PGA Tour: The OHL Classic at Mayakoba Preview

Golfer lines up shot

We preview this week's PGA Tour event - the OHL Classic at Mayakoba - taking place between 9 October and 12 October at the El Camaleon Golf Club.

The PGA Tour takes a rare detour this week as it heads to Mexico for this year’s installment of the OHL Classic. This event has undergone a few transformations in its time. Originally called the Mayakoba Golf Classic, the event used to run parallel to the WGC Event in Arizona in February. Since 2013, however, the event moved to mid-November and the start of the PGA Tour season. It now features FedEx Cup points and has certainly grown in stature since a 50 year-old Fred Funk won the inaugural event in 2007.

The OHL Classic at Mayakoba | 9 October - 12 October | El Camaleon Golf Club

Designed by Greg Norman and completed in 2004, the El Camaleon Golf Club is certainly a unique track, encompassing three different landscapes- mangroves, tropical jungles and a coastline. It is wind affected and has smaller than average Sea Isle Paspalum greens. Of the 8 tracks that measure less than 7,000 yards in 2012- this course rated as the toughest. However, the switch to November has seen the event being played in far more benign conditions, and the average winning score of the last 4 years has been -17.

Ricky Fowler headlines the field this week while Mr America himself- Patrick Reed- will no doubt attract huge galleries. Defending champion Pat Perez has won in recent weeks and will no doubt feel confident of going back to back in Mexico. Major champions such as Graeme McDowell and Zach Johnson will look to retain their relevance while young guns such as Chez Reavie look to cement their growing status.

Past Winners
2016: Pat Perez (-21)
2015: Graeme McDowell (-18)*playoff
2014: Charley Hoffman (-17)
2013: Harris English (-21)
2012: John Huh (-13)*playoff

To Win Outright
Ricky Fowler 10/1, Pat Perez 12/1, Chesson Hadley 20/1, Gary Woodland 20/1, Patrick Reed 22/1

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Value Bets

Emilano Grillo- To Win 50/1, To Place 11/1
I’m going for something of a shot in the dark for the Argentine this week. He hasn’t exactly been in the greatest form and really is a hit-or-miss player at best. But he did play his best ever golf during this stretch of last season, which included a 10th place finish in this event at the first time of asking. Grillo is extremely talented and this course definitely suits his eye. While this one is far more speculative than my usual pick, I think it sometimes pays to divorce one’s self from the obvious choice- particularly giving the time of the season.

Whee Kim- To Win 55/1, To Place 12/1
It clearly is important to go with form, and I think that’s especially useful with many of the major players on sojourn. Kim burst onto the scene somewhat with that tie for fourth at the CJ Cup. And just to show that he wasn’t a flash in the pan, he managed a terrific runner-up finish last week in Vegas. As I said, players with limited profile but excellent form generally make for the best value, and I think there’s more than enough there to have a go at him.

Peter Malnati- To Win 160/1, To Place 35/1
At the extreme end of the price-pool, Peter Malnati makes for very interesting reading. Malnati’s game isn’t the explosive sort that gets noticed these days. His two victories on the Web.Com Tour have come from finding fairways and allowing his skills with the putter to dictate terms. His PGA Tour victory at the Sanderson Farms two years ago was evidence of this. His putter can run cold, but Malnati has made 12 out of 13 cuts since the Players. His last two starts had opening rounds of 67, and his 32nd place last week in Vegas could have been so much more had his putter actually fired. So there have been encouraging signs.

The Man to Beat- Chesson Hadley- To Win 20/1, To Place 44/10
Toward the top tier of the betting stakes, it’s really hard to ignore the recent run of form that defines young Chesson Hadley. And at 20/1, it’s hardly the shortest price you could get for the form figures that he presents. Firstly, his sole PGA Tour title came back in 2014 at the Puerto Rico Open, so the venue should defiantly suit him. But his recent form figures read an astonishing 10-1-2-46-3-2-4. Some of those results may have been on the Web.Com Tour, but the truncated field should make him something of a no-brainer.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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