This week the Tour heads to Mexico for the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. The course is short and tight off the tee, not your typical resort course. Players who performed well in the past at Mayakoba have been players with sensational iron games and a solid mental attitude. It’s important to plod around the course and be aggressive at the right moments. The greens for this event are paspalum which are the same greens as the CIMB Classic and the Puerto Rico Open. Here are some players to consider:
Russell Knox $8,500
Knox’s last two trips to Mayakoba resulted in top three finishes. The strength of his game is his iron play. Last year, Knox finished fifth in proximity from 125-150 and 12th from 150-175. I expect him to have many iron shots from these yardages at Mayakoba. In his last two appearances on the tight track, he recorded 47 birdies and an eagle! That will help the DK scoring and he also is one of my favorite values of the week at 66-1 to win.
Jason Kokrak $8,400
Kokrak has a great combination of course history and recent form. He has recorded top 20 finishes in his last three visits to Mayakoba. Over these three events, he has made 54 birdies and two eagles useful numbers for the DraftKings scoring. In his last three events on Tour, he has also recorded top 20 finishes. At $8,400, I think the casual golf fan will pass over Kokrak this week.
Luke List $7,900
List is grossly mispriced this week. He is a birdie machine who has shown consistency and upside over the last few months. List recorded 21 birdies and an eagle here last year en route to a seventh place finish. He has been playing well of late with three straight top 20 finishes. I look for him to continue that trend this week.
Perez is an obvious pick for this week for one-and-done purposes. He is the defending champion and his game is in great form after winning the CIMB Classic and finishing fifth at the CJ Cup. One interesting correlation is that Mayakoba has the same type of putting surfaces as the CIMB Classic (paspalum). Perez has stated publicly that he feels comfortable on paspalum greens since they tend to be a bit slower and have less break.
If you don’t choose Perez, you may want to go with the hot hand in Chesson Hadley. He has had a bit of a career resurgence over the past few months highlighted by top four finishes in his last three starts.
Reavie is a bit of a dark horse pick for this format. He finished fourth here in 2016 and has rattled off top 25 finishes in his last four events this year. Reavie is seventh on Tour in proximity from 125-175 this year which is where I expect the majority of approach shots to come from this week.
Longshots to Win
D.A. Points 500-1 to win, 66-1 top 5, 26-1 top 10
You may be asking me “Why would I be choosing a player who hasn’t recorded a top 50 finish in his last 14 starts?” Well…….Points has won coming off cold streaks like this many times before. Points won the Puerto Rico Open last year after failing to finish in the top 38 in his eight events prior to that. Points should be comfortable this week on the paspalum greens as the same grass the Puerto Rico Open is played on. He also won the Shell Houston Open after failing to record a top 50 in the 11 starts prior to that event. He also won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after failing to record a top 50 in his 12 starts prior to that event. How often can you get a player who has won multiple times on Tour at 500-1? A chance to turn $20 into $10,000.
Brian Stuard 110-1 to win
Stuard had a runner up finish at this event a few years back and has been playing solid of late highlighted by a fourth at the Sanderson Farms. He was in good shape last week until a final round 77. Stuard is a very accurate driver off the golf ball which will help him position himself off the tee at this golf course that punishes errant drives. In 2017, he finished 12th on Tour is distance from the edge of the fairway when missing the fairway at only 21 feet!!!
John Huh 150-1
Huh just loves Mayakoba as shown by a win and three other top 30s in his last five starts. At 150-1, that is more than enough reason for me to toss a few shekels on him.
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