Who's feeling confident at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba?
November 07, 2017
By Mike Glasscott, PGATOUR.COM
Inside the PGA TOUR
2017 OHL Classic at Mayakoba preview
This week, the TOUR heads south of the border, Mexico way, to the El Camaleon Golf Club at the Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This will be the 11th-consecutive season on this track but just the fifth event contested in November. The event debuted in 2007 on the calendar in late February but moved to the wrap-around season beginning in 2013. Harris English didn't seem to mind the change from spring to fall as he set a new tournament record (21-under-par, 263). As shown by the winning scores the last four seasons (-21, -17, -18 and -21 last year), going low and making birdies at El Camaleon is paramount to contending.
TALES OF THE TAPE
WINNERS STAT Pat Perez (2016) Graeme McDowell (2015) Charley Hoffman (2014) Driving Accuracy T49 T16 T33 Greens in Regulation T11 T30 4th Putts per GIR 3rd 4th 12th Putting: Birdie-or-Better % 8th 1st T17 Scrambling T9 T18 T26 Bogey Avoidance T1 T16 T7 Par-3 Scoring T18 T2 12th Par-4 Scoring T2 T7 1st Par-5 Scoring T4 T3 38th
As highlighted above, none of the last three champs are going to be carded the next time they stop for a cold one at the turn. These savvy veterans lit up the Paspalum greens and rolled in plenty of birdies. Hoffman circled 21 of them, the least of the recent winners, in 2014. The following season, McDowell led the field with a whopping 27 birdies (Fantasy Extra: Brice Garnett was second with 26). Last year Perez "only" made 21, good enough for T8, but he also made an eagle and suffered only four bogeys for the week. It's obvious when that many birdies are required par-four scoring should stand out. All three checked inside the top 10 in that category on the road to victory. Over the last three years, the top 28 have TOTALLED 11 rounds over par on the weekend. The top 12 last year posted ONE round above 70 for the week! It's time to make birdies, avoid bogeys and keep up with the veterans!
El Camaleon, according the official scorecard, doesn't make it past 7,000 yards this week and contains three par fives. As Rob Bolton pointed out in his Power Rankings, the par-three holes are not very difficult. In fact, three are 155 yards or shorter with No. 10 being the outlier at 200 yards. The Paspalum greens run true and won't run any hotter than 11 feet on the Stimpmeter. This means go-time on the greens and one of the reasons plenty of birdies are posted. (Fantasy Extra: Paspalum greens are also used at the Puerto Rico Open and CIMB Classic). Pat Perez remarked last year after his win that if the line was right, the ball was going in. With average green sizes just over 7,000 square feet on this Greg Norman design, there is plenty of target to hit. The experience player will know when to take his medicine or when to attack.
NOTE: Golfers inside the top 25 in each statistic on the 2016-17 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
* - Finished inside the top 10 at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba since 2013.
Greens in Regulation
5 Ryan Armour
11 J.J. Henry
12 *Gary Woodland
14 *Luke List
18 Stewart Cink
24 Jim Herman
Putting: Birdie-or-Better Percentage
5 Rickie Fowler
6 Anirban Lahiri
10 Matt Every
11 Camilo Villegas
14 Sam Saunders
18 *Charley Hoffman
22 *Luke List
25 Tom Hoge
4 Rickie Fowler
9 *Luke List
14 Anirban Lahiri
16 *Charley Hoffman
20 Sam Saunders
21 *Stewart Cink
26 *Rory Sabbatini
Rounds in the 60's
10 *Luke List
12 *Pat Perez
13 Patrick Reed
16 *Chez Reavie
18 *Charley Hoffman
20 Sung Kang
25 *Charles Howell, III
The tournament scoring record has been set and equaled in the last four editions of this event. I'm looking for the pros who aren't afraid to take it low, make bushels of birdies and that are crafty enough to keep it between the yellow lines. It won't hurt to find players who have thrived on seaside settings (Pebble Beach, Harbour Town, Puerto Rico, Waialae are few that come to mind) in the past.
If the ball is not required to travel a long way, the field of 132 will open up. With the rough barely reaching two inches and the wind not howling like last week, we could see the shootout that we were expecting in Las Vegas at TPC Summerlin. The weather looks mild and the winds temperate but that can always change, so double-check before lineups are set. If the wind picks up, count on those who have been here before and understand how to navigate those conditions.
NOTE: The groups below are comprehensive to assist in data mining. Inclusion doesn't imply automatic endorsement in every fantasy game as all decisions are specific to your situation.
Selected golfers with multiple cuts made sorted by rank on the tournament's money list.
Rank Player Cuts Made/Starts Top 10s Best Finish 1 Pat Perez 4/5 1 Win 2 Graeme McDowell 3/3 1 Win 3 Charley Hoffman 3/5 1 Win 4 Jason Bohn 5/5 3 P2 5 Russell Knox 5/5 2 P2
Sorted by best finish, selected golfers who are either finally finding form on the course or are still relatively new to the tournament but have enjoyed some success.
Player Cuts Made/Starts Top 10s Best Finish Gary Woodland 2/2 1 2 (2016) Chez Reavie 4/4 1 T4 (2016) Scott Piercy 4/7 1 T4 (2016) Charles Howell, III 7/8 2 T7 (2016) Luke List 1/2 1 T7 (2016) Jhonattan Vegas 4/6 1 T10 (2016) Emiliano Grillo 1/1 1 T10 (2016) Derek Fathauer 2/4 1 4 (2015) Harold Varner, III 1/2 1 T5 (2015) Peter Malnati 2/3 1 T10 (2015) Patrick Rodgers 2/3 1 T10 (2015) Brice Garnett 2/3 2 6 (2014) Blayne Barber 1/2 1 T9 (2014) Kevin Streelman 4/4 2 T3 (2009)
OTHER SIGNS OF COMFORT
Sorted by most recent top 10s, selected golfers for whom it's been a few years since their last.
Player Cuts Made/Starts Top 10s Last Best Finish Scott Brown 4/5 1 T5 (2015) T5 Johnson Wagner 4/6 2 T8 (2015) Win Shawn Stefani 2/3 1 2 (2014) 2 Andres Gonzales 3/4 1 T3 (2014) T3 Harris English 2/4 1 Win (2013) Win Brian Stuard 4/4 2 2nd (2013) T3 Chris Stroud 8/10 3 T3 (2013) T3 Rory Sabbatini 4/6 2 T3 (2013) T3 John Huh 4/5 1 Win (2012) Win Matt Every 2/4 1 T3 (2012) T3 J.J. Henry 7/7 2 T9 (2012) 2nd Brian Gay 7/7 2 T5 (2011) Win Ryan Armour 1/2 1 4 (2007) 4