Fantasy Insider: World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
November 02, 2021
By Rob Bolton , PGATOUR.COM
- Matt Kuchar is one to watch this week in Mexico. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
PGA TOUR seasons have rolled by like an army of steamrollers. They’ve been erased like an error on a scorecard, rebuilt and erased again. But Horses for Courses has marked the time.
Forgive me as I indulge in playing with a baseball movie reference with MLB’s season ending this week. I don’t have a dog in the fight between Atlanta and Houston, but what a fortnight it’d be for Astros Nation if they win Games 6 and 7 of the World Series, celebrate the championship, and then keep the party going at next week’s newly sponsored Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open.
But it’s true.
Whether field changes command the attention, as they did in this space last week, or just the typical turnover of my analysis week after week, Mike Glasscott’s Horses for Courses has been the constant.
Glass’ contribution for the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba can be found here.
In it, and as always, you’re going to find his take on the construct of the field and the tournament’s history, statistical breakdowns of the last three winners, notables who have committed, leaders in key stats (using the most recent completed season, for now) and individual course history.
This file, this game, it’s a part of our past, present and future. It reminds us of all that once was good and will be again.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf
My roster for the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba (in alphabetical order):
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Matt Kuchar (+10000 to win, +800 for a Top 10, +350 for a Top 20) … Given that he’s the 2018 champion who also has a T3 (2008) and a course-record-tying 62 (final round, 2019) contributing to a 5-for-5 slate at Mayakoba, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that his omission from the Power Rankings proper is an indictment. If you’ve been reading me long enough, you know that he was a staple of Monday’s lead-off file for years. Today, and now 43 years old, he arrives having gone without a top 25 since mid-May. This boils down to your feel for if even the course-history buffs in DFS have had enough, but even if you tilt that way, there are too many valuable pieces on the board who deserve the roster spot.
Will Zalatoris (+3500 to win, +350 for a Top 10, +180 for a Top 20)… Since he became a PGA TOUR member at the start of this season, my expectation has shifted from “everything is a bonus” to “how does he perform with something at stake?” In the long-term, he’ll be fine, but it’d been a minute since he had something to lose. He’s 3-for-4 with a pair of top 15s thus far, but as much as I’m confident that he’ll contribute again at Mayakoba where his ball-striking should shine, the course takes the driver out of his mitts, which means the field closes the gap by default. In his debut here last year, he led the field in driving distance – only two holes per round are measured – but ranked last (of 71) in par-4 scoring and finished T52. So, he’s solid to make the cut in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, but consider other similarly priced options in DFS.
Shane Lowry (+4000 to win, +400 for a Top 10, +175 for a Top 20)… I don’t hate the fit, I just don’t love it. He’s been rock-solid having not missed a cut anywhere in almost eight months, but this is his first appearance at Mayakoba where some experience has mattered.
Justin Rose (+5000 to win, +500 for a Top 10, +250 for a Top 20) … Making his first appearance but the 41-year-old fits the profile of a ball-striker of a certain age. He’s also reconnected with form of late even though he’s curtailed his scheduling considerably since failing to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs for the first time.
Adam Long (+15000 to win, +1100 for a Top 10, +450 for a Top 20) … With a T2 in 2019, a T3 last year and a scoring average of, whoa, 66.50, he’ll be a popular pick. Of course, he misses too many cuts to warrant a frequent nod, but when he cashes, he climbs the leaderboard. All of his last eight paydays and 11 of his last 12 are top 30s. The problem is that you need to go back 12 months for that sample size.
Pat Perez (+10000 to win, +750 for a Top 10, +350 for a Top 20)… Obviously. (See: Paspalum, Prince of)
Harold Varner III
Odds sourced on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.
Patrick Reed … It’s relative but Mayakoba requires a strong iron game to contend. So, while he never has an issue with putting pressure on his short game, fighting for pars in any shootout is a recipe for an early exit.
