. Spaun – $9,400
  • Adam Svensson – $9,300
  • Akshay Bhatia – $9,200
  • Chris Kirk – $9,100
  • Luke List – $9,000

Just remember in picking that marquee name, 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 Ludwig Aberg – $11,200 is a high price for a player who has played well but it’s only a matter of time before reality sets in and he has his first poor event. ¬†I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop for a bit, still, he could just as easily win as missing the cut. ¬†But his price is too high for me. ¬†Cameron Young – $10,900 is something that people will say is a good price for a player on the verge of winning for the first time. ¬†Before you dive in on Cameron, look at two things. ¬†He hasn’t played in close to three months since finishing T-15th at the BMW Championship. ¬†Since the Masters hasn’t played that great, yes was T-8th at the British Open. ¬†Despite his price being high he does make a lot of DraftKings points, but still, I am not putting him on my team this week. ¬†I really like Sahith Theegala at $10,700. ¬†He won at Fortinet and is great from 150 yards in and putts good. ¬†He does average a lot of DraftKings points, yes he is worth the money. ¬†Stephan Jaeger at $10,200 is a lot of money for someone who has finished in the top ten just twice in 31 events. ¬†Just not that high on him. ¬†Now Lucas Glover at $10,100 is my top choice, yes I know he hasn’t played since the Tour Championship but he is great from 150 yards in plus with his new putting, he could be unbeatable this week. ¬†Beau Hossler at $9,900 is my second choice, he is hot and I can see him contending. ¬†Yes well worth the money. ¬†Emiliano Grillo at $9,700 is another to watch, was T-10th at Zozo and has been good since winning at Colonial. ¬†I would pass on Thomas Detry at $9,400. ¬†Just hasn’t shown us much, he makes cuts but his price is too high for that. ¬†J.J. Spaun – $9,400 is also a toss-up pick, he can give you a lot of points and does make a lot of cuts. ¬†Adam Svensson at $9,300 is not worth the money, he does make cuts but it seems to be a struggle for him to finish in the top ten. ¬†Don’t think his game is good on a big course like El Cardonal. ¬†Akshay Bhatia at $9,200 is like Svensson and I am passing on him, has struggled since winning at the Barracuda, just don’t think the course will suit him. ¬†This could be a good week for Chris Kirk at $9,100. ¬†Think his iron play from 100 to 150 yards is spot on and I can see him being a big surprise this week. ¬†Can Luke List at $9,000 provide the same excitement as he did at the Sanderson Farms? ¬†Think he can and lately has made a lot of DraftKings points.

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

Justin Suh at $8,900 is a good choice, he was 10th in Japan and has played okay for the whole year. ¬†Mark Hubbard at $8,500 is a thought, but he has been hit or miss. ¬†Of late was T-6th at the Sanderson, missed the cut at the Shriners, and was T-31st at the Zozo. ¬†See the problem, not much consistency. ¬†Davis Thompson at $8,300 is way overdue to break out and have some good performances, this course may suit him. ¬†Taylor Pendrith at $8,000 is a gamble, an example of that is he was 6th at the Barbasol and then missed his next four cuts. ¬†At the Shriners he was T-3rd, so we just don’t know because he is so inconsistent. ¬†Taylor Montgomery at $7,900 is a thought, this guy is a putting machine but is George of the Jungle with a driver. ¬†Think that with wide fairways and big greens, this could be his week. ¬†Cameron Champ at $7,800 is a great choice, this is a course that is tailor-made for his long game, think he will be good. ¬†Sam Ryder at $7,600 is a good choice, playing very consistently of late and he can give you lots of points. ¬†Maverick McNealy at $7,500 is back and despite being rusty, think he will have a good week on this course.

*Some of the “bargains” this week at the World Wide Technology

Like Greyson Sigg at $7,300, he is a birdie machine and will bring in a lot of points.  As I said before, Lanto Griffin at $7,200 has found some keys to his putting and he just has to put it together, think this will be a great week for him.  Troy Merritt at $7,200 is also a good choice, has played great in his last three starts and was T-3rd in this event last year.  Henrik Norlander at $7,100 played well last year at Mayakoba and was T-2nd at the Sanderson and T-35th at the Shriners.  Ryan Moore at $7,000 is another player who should make the cut and get you some points.   We talked about Ryo Ishikawa last week and how well he has played in Japan.  He gets a start back on the PGA Tour and at $6,700 he is a great pick.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the World Wide Technology Championship:

Key stat for the winner:

This event has been played since 2007, and even though it gets a lot of younger players participating, older, more experienced players have done well. ¬†One historical oddity is that 12 of the 16 past winners were over 30, with all the winners averaging just a notch below 35. ¬†But things changed in 2021 when 23-year-old Viktor Hovland won, only the third player in his 20s to win this championship. ¬†He also won the next year at age 24 but this event still favors older players. Last year Russell Helen was 3 years, 6 months, and 25 days old when he won. ¬†Four of the 15 champions are older than 40 years. ¬†Age also means experience, and despite Hovland’s young age, he has a lot of experience. ¬†So old may be something to look for this week.

 

Who to watch for at the World Wide Technology Championship

Best Bets:

Lucas Glover

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
T38 T5 CUT T65

Yes I know he hasn’t played since the Tour Championship but he is great from 150 yards in plus with his new putting, he could be unbeatable this week.

Sahith Theegal

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
First time playing in this event

He won at Fortinet and is great from 150 yards in and putts good.

Ludwig Aberg

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
First time playing in this event

I am worried that it’s only a matter of time before reality sets in and he has his first poor event. I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop for a bit. Still, he could just as easily win as missing the cut so either way won’t surprise me.

Best of the rest:

Beau Hossler

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
T38 CUT T41 CUT T34

He is hot and I can see him contending this week.

Justin Suh

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
T48

He was 10th in Japan and has played ok for the whole year.

Chris Kirk

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
T64 T64 T46 T33 T48 T7

Think his iron play from 100 to 150 yards is spot on and I can see him being a big surprise this week.

Luke List

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT T7 CUT

Think he can provide the same excitement as he did at the Sanderson Farms.

Cameron Champ

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
CUT T33 T10 CUT

This is a course that is tailor made for his long game, think he will be good.

Solid contenders

Davis Thompson

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
First time playing in this event

He is way overdue to break out and have some good performances, this course may suit him.

Taylor Pendrith

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
CUT

He is a gamble this week, an example of this he was 6th at the Barbasol and then missed his next four cuts. At the Shriners he was T-3rd, so we just don’t know because he is so inconsistent.

Sam Ryder

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
T8 CUT CUT T66 54 CUT

He playing very consistently of late and the course is perfect for his game.

Ryo Ishikawa

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
T50

Two weeks ago he played well in Japan getting him here. He gets a start back on the PGA Tour, the tour he really wants to play on.

Long shots that could come through:

Lanto Griffin

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
T76 T61

He has found some keys to his putting and he just has to put it together, think this will be a great week for him.

Maverick McNealy

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
T10 T11 T12 T26

He is back and despite being rusty, think he will have a good week on this course.

Taylor Montgomery

2023 ’22 ’21 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11
T10

This guy is a putting machine but is George of the Jungle with a driver. Think that with wide fairways and big greens, this could be his week.

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