After a rare week off, the PGA Tour returns with an appearance south of the border in picturesque Playa del Carmen.
This will be the 13th playing of the Mayakoba Classic and we are yet to have a repeat winner.
Everyone’s favorite stingy old guy Matt Kuchar won it last year and Montgomery, Alabama’s Patton Kizzire took home the trophy in 2017.
El Camaleon is a Greg Norman-designed somewhat resort-style short golf course that doesn’t even measure 7,000 yards.
The par 5s are reachable in two for many of the golfers and it’s a course that is rather dependent on the wind to provide a high level of difficulty.
Minimal wind is in the forecast and it has been raining so expect some slow receptive greens which could lead to scores in the mid-20s under par.
The online betting site BetOnline has the lines for this tournament.
Let’s get to the betting odds, predictions, and picks for the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
The South Korean born New Zealander is playing some of the best golf of his career as of late and could contend for the trophy this weekend at the Mayakoba Classic.
He took Kuch to a playoff last year at this event only to fall short by a stroke. I know he will be hungry to come back strong. He is in great form right now so watch out!
He has a 10th place finish to go along with a 2nd place finish in his previous two outings at the Zozo Championship and the CJ Cup.
Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas were the winners in those two tournaments. At the CJ Cup, Danny finished solely in second place 3 strokes ahead of Gary Woodland, Cameron Smith, and Hideki Matsuyama.
At the Zozo, he finished alongside Xander Schauffele and ahead of Paul Casey, Shane Lowry, Justin Thomas, and this weekend’s favorite Jason Day. The still 20-something Lee can hang with the best.
There is a worry here, though, and it is that his wife had a baby premature a few weeks ago right before the CJ Cup.
In a heartwarming inspirational performance, Danny almost beat out JT for the Cup. He had said that he wanted to keep the matter private but it appears that he needed to get it out. Many expected him to take the next week off but he came right back with the top ten finish we spoke of.
After a couple of weeks, it is uncertain how well he will bounce back but his form and course history to go along with what we already know as an iron will is hard to stay away from.
He had the runner-up performance last year, 25th in 2017 and 3rd a few years prior at El Camaleon.
I think all those who are aware of his story will be pulling for him this weekend.
I think he’s pretty valuable at (+225).
You didn’t think I was going to forget about this guy, did you?
Even though the average price of the past winners here is nearly 60 to 1, Vik should not be ignored.
The kid has not missed a cut since January. He did miss the cut here last year in his only appearance. Hovland has grown quite a bit as a person I imagine and a golfer as well.
He is in a bit of a slump as of late having 31st and 41st in his previous two appearances.
The young man from Oslo has taken the past two weeks off, though, and I imagine he will be back better than ever.
This isn’t the typical type of golf course he would normally be forecasted to dominate. El Chamaleon isn’t a bomber’s paradise at less than 7,000 yards but Vik has had the past two weeks to prepare himself for the clubbing down and focusing on his second shot.
A lot of people are taking him to win but I think that’s a bit of a stretch considering he won’t be able to use his strengths.
Looking back at his year, though, there have been other courses that didn’t particularly suit his skill set and he still managed to perform very well.
11th, 10th, 2nd, 11th, 4th, 16th, 13th, 13th…
Those are consecutive tournaments played from the end of June until the end of September.
Charles Howell III
Chucky is one of the best performers at this course that we have in the field. I don’t know if his friends call him Chucky but it will have to do for now.
The Augusta, Georgia native is 40 years old now but with a couple of weeks off prior to the trip south of the border, he should be well-rested.
He also knows how many margaritas and not tequila shots his body can handle before the inevitable hangover sets in. Patron jokes aside, Howell is in pretty solid form lately.
36th at the WGC event in Sheshan, China in his last outing is not the best, I know, but it was a strong field and before that, he snagged a top twenty and an 8th place finish at the Zozo Championship.
I mentioned he has excellent course history. 7 top 20’s in his previous 9 starts here including 3 inside the top 7 shouldn’t be ignored.
If you’re questioning his age, I think it may be an advantage in Mexico this week as the bombers won’t have an advantage on all of the smaller holes and course management will be paramount.
Therefore, maturity should count for something.
(+140) isn’t huge for a top twenty but with solid form and tremendous course history, I’ll throw a few bucks down on the current Florida resident.
Hey, this should be a fun tournament.
There are some good storylines already.
Danny Lee is coming back from a couple of weeks off caring for his wife and early-born child. He came so close in the CJ Cup opposite Justin Thomas but sadly, it wasn’t meant to be.
Charles Howell III doesn’t live very far at all from Playa del Carmen on the Gulf of Mexico. He calls the tourist city of Orlando home. I like the fact that he is close by, has rested, and will be looking to improve significantly upon his uncharacteristic missed cut at last year’s Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Another golfer who missed the cut last at El Camaleon last year was then-very green rookie Viktor Hovland.
Since then, he has played golf at one of the highest levels of anyone on the PGA Tour.
His 8 straight top twenty finishes stand out among the best in the world and I expect him to return to that form even though he will have to play a bit more conservative off the tee than he is used to.
Enjoy the tournament if you get the chance to watch. It is absolutely stunning with half of the course in the jungle and the other half played on the coastline.