Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PGA Tour: The Mayakoba Classic Preview

PGA Tour: The Mayakoba Classic Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

Formerly known as the OHL Classic, the Mayakoba Classic was originally an opposite field event in February to the WGC Match-Play. It was switched to this slot in the schedule six years back. The field seems to go from strength to strength in this event. The winner this year will play the Masters and there are vital FedEx Cup points up for grabs.  

The US PGA Tour | The Mayakoba Classic
El Camaleon Golf Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Thursday 14 November - Sunday 17 November

The PGA Tour returns after a brief hiatus and will look to catch its breath after an explosive Asian swing. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy won in back-to-back weeks in a late-season pocket of magic. Formerly known as the OHL Classic, it was originally an opposite field event in February to the WGC Match-Play. It was switched to this slot in the schedule six years back. The field seems to go from strength to strength in this event. The winner this year will play the Masters and there are vital FedEx Cup points up for grabs. 

This is the second PGA Tour event played in Mexico outside of the prestigious WGC Mexico Championship. Mayakoba is a fairly short, coastal layout that will often present fairly benign conditions for scoring. It has smaller-than average Sea Isle Paspalum greens. They are fairly slow, running at no more than 11 on the stimp. It actually ventures through a range of landscapes as varied as tropical jungle and oceanfront. This course can reward more experienced ball-strikers should the wind get up. Fred Funk actually won the inaugural staging of this event in 2007. Accuracy off the tee can prove crucial with the wind and density of vegetation in certain areas. 

Defending champion Matt Kuchar will always be a contender. The ever-controversial Kuchar has gone slightly quiet in the latter part of the season and may enjoy this trip to familiar climes. Jason Day will be competing, fresh off the news of being a Captain’s Pick for the President’s Cup. Viktor Hovland is one of the hottest properties in world golf and will certainly be a winner on tour sooner or later. Other International Ryder Cup stars include Abraham Ancer and Joaquin Niemann. Elsewhere the likes of Tony Finau and Billy Horschel bring some firepower.

 Past Winners
2018: Matt Kuchar (-22)
2017: Patton Kizzire (-19)
2016: Pat Perez (-21)
2015: Graeme McDowell (-18)*playoff
2014: Charley Hoffman (-17)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Matt Kuchar (16/1)
Viktor Hovland (18/1)
Jason Day (18/1)
Tony Finau (20/1)
Billy Horschel (20/1)


Value Bets

Harris English
To Win (50/1), To Place (11/1)

Harris English just looks like a no-brainer this week. He had a brilliant 4 stroke victory here in 2013, winning in a magnificent 21 under par score. English has hit the ground running this season with three top six finishes. That includes a tie for 4th in his last outing at the Houston Open. He currently sits 4th for driving accuracy, which is a stat that always plays well in this event. He also ranks 9th in shots gained putting and 9th for greens in regulation. So he looks statistically ready for a real challenge this year. Returning to this event he must represent amazing value at 50/1. 

Danny Lee
To Win (50/1), To Place (11/1)

Danny Lee looks like fabulous value at 50/1, especially when you look at the combination of course form and recent results. The New Zealander finished 3rd here in 2014 and was runner-up last year. He also had an exceptional Asian Swing, finishing runner-up to Justin Thomas at the CJ Cup prior to a top 10 finish at the Zozo Championship. He was 1st for scrambling in South Korea and first in greens in regulation at the Zozo Championship. The 29-year-old can be ruthlessly accurate and looks primed for another crack at this title. 

The Man to Beat

Russell Knox
To Win (30/1), To Place (13/2)

Russell Knox is a PGA Tour Champion, though he hasn’t won on tour since. Having said that, he did win the Irish Open at Ballyliffin a few years back. The Scot has one of the best records in this event despite having no victories. He missed last year’s event but before that registered three consecutive top 10 finishes. That includes a tie for 2nd in 2015. He has been slightly inactive of late though his recent form has been encouraging. A tie for 28th at the Houston Open was followed by a tie for 11th at the Bermuda Championship. Russell Knox is a past master in this event and could make another strong run at this title.
Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets

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