6th November in Golfnews by
The PGA Tour is heading to Mexico for its second to last event of the fall season, the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
El Camaleon Golf Course in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is a Greg Norman design that plays to a par of 71 and tips out at 6,987 yards. Yes, it’s not a long course, but there is a premium placed on driving accuracy – much like last week in Las Vegas. Also similar to last week, wind should play a factor.
Though while we saw unusually high winning totals this year in Vegas, Mayakoba should still yield a double-digit-under-par winner. (All that being said, I like guys who played well at TPC Summerlin to do well again this week.)
Last year in Mexico, winner Pat Perez ranked T-8 in putts per round, and was one of just three players at T-10 or better to ranked better than T-14 in that category. Instead, greens in regulation and fairways hit was more telling. Perez tied for 11th in GIR percentage and was T-49 in driving accuracy. Gary Woodland was runner-up and led the field in GIR. Kevin Streelman and Scott Piercy were top 10 in each of those two categories, and both cracked the top 10.
Putting shouldn’t be totally overlooked, however. Paspalum greens are used at Mayakoba, one of three courses on the PGA Tour schedule to use them. (TPC Kuala Lumpur and Coco Beach GC are the other two.)
One more thing to note: prior to 2013 this event was played in the spring, not the fall where it currently sits on the schedule. So maybe pay more attention to the last four editions of this event.
Here are my top 25 fantasy-golf options for the 2017 OHL Classic at Mayakoba
1. Pat Perez: Defending champion has two other top-16 finishes in five career starts at Mayakoba. Also won CIMB Classic this year on Paspalum, part of his current run of six straight finishes of T-24 or better. Ranks 16th on Tour in driving accuracy. Took a week off last week, so he’s well rested and ready to defend.
2. Rickie Fowler: Four of the last six winners at Mayakoba had never played the event before, which bodes well for Fowler, who is making his tournament debut. Fowler is also playing for the first time since the Presidents Cup, but he’ll try to regain the form that allowed him to close last season with 10 straight finishes of 26th or better.
3. Charles Howell III: Has played this event every year since 2009, and has just one MC to go along with six top-20s, including a T-7 last year. He’s also back on track after top-20s in South Korea and China.
4. Chez Reavie: Followed debut finish of T-74 in 2015 with a T-4 last year in Mexico. Ranks T-10 on Tour in driving accuracy and 11th in SGATG. Enjoying a current run of five straight top-25s.
5. Chesson Hadley: Few golfers are hotter – T-4 at Shriners was his fifth top-4 finish in last six worldwide starts. Missed cut in only start here, in 2013, but he did win 2014 Puerto Rico Open on Paspalum. Ranks eighth in SGATG.
6. Webb Simpson: Not much play on this course, but did tie for 24th here last year. Cracked top 20 six times in last seven Tour starts, including T-20 in Vegas. Ranks 18th in SGATG.
7. Jason Kokrak: T-17 or better in three straight OHL Classic starts, and he’s coming off a T-20 in Vegas, his third top-20 to begin this season.
8. Gary Woodland: Nothing better than T-18 in last nine Tour starts, but he was runner-up here last year. Not enough experience here, though, to put him among elite options this week. Ranks sixth in SGATG.
9. Graeme McDowell: Followed win here in 2015 with T-24 finish last year. Also playing well, coming off a T-10 in Vegas. Won’t mind a shorter course.
10. Kevin Streelman: Tied for fourth here last year, his second top-4 showing in four career starts at Mayakoba. Never missed a cut in four tries. Only concern is he also had nice track record in Las Vegas, but finished 67th last week while snapping a streak of two straight top-13s to open this season.
11. Bryson DeChambeau: Shot bookend 67s in Vegas to finish T-7. Ranks 12th on Tour in SGATG. Final-round 74 last year at OHL Classic left him at T-66. Game in much better spot than this time last year.
12. Nick Taylor: T-15 last year at OHL Classic, and he’s been strong to start this season with three top-25s. His T-32 last week in Vegas was his worst of this season so far.
13. Charley Hoffman: Won here in 2014, but has missed the cut in each of his past two Mayakoba trips. Coming off T-18 showing in Vegas, his seventh top-30 in his last nine starts.
14. Luke List: Continues to be steady with T-20 in Vegas. T-7 here last year at Mayakoba.
15. Kevin Chappell: Opened the new season with a T-20 in Las Vegas, where he overcame some accuracy issues off the tee. He does rank 14th in SGATG. Only start at Mayakoba came in 2011 when he tied for 71st.
16. Ryan Moore: Was a popular pick in Las Vegas, but tied for 51st. Also doesn’t have much experience here – his last time at Mayakoba was 2013 and he was T-23 – but he’s twice a winner on Paspalum at CIMB Classic.
17. Scott Piercy: T-4 here last year and T-16 three years ago. Still finding his groove after extended stint on DL. T-32 in Vegas.
18. Jhonattan Vegas: Has made three of last four cuts at OHL Classic, but his T-10 finish last year was by far his best showing. Hasn’t cracked top 10 since Northern Trust, though he’s made seven straight cuts entering this week.
19. Scott Brown: Won 2013 Puerto Rico Open on Paspalum, and has played well here the past four years, making all four cuts and tying for fifth in 2015. Hasn’t missed a cut on Tour since Wyndham and he’s found top 25 four times in last seven starts.
20. Ben An: Has looked solid over the last three starts, finishing T-21, T-11 and T-32. Accurate driver and fifth in SGATG. This will be his OHL Classic debut.
21. Beau Hossler: Played his way into the final group Sunday in Vegas, but ended up T-7. Still, it was his second straight top-10 on Tour.
22. Danny Lee: Eighth on Tour in driving accuracy and was T-3 here in 2014. Last start was a 71st in South Korea, but he was T-7 at CIMB the week prior.
23. J.J. Spaun: Was T-28 in OHL Classic debut last year, and should’ve won last week in Vegas before a double-double finish left him at T-10. He’ll be inspired to rebound.
24. Anirban Lahiri: His T-51 in Vegas snapped his top-10 streak at three. Was T-28 in Mayakoba debut last year.
25. Whee Kim: Beware the hot golfer – Kim was fourth in South Korea before losing in a playoff in Vegas. Best finish at Mayakoba in two tries, though, is a T-63 two years ago.
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