Previously known as the OHL Classic, this week’s golf tournament arrives with a new name for 2018, the Mayakoba Golf Classic, and another competitive field as the PGA Tour heads down Mexico way.
This tournament has been running in various forms since 2007 and this season sees Patton Kizzire return as the defending champion.
Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are among those missing this week but we have Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Tony Finau heading a strong set of contenders at the El Camaleon Golf Club at Playa Del Carmen.
Ahead of the first tee off, the USA odds setters have favorite Fowler (+850 with Bovada) at the top of the outright win market. Third favorite, soon-to-be married Spieth (+1600), will also have his fans and his bettors. In ranking terms, they are the best two players in the field but neither man looked sharp at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open until Fowler’s late surge up the leaderboard on the final day.
Rickie was also the solo runner up to Kizzire here 12 months ago while Spieth’s form has been wretched.
Tony Finau (+1400) is the closest challenger to the favorite according to the odds, and he has been among the most active golfers since the start of the new season. Big Tony was also showing good form until that play off defeat to Xander Schauffele two weeks ago which may have taken the edge off his play for the time being.
Next we have another former runner up in this tournament. Gary Woodland (+1800) came second, two shots behind Pat Perez in 2016, and he has good credentials to go one better this time. Woodland has finished no worse than 12th in five starts here and after a final round 63 on Sunday, he can win if he carries that momentum through.
Then we come to Emiliano Grillo (20/1), Aaron Wise (28/1) and Billy Horschel (33/1). Of those three, Grillo is second in the Power Rankings although that seems a little high in comparison to Wise who looks set to follow up his Rookie of the Year award with a productive season.
Last year’s winner Patton Kizzire (80/1) has shown little form since that one shot win over Rickie Fowler and so he starts his defence some way down the Mayakoba Golf Classic outright betting. Kizzire looks too short on form and confidence but we have seen competent defences through 2018 and we can’t completely rule him out.
A winner two weeks ago, Cameron Champ (35/1) wasn’t as competitive in a stronger field last time out but there were glimpses of his best form and he can be a contender for a top 10 finish at least.
Moving through the pack, Ryan Moore (40/1) is at interesting odds and after a tie for sixth last year, this preview could be very interested in this 35 year old when we come to our Mayakoba Golf Classic predictions. In that 2017 renewal, Moore led the field for scrambling and that will be a key stat over the next four days.
Also worth a look in the outside punts is former Champion Charley Hoffman (80/1) and JB Holmes (80/1), who is a regular favorite of ours in the top 10 finish betting. Chez Reavie (50/1) is also worth a mention with a perfect 5-for-5 record in this event which includes a fourth place in 2017.
Our Preview’s Mayakoba Golf Classic Course Trends, Predictions & Picks Verdict
Fred Funk was our very first winner of this event back in 2007 and at that time he became the oldest ever champion on the PGA Tour at 50 years and 257 days. In 11 editions, we have no multiple winners and the near monopoly of American champions has been broken just once, by Graeme McDowell in 2015.
The course itself is a par 71 and it is a short one too at a fraction under 7,000 yards so the power hitters aren’t going to enjoy any advantage here. When a venue lacks in length, it has to compensate somewhere and the thick rough just off the fairway gives way to big trouble beyond and a potential wind factor means that accuracy is going to be vital.
Taking all of those factors into account, our preference this week is for Ryan Moore. His appealing odds in the Mayakoba outright winner betting looks too good to ignore. If he can maintain the key stats from his sixth placed finish last year, Moore is primed to make it right to the very top of the leaderboard. Our Mayakoba picks and predictions for this preview are: