The 2019 PGA Tour continues this season as the circuit heads to Mexico for the annual Mayakoba Classic set to kick off on Thursday night (AEDT). Tough betting week last weekend as our best bet for the Shriners Hospital for Children Open, Tony Finau, managed just a 36th place finish.
The Mayakobo Classic will be played at the El Camaleon Golf Course in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for the 12th consecutive season this year and will offer a decent prize pool of just over $7 million US dollars. We take a look at some of our top picks for the weekend’s action below.
El Camaleon is a 6,987 par 71, making it one of the shorter courses on the 2019 PGA Tour. It features multiple different landscapes littered throughout the course including tropical jungle, dense mangroves and sand-lined ocean front. It was designed by Aussie golfing champion Greg Norman and while relatively short in nature features tough challenges in which Norman himself has stated golfers ‘will need all 14 clubs to be effective’.
One of the courses defining features is the cenote on the first fairway that the course was presumably built around. A cenote is an ancient underground cavern that sits right at a driveable length on the first fairway.
The last six winners of the Mayakoba Classic will all be teeing off this weekend in John Huh, Harris English, Charley Hoffman, Graeme McDowell, Pat Perez and Patton Kizzire, who will be back to defend his 2017 title after winning by one stroke over this year's favourite, Rickie Fowler.
Fowler is joined at the top of the betting markets by some top PGA Tour contenders this year in Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Gary Woodland and Billy Horschel to name a few.
After a great performance at the Shriners Open last weekend which saw him finish tied for fourth place, our top pick this weekend has to be Rickie Fowler. The Shriners Open was Fowlers first tournament since competing in the Ryder Cup at the end of last season’s PGA Tour and the Tour Championship, in which he finished tied for seventh.
A fourth round –8 was one of the best scores of the day and proppelled Fowler into the top five and he’ll be looking to go one better than his second-place finish at Mayakoba last season this weekend. With the shorter course at El Camaleon this weekend, there is a high value on driving efficiency, in which Rickie Fowler ranked No.5 amongst all PGA Tour golfers last season.
With plenty of think mangroves and deep bunkers to compete with, GIR numbers are also important to me this weekend. Fowler was the 2nd ranked golfer in 2018 in approches to the green from 100-125 yards, which we expect a few of this weekend on the shorter course.
For our value pick this weekend, we love the look of Chilean 19-year-old Joaquin Niemann. The youngster was injured in early October in the Safeway Open. Since returning from injury, he has competed in the CJ Cup in October and the Shriners Open last weekend. He was fantastic at the Shriners, shooting a –5 final round to finish tied for tenth place.
Has been hitting the ball extremely well since returning from injury and we think he is great value this weekend at $4 to finish in the top 10.
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