Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, and Predictions for the Mayakoba Golf Classic
2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic Fantasy Preview
In sport words like ‘guts’ and ‘choking’ get tossed around a lot.
They can be attributes that set apart the winners from the losers, and in a game brain-maddening and confidence-shredding as golf, all three of those terms can be used to define those who get the job done and those who….well, don’t.
Take Bryson DeChambeau, for example. His gutsy victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last week was his fourth in twelve PGA TOUR starts, and the fifth of a career which, age-wise, is still in its formative years.
He had a badly blistered hand but it didn’t matter: Bryson could see the finishing line, and this is a guy who doesn’t need to win from off the pace: the flatcap-wearing stud is more than happy to win from the front.
As he did in Nevada, with an eagle at 16 holding off the challenge of defending champion Patrick Cantlay and the fast-finishing Sam Ryder.
Whether you’re a traditionalist or a more progressive sort, there can be no doubt that Bryson’s scientific approach works at quirky venues like TPC Summerlin, and clearly there’s a link between his mathematical calculations and single length irons and playing well at altitude when club selection is key.
It really is a no-brainer, and you do wonder how many players on Tour are selling themselves short by not being a bit more dynamic and analytical in their approach to the game.
The PGA TOUR heads off on a trip to Mexico this week for the Mayakoba Golf Classic, an annual event but one this year without the traditional OHL sponsorship.
Cameron Champ lines up a putt on the 15th hole green during the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin on November 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Last Week’s Fantasy Results
It’s been an incredible couple of weeks for our fantasy picks. First we had Sergio as our top dog at the Valderrama Masters a few weeks back, followed by our sleeper pick Xander Schauffele who won just two weeks ago at the WGC-HSBC.
This week, instead of running with the obvious picks of Spieth and Fowler, we opted for Bryson and wow did the dividends pay off.
Bryson DeChambeau poses with the champion’s trophy after winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin on November 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
To boot, our top pick for the Turkish Airlines Open was Haotong Li, who with his runner up sudden death finish to Justin Rose, was an absolute fantasy weapon. In total, four of our six European Tour picks finished in the Top 23 including three Top-10s and a runner up.
The 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic Field
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler continue their early season progress south of the border, where they will be joined by Ryder Cup teammate Tony Finau.
Gary Woodland, with three consecutive top-10 finishes worldwide, will be looking to transform that form into dollars and a trophy this week, while the likes of Kevin Kisner, Billy Horschel and Matt Kuchar will also have silverware in mind.
The rollcall of former Mayakoba winners includes defending champion Patton Kizzire, Charley Hoffman, Pat Perez and Graeme McDowell, while the impressive Web.com Tour graduates will be led by Sung-Jae Im and Cameron Champ.
One name that will be completely new to many is Adri Arnaus, a Spaniard who won the Grand Final on the Challenge Tour on Sunday; the equivalent of the Web.com’s TOUR Championship.
Rickie Fowler hits a tee shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin on November 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
This Week’s Course Preview
From tropical jungle and thick mangroves to stunning views across the ocean, El Camaleon has something for everyone!
Located in the Playa del Carmen resort, this Greg Norman design winds its way through a variety of landscapes to ensure that the players, spectators and those watching at home on TV are treated to a visually stunning piece of real estate.
As a golf course, well, it’s not too taking, and since this event was moved to November from its original February slot the winning scores have improved to an average of -19.
Part of the reason for that is that the course’s main defense is the wind, and so if the breeze doesn’t whip up a storm coming off the Caribbean Sea then there really is nothing for the players to worry about.
Measuring 6,987 yards for its Par 70, El Camaleon looks like a Links course to some extent – the presence of Norman, a two-time British Open champion, on the design team is no coincidence.
The fairways, which are of an average size, and the smaller-than-average greens are Sea Isle Paspalum, and the putting surfaces don’t particularly run fast given the humidity in the area.
The Paspalum rough can be tricky to play from, there’s plenty of bunkers and minor water features to avoid, but all in all this is a nice trip for the players who will enjoy the sun on their backs in Playa del Carmen.
