This article is part of our Golf Picks series.
World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba Betting Preview
The first of two events this season being held in Mexico, the PGA Tour heads west from Bermuda off to Playa del Carmen for this week's World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. The event continues to bring in bigger names on a yearly basis, with this year's field being the best yet with seven of the top-20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking and headlined by tournament favorite Justin Thomas (11-1 odds). Last year, Viktor Hovland (20-1 odds) overcame a seven-shot weekend deficit to defeat Aaron Wise by one-stroke for his second PGA Tour victory.
El Cameleon Golf Club has hosted since the tournament's inception in 2007 and continuing the trend from last week, it's anything but long at just over 7,000 yards - making it one of the shortest courses on Tour. That will negate a lot of the advantage the longer hitters have and although Hovland broke the trend of shorter hitters winning in Cancun, many of the recent winners ranked outside of the top-100 in driving distance the season they won: Brendon Todd (187th), Matt Kuchar (135th), Pat Perez (112th) and Graeme McDowell (156th). Unlike last week, however, windy/difficult conditions shouldn't be an issue and scoring should be low with the winner reaching 20-under in each of the last three years.
All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 5:00 PM ET Tuesday.
The following five golfers, with a minimum of three appearances, have the lowest scoring average at El Cameleon Golf Club since 2016:
A runner-up at the event in 2017, Fowler has shot 67 or lower in over half of his rounds at El Cameleon. Struggling to find his form for most of the year, he managed a top-10 in the PGA Championship and held the lead through three rounds two starts ago at the CJ Cup before settling for a share for third. His inconsistency makes it difficult to know what you're going to get out of him on a weekly basis, however, making him a true risk/reward pick. If you like the course history angle look no further than Grillo, who held the 54-hole lead last year and has recorded three top-10s in five trips to the event. Although his recent results have left much to be desired, Grillo's ball-striking numbers continue to be well above-average while he struggles with his short-game. Considering the latter doesn't tend to be much of an issue in his trips to Mayakoba, he appears to be a great darkhorse candidate at 65-1 odds.
On the Upswing
These golfers, on a per-round basis, gained the most strokes off the tee and on approach combined over their last 20 rounds:
Last year's winner Hovland tops the list with his superior ball strikin,g but you wouldn't know it looking solely at his results, as his only top-10 this summer came at the TOUR Championship in a 30-player field. Hovland has clearly held back by lackluster short-game play, but that's likely just some unfortunate variance and he is in a prime spot to right the ship at a track he has won on. Another player who has been in great form with his long-game is Pereira, who will be making his first trip to Mayakoba. Although the sample size is small, Pereira ranks second this season in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and looks to be the early favorite for Rookie of the Year. He's used to having to score low on the Korn Ferry Tour and that should make this week's birdie-fest a welcome stop. Pereira is a great value as the 25th choice on the betting board at 60-1 to win.
Abraham Ancer (16-1)
Ancer will have the benefit of additional crowd support this week as he heads back to his home country. That's done him well in the past, having recorded a pair of top-10s and four straight top-25 results at Mayakoba. The only real weakness in Ancer's game in his play around the green, but that shouldn't be a factor on a short course that yields a lot of birdies.
Harold Varner III (40-1)
It's amazing to note that Varner has just a single top-10 all year -- a runner-up at the RBC Heritage this spring. Nevertheless, he's one of the hottest golfers compared to his normal level of play with five top-15s over his last nine starts. He's also played well at the event with a pair of top-10s in five trips.
Kevin Streelman (80-1)
It's been seven years since Streelman last won on Tour, but he's put himself in contention countless times since and is well overdue to win again. He ranked highly last season in a lot of categories that will be key this week including SG: Approach (33rd), driving accuracy (37th) and birdie percentage (49th), with a best finish in the event of T4.
Joel Dahmen (7-1)
Dahmen had a rough start to the year before breaking through for his first Tour win in the Dominican Republican, and he has continued playing solid golf since, missing just one cut since June. Dahmen has three top-25s at Mayakoba and has shot 70 or above just once in 16 total rounds, so it wouldn't be much of a surprise to see him in the mix over the weekend.
Brian Stuard (9-1)
This is one of the courses that is right up Stuard's alley as his lack of distance won't put him at much of a disadvantage, and he can use his strengths of iron play and putting. Stuard comes with some risk having missed five straight cuts, but with two top-10s since July the oddsmakers have priced him up too much to pass up.
Henrik Norlander (11-1)
Norlander is gaining a massive 1.12 shots on approach per round over his last four appearances in which strokes-gained data was gathered, turning two of those into top-5 finishes. He's also one of the more accurate drivers on Tour, so if he can have a reasonable week on the greens, I view him as one of the best values on the board.
I like Bradley in this matchup having played this event four times with two top-15s, while Fitzpatrick will be making his first appearance. It's not an ideal fit for him either, as he tends to play his best golf when the scores are higher and conditions are tough. Bradley is coming off his best season in some time also had a top-10 in his last start at the ZOZO.
Sometimes it's best just to keep things simple and Horschel has recorded back-to-back top-10s in the event and won on the European Tour in September. Hatton is also making his first start at Mayakoba and isn't a great fit for matchups with his boom-or-bust nature, with four missed cuts in his last eight starts.