This week, the PGA Tour heads to Mexico for the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. While looking at the field this week, I found myself recalling a vivid memory…
It was a sunny July day in 2015, and I was playing a practice round for U.S. Amateur qualifying at Ruth Lake CC, just outside of Chicago. As my group was about to tee off, we noticed a young man walk by sporting a Team Australia bag. We were all wondering, “who is this guy and why is he in Chicago?” We soon found out why he was here. As he was playing behind us, we often looked back to see how he was playing and many times we would be on a par 4 green and hear a THUD...it was his ball landing just short of the green...50+ yards past where our drives were. This kid had the length and accuracy that we could only dream of. We ended up finding out that he was Cameron Davis, and he was one of the top amateurs in the world. After seeing that display, I knew I wouldn't forget his name and expected great things from him in the future. Fast forward to September of this year, and Cameron Davis is representing Australia at the World Amateur Team Championship. He led Australia to the title and took medalist honors shooting -17 over 4 rounds with all rounds in the 60s. Now, you may be wondering, “why I am babbling on about this amateur?” Well, one of the two host courses for that event is the same course that the PGA Tour is playing this week. To make things even better, Cameron Davis has turned pro and received an exemption into the field. Being such an unknown, DraftKings has priced him at a rock bottom $6,000. For a player with nothing to lose, an immense amount of upside and recent great play on this track, look for Davis to be the guy that distinguishes your lineup this week.
With that being said, here are my picks for the week:
Cameron Davis $6,000
The 2015 Australian Amateur champion looks to jumpstart his PGA Tour career this week. As noted above, he has an insane amount of power and talent. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see him in the top 10 come Sunday.
Harris English $9,500
English, the 2013 champ at Mayakoba, is fresh off a 4th place finish last week in Vegas. He has been playing solid all year as evidenced by making every cut since the Players in May!!! He has made a whopping 40 birdies over his last 2 starts, so you can tell his game is heating up. Look for him to notch another victory this week.
Ryan Blaum $6,900
Blaum is a relative unknown unless you are an absolute golf junkie like me. Blaum finished 29th last year at Mayakoba. In his 3 starts so far this year he has quietly gone 26th, 11th and 31st. He is an accurate driver of the golf ball and can make birdies by the bunches which will fit in great this week.
One of the intricacies about Mayakoba is that the greens are a strain of grass that is very grainy and not many players are used to...paspalum. A few PGA Tour stops besides Mayakoba have that grass including the Puerto Rico Open and CIMB Classic. A few players may have an edge when it comes to that type of grass. A few standouts are below:
One and Dones:
Bradley’s home course, the Bear’s Club in Florida, has paspalum greens so this will feel like a home game. Add that to the fact that he is fresh off of back to back top 10s (one of those at the CIMB with paspalum greens) and Bradley is looking like a great one-and-done pick this week.
He won his first PGA Tour event last year at the Puerto Rico Open which has paspalum greens. He finished 7th in 2014 in his only start at Mayakoba.
Scott Brown (aka Mr. Paspalum) is ready to break out of his funk of non-stellar play. Brown finished 5th at Mayakoba last year and has had great success at the Puerto Rico Open as well.