Patrick Rodgers of the United States plays his shot from the fifth tee during the continuation of the third round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba on November 12, 2017 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Weather Forecast for Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Other than a possible aberration on Friday, the weather is set rather fair for an excellent week of golf in Mexico.
The lead-up is dry and sunny, and that theme continues on Thursday with plenty of sunshine and temperatures at around 84 degrees.
Friday’s forecast features ‘scattered thunderstorms’, so if/when it rains we can expect the bursts to be rather heavy.
The good news is that the weekend should be far more agreeable, with sunny spells and temperatures tickling the 86 degree mark.
And the elephant in the room, the wind, appears to be in check too. Speeds of around 8 mph don’t keep the pros awake at night, and while these will likely be stronger on the coast it still won’t be enough to have any major impact on the golf.
As ever, these forecasts are subject to change, so keep your eyes peeled!
Last Year’s Results from the Mayakoba Golf Classic
After 54 holes of the then-named OHL Classic, Patton Kizzire and Rickie Fowler were four shots clear of the field heading into the final round.
At this point, most would probably back the classy Fowler over the inconsistent Kizzire to complete the job, but Kizzire – who would also win the Sony Open shortly after – held firm.
It was actually Fowler who would struggle, bogeying two of the opening five holes as Kizzire played the front nine in -3.
The opened up a healthy gap, and while Fowler rallied to play the back nine in -3, Kizzire simply played no-risk golf to card a 67 and take the spoils by one shot.
Si-Woo Kim made five birdies in a row on the front nine before a double bogey six at the fourteenth ended his slim hopes of getting into the mix.
The Korean took solo third ahead of Charles Howell III and Martin Piller in T4.
Where to Play Fantasy Golf for the Mayakoba Golf Classic this Week
This is your classic Fall Season slate, with plenty of contests to enter but prize money down somewhat on the main campaign which kicks into gear from February onward. But hey, that’s okay: this is still a great time to be building that bankroll.
- PGA $60k Club Twirl: There’s a $10k top prize up for grabs in this contest, and with just 1590 teams entered your probability of winning the big payday is a lot greater than it would be in the $150k Drive the Green contest. The top 15 win a minimum of $250.
- PGA $12k Albatross: Who doesn’t love a good single-entry contest!? Okay, there’s great risk involved but the upside is obvious. The top 10% of this 1,176 team affair doubles their $12 entry (minimum), and the winner trousers $1k.
This Week’s Fantasy Notes for the Mayakoba Golf Classic
The history books tell us that what you do off the tee at El Camaleon is largely irrelevant; Patton Kizzire found just 62.5% of fairways 12 months ago, and distance doesn’t seem much of a factor either with many tee shots played with irons over the big stick: only one player (Gary Woodland) had a tournament driving distance average of greater than 300 yards last year.
But we know the greens on this stretch are smaller than average, and that can mean only one thing: your iron game has to be very good, whether playing from the fairway or out of the rough.
Kizzire was very strong in this area in his title-winning effort, with a GIR count of 75%, given the number of fairways missed, meaning that he approached and scrambled very nicely indeed.
What else do we know about El Camaleon? There are a handful of correlating courses, and anybody who read our CIMB Classic preview will know that these are eerily accurate.
As a reminder, there are stacks of correlating winners between this event and the CIMB, Sony Open and Honda Classic. The likes of Kizzire, Justin Thomas, Pat Perez, Woodland, Fowler, Adam Scott, Russell Knox and Russell Henley have won two or more of these events, with plenty of high finishes in three or more.
Quite simply, the consistency of the results is far too prevalent to be written off as merely circumstantial.
Of course, the CIMB and Sony are coastal and often windy, and with the Honda Classic taking place in Florida there is often a stiff breeze in play too. With wind speeds expected to be down on the norm at El Camaleon this week we can take the links with a pinch of salt, but the tournaments outlined above should act as a handy guide nonetheless.
Our Top 5 (and Top 2 Sleeper) Fantasy Picks and Odds to Win the Mayakoba Golf Classic
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Fantasy Golf Predictions This Season (2018-2019)
Total Top 3s
Total Top 10s
Total Top 25s
Total Winners Picked
Total Runners-Up Picked
Total Made Cuts (Includes Sleepers)
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