It is said that the definition of insanity is, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results," but Rod Pampling might beg to differ. Prior to his win last week, Pampling had started 18 events on the PGA Tour and failed to crack the top 25 in all of them. He only managed to crack the top 30 once and missed the weekend in exactly half of his starts. One could say that what he was doing, playing golf on the PGA Tour, was a losing proposition and yet, his first start of the 2016-2017 season resulted in the ultimate prize -- a PGA Tour victory.
With that victory comes a two-year exemption and a huge chunk of change. Pampling is probably happy right about now that he kept on doing the same thing over and over again, because it did result in a different outcome. For Pampling, "doing that same thing over and over again and expecting a different result," might be the definition of perseverance. Obviously something changed between Pampling's previous start and last week, but it might not have been anything conscious, it might have been a slight physical tweak or a slight mental tweak. The point is, he may have had the exact same routine for his previous 18 starts on the PGA Tour, but something just clicked this time.
That's the thing about golf, it doesn't take much to change your fortune; sometimes it's something that you aren't even aware of that makes the difference between insanity and perseverance.
This week: OHL Mayakoba Classic - El Camaleon, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Last Year: Graeme McDowell shot a final-round 66 on his way to a playoff-stroke victory over Jason Bohn and Russell Knox.
PLAYERS TO CONSIDER
Time to hop right back on the horse. For those who used Bohn last week, his T48 was certainly a disappointment, but he's once again a solid option this week because his track record is outstanding here. Bohn has four top-20s here in four starts and three of those were top-10s, as well. If you passed on him last week, then you might want to pull the trigger this week.
Unlike last week, few players in the field have strong track records at this event, so current form will carry more weight. List's form is among the best on the PGA Tour as he's posted a T26, T2 and a T15 to start the new season.
If anyone looks like the perfect storm this week, it's Bradley. Although his history here consists of just one start, it was a good one - a top-10 last year. His current form is solid as well as he's posted two top-10s in his two most recent starts on the PGA Tour.
Grillo has been an absolute workhorse the last few months on the PGA Tour, but he got a much-needed week off last week. That could come in handy this week as playing every week on the PGA Tour can certainly wear on a golfer. Although he's played almost every week the last few months, his game hasn't been adversely affected. Grillo has made 15 consecutive cuts and nine of those have resulted in top-20s.
Although he's not the easiest player on the PGA Tour to figure out, there's one thing that we do know about Stanley -- when he's hot, he's hot, when he's not, well, you get the picture. Stanley is off to a good start this season with a T22 and T7 already. If he keeps his current form, he should be a good option this week in Mayakoba.
PLAYERS TO AVOID
While Keegan Bradley is the perfect storm on the positive side this week, Stallings is the perfect storm on the negative side. Stallings has three starts this season and he's failed to make a single cut. His track record at this event is awful, as well - again, three starts and no cuts made.
This doesn't look like a good spot for Vegas. His current form is lacking with a pair of T45s and a MC on the new season, and his track record here isn't great, either. Vegas has only one top-20 in five starts here and has missed two cuts in the span.
To his credit, Gribble played well enough last week to make the cut at the Shriners, but it will be hard to really focus in these final weeks before the break. A trip to Mexico this week could look an awful lot like a celebratory vacation after his big win two weeks ago. Look for Gribble to struggle until 2017 and hopefully hit the reset button.
It might seem strange to have the guy who won this event two years ago on this list, but his overall track record at this event would indicate that his win was an outlier. His recent form is a part of this placement as well as he's missed the cut in both of his starts this season.
There's always a chance that Furyk will play well when he tees it up, but using him this week is a bit of a gamble for a few reasons. First, it's his first start here, we have no idea how he'll take to the track. Second, it's his first start this season, we have no idea of his form. Third, when we last saw him, he wasn't playing all that well. Too many questions this week.
ONE AND DONE GOLFER
Last week: Jason Bohn (T48) - $16,588; Season - $229,058
This week: Keegan Bradley - There was a time, not too long ago that using Bradley in the fall portion of the season was a gamble because of his upside during the regular season. That's not really a concern now as he hasn't played well during the regular season for a couple years. He's playing well now and he played well here last year, so I'm burning him early in the season this year.
Last week: Jason Bohn - (T48); Streak - 2
This week: Keegan Bradley - I thought hard about using Grillo in this spot, but he might be too valuable during the regular season, so I'll double-up on Bradley, who seems locked in.