Suffice it to say that since its move to a stand-alone date to the fall portion of the wraparound season in 2013, El Camaleón Golf Club at Mayakoba Resort has served as target practice for the PGA TOUR contingent. The Greg Norman design that navigates all kinds of flora has always been a ball-striker's paradise (in more than one sense of the phrase), but the course has yielded its lowest scoring in its eight-year run in the last two editions.
A climatological impact can't be ruled out (between late February and mid-November), but the field is simply stronger as a result of the shift to reward the full allocation of FedExCup points. Using its rating defined by the Official World Golf Ranking, the tournament's value in 2013 was 84; it was 68 last year. In the first six editions, its highest rating was its first, that a 48 in 2007. This comparison serves as evidence to the direct relationship between better golfers and lower scoring.
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El Camaleón is a par 36-35--71 that measures just 6,987 yards. Last year's average was a tournament-low 69.954. Despite its reputation to reward tee-to-green specialists, it landed in the middle of the road in terms of fairways hit (64.10 percent; 31st) and greens in regulation (66.05 percent; 25th) among all courses in 2014-15. Meanwhile, it was not among the top 40 most-difficult in scrambling, one-putt percentage and three-putt avoidance. The quartet of par 3s was the second-easiest set (to TPC Deere Run) at 2.93.
Defending champion Charley Hoffman emerged from a 54-hole deficit of three strokes to clip Shawn Stefani by one shot. While Hoffman possesses some pop off the tee, he ranked fourth in greens in regulation and first in par-4 scoring. That combination will work pretty much everywhere, and it did.
Getting back to the influence of weather on scoring in Playa del Carmen, México, it's going to rain this week and the potential for storms is elevated. It'll be humid as a result, but high temperatures are not expected to rise much above 80 degrees. Wind is always a factor along the Riviera Maya, thus emphasizing the importance of ball control.