The PGA Tour travels to Mexico this week for the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. The venue for this tournament is the El Camaleon Golf Club which is a short Par-71 less than 700o yards in length. The course was designed by Greg Norman in 2005 and was the first PGA Tour event to be held outside North America.
The course has three Par-5’s, all of which are reachable and could be an opportunity to get some eagles. The three Par-3’s are also quite short in length with the shortest one being slightly less than 120 yards in length.
While the fairways are pretty wide, this course still requires accuracy because it is littered with hazards and some pretty thick rough to make things difficult for the golfers as well. The weather is expected to be sunny all through the weekend but the wind might pick up and become a factor from Friday onwards.
Rickey Fowler makes an appearance this week, his first of the new season, and will be the biggest name in the field by far. Webb Simpson has withdrawn from the competition. This is another full-field event with a cut at the end of two rounds.
Previous winners of this tournament include John Huh in 2012, Harris English in 2013, Charlie Hoffman in 2014, Graeme McDowell in 2015, and Pat Perez will be the defending champion having won it in 2016. Perez has a victory notched under his belt already this season and is one of the form players coming into this tournament.
Winning this tournament will require accuracy, as well as scoring aggressively. The short nature of some of these holes means that players will be hitting darts and taking some innovative lines to the greens. The scoring also depends heavily on the wind conditions since missing the fairways can be quite costly at this course.
Stats That Matter
The Wolf has identified the following key stats for this week:
– Strokes Gained: Tee to Green – Birdie or Better Percentage – Par 4 Scoring
Scrambling is another indicator that some punters might want to keep an eye on considering the large number of hazards on the course. The lowest score to win this tournament was recorded by Harris English in 2013 when he shot a 21 under Par and matched by Pat Perez in 2016. The worst winning score that has been recorded here is 13 under Par in 2012 and 2009. While conditions will dictate what kind of scoring conditions exist this week, the Wolf feels confident that the winning score will be at least 15 under Par.
It is almost impossible to go past Rickie Fowler at $10.00 this week. He is a class above the rest of the field and is ranked in the top echelon across all major statistical categories. 1st in sand saves, 4th in bordie average and 2nd in scoring average to go with 2nd in strokes gained putting and 4th in strokes gained overall. Can he start his season with a win? There is nothing to stop him!
For the value pick this week, the Wolf is going with Chez Reavie at $26.00. Reavie has been in terrific form over the last few months and has recorded top-20 finishes consistently. Not only does his game seem to be in an excellent state, but this course also promises to fit his style like a glove. A short course that needs accuracy off the tee is something right down Reavie’s alley. The stats also paint a pretty picture with him being 65th in strokes gained tee to green and 6th in Par 4 scoring. Chez Reavie has played this tournament four times and his best finish came last year when he finished fourth. He could find a relatively weak field and a course that he is familiar on is a combination that leads him to victory this weekend. Zach Johnson at the same price is another player that offers good value and someone whom the Wolf recommends keeping an eye on.
Those looking for value should be backing Bryson DeChambeau at $41.00. His results over the last couple of weeks are showing an excellent climb towards the top and he could peak this week. DeChambeau finished T33 at the BMW Championship, T17 at the Safeway Open and T7 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last week. The course will suit his consistency style of play. Bryson DeChambeau will hit the fairways more often than not, get to the greens in regulation and has been putting very well as well. At the price he is being offered and the form he is carrying with them along with his ability to improve dramatically on courses that he has played before, Bryson DeChambeau is definitely worth the risk.