The final event of the 2013 portion of the PGA Tour's 2013-14 season is this week at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico. This is also the final event before the first reshuffle of the PGA Tour season, so players on that list will who are in need of a good finish will be desperately trying to make their way up the leaderboard.
This is yet another week where the history doesn't mean much, but for a completely different reason. This event used to be an opposite-field event, taking place simultaneously with the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. As a result, it almost never got big names, and some of its defending champions didn't defend their titles because they were good enough to be playing in the Match Play. Now, as a FedEx Cup event, that all changes.
One of the byproducts of that change is the event's defending champions can now defend if they so choose, and that's what John Huh has chosen to do this year. The event's other five preceding champions are Fred Funk, Brian Gay, Mark Wilson, Cameron Beckman and Johnson Wagner.
Of that group, we recommend Wagner, who has three PGA Tour wins to his name. He was 45th in strokes gained-putting in 2013, and 17th in putting from 15 to 20 feet.
One of the more intriguing names on that list is Funk, who is using his one-time exemption for being top 50 on the career money list to play on the PGA Tour this season. He's picking courses that fit his style of play, which shows when you look at his Champions Tour stats for last season. He was 54th in driving distance at a meager 267 yards yet was second in driving accuracy at 79.96 percent. He also hits a lot of greens - nearly 72 percent of them, which was good enough for 12th on the tour - and earns a lot of money, as he was 15th on that tour's money list in 2013.
Other Names to Note
Robert Allenby - Allenby lost the never-ending (it was eight holes) playoff to Huh in last year's event. His 2013 was pretty miserable - 18 missed cuts in 24 starts - but maybe his familiarity with the golf course will do him some good this week. He was 18th in greens in regulation last year on the PGA Tour.
Darren Clarke - The 2012 Open Champion, who has seemingly fallen off the map since his win, took up membership on the PGA Tour for this season and will be making his first start of the season. He tied for 21st at the 2013 Open Championship.
Scott Brown - Brown is an interesting player to watch because his win earlier this calendar year in Puerto Rico (another opposite-field event) locked up his Tour card but did not get him to Augusta for the Masters. A win this week would do just that and end his year on an extremely high note. He was 45th in total driving on the PGA Tour last season.
Players With Momentum
Tim Clark - Clark shot a 62 on Sunday at the McGladrey Classic, a round that featured nine birdies. He now has two top-40 finishes in the PGA Tour's fall portion of the 2013-2014 season and is ninth in driving accuracy.
Greg Chalmers - Chalmers had a final-round 64 at Sea Island and enters Mayakoba with momentum, having a T15 in his previous start this fall in Las Vegas. Chalmers is fourth in strokes gained-putting on the PGA Tour, gaining a little over 1.5 strokes per round.
Trevor Immelman - Immelman, the 2008 Masters champion, had to use the Web.com Tour Finals to earn back his PGA Tour card but is taking full advantage of it so far this fall. His finishes in his three starts thus far are T21-MC (missed cut)-T20, with the latter coming via a Sunday 65 last week at Sea Island. He sits 11th in greens hit in regulation at nearly 78 percent.