Brooks Koepka … This is a bonus for his full-season investors, but even they are holding their breath for a payday. He’s 0-for-2 without a red number at Mayakoba, and he’s been scuffling since injuring his left wrist at East Lake, although I’m not concerned about that specifically.
Matthew Wolff … He’s presenting entirely that we can trust him again, but I want to see how he fares in his debut. The matchup is a curious one as we’re still learning about where his game fits.
Tyrrell Hatton … You’re familiar with his fearlessness and his firepower, but I prefer him on tougher tracks. So, it’s personal preference to default to my conservative nature than to triple down on the coattails of a T2 at the Dunhill Links and a T18 at THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT.
Francesco Molinari … He’s the archetype of who the mind’s eye envisions holding the limestone chameleon on Sunday, but he’s yet to exhibit enough recent form to warrant our faith.
Cameron Tringale … On cue, he fulfilled the narrative for getting swallowed in a bigger pond at THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT where he finished T59. He was the co-runner-up at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP the following week, but the strength-of-field rating as determined by the Official World Golf Ranking was just 225 at Narashino. (It was 613 at The Summit Club.) Now we’re facing another strong field (currently a strength-of-field rating of 362) and he has only one top-45 finish in six trips, and that was but a T25 in 2017.
Peter Malnati … This rare attention is triggered by a T7 in Bermuda on Sunday. He finished T21 there last year, he’s known to be streaky, and he has a pair of top 15s at Mayakoba, but since 2016, he’s just 1-for-5 with a T58 in 2019.
RETURNING TO COMPETITION
Carlos Ortiz … If you’re wondering why he wasn’t in the Power Rankings, it’s because you either forgot or you weren’t aware that he departed the no-cut ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP before the third round with an injured left shoulder. That’s a long way to travel for that outcome, so we must respect the severity of the malady as much as he did. He returns with an impactful fortnight of competition straight ahead. Mayakoba is in his native Mexico, of course, and he’s played well in the tournament on numerous occasions. His trio of top 10s includes a T2 two years ago. Then he’ll make the trip northwest to Houston where he’ll be defending his first PGA TOUR title.
Kelly Kraft … Entered 2021-22 with 13 starts on his Major Medical Extension, but he’s yet to take even a nibble out of the terms with two missed cuts and a mid-tournament withdrawal at TPC Summerlin where he walked off with a sore neck. Long-term investors should remain patient because he still has 10 starts via the medical, while weekly gamers are advised to consider him for an aggressive roster given his fit for Mayakoba and 3-for-3 record in the tournament.
RECAPS – BUTTERFIELD BERMUDA CHAMPIONSHIP
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Matt Fitzpatrick T30
2 Danny Willett MC
3 Christiaan Bezuidenhout T57
4 Guido Migliozzi T57
5 Seamus Power T12
6 Mito Pereira T30
7 Patrick Reed T2
8 Brian Gay T12
9 David Lipsky MC
10 Adam Hadwin T46
11 Harry Hall MC
12 Scott Stallings T5
13 Denny McCarthy T39
14 Russell Knox T12
15 Taylor Pendrith T5
Wild Card Lucas Herbert Win
Golfer (GolfBet prop) Result
Austin Cook (top 20) MC
Beau Hossler (top 20) MC
Mark Hubbard (top 20) T22
Cameron Percy (top 20) MC
Adam Svensson (top 20) T22
OUTRIGHT: Matt Fitzpatrick (+1100) T30
PROP: Taylor Pendrith, Denny McCarthy and David Lipsky all to make the cut (+160) T5/T39/MC
PROP: No holes-in-one (-160) Zero
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE PGA TOUR
November 2 … James Hahn (40); Adam Hadwin (34)
November 3 … none
November 4 … Kevin Streelman (43)
November 5 … Jim Herman (44); Bubba Watson (43)
November 6 … Scott Piercy (43)
November 7 … Maverick McNealy (26); Joaquin Niemann (23)
November 8 … Francesco Molinari (39)