The OHL Classic preview with Skeeter McGillicuddy
One putt…just one putt separated us from the playoff last week and given Kizzire’s Saturday that was something of a bonus. Standing over that putt on 18 it looked and sounded like 9 under would stand a chance given the deteriorating conditions and so it proved. That’s golf betting – lots of near misses and holy s..t, what was that?performances. Is that going to stop us? No chance. Another week another PGA Tour event with a bucket load of cash, Fed Ex points, and world ranking points to be had. Bear in mind winners get an invite to the Masters and so do those inside the top 50, so there are huge incentives to win what used to be called Fall events, but are now the beginning of the new season.
Off this week to Mexico after a brief stop off on the mainland for the OHL Classic At Mayakoba on the banks of the River Maya. El Camaleon is not new to the Tour having hosted events since 2017 and counts no less than Rickie Fowler as its star turnout.
The course itself is a short, less than 7,000 yard, par 71 with both ocean scenes and jungle to contend with. The list of recent winners tells you that any type of player can win but the shorter hitters really come into their own. Perez, McDowall, Wilson and Wagner as winners and the likes of Knox and Jason Bohn contending. Winning scores tend to be closer to -20 than -10 so unless conditions change like they did last week in Vegas expect a birdie fest. Average driving distances of the last five winners were all under 300 which is rare. The market is headed by Rickie first up after seven weeks off with Pat Perez second favourite. While Perez is playing the golf of his life would you take 14/1? The real lack off star quality is illustrated by Hadley’s price as third favourite. He’s in great form and with all due respect to him 22/1 is way too short for us. I’d love to weigh in on two of our perennial sons, Grizzo and DeShambles who hit a streak last week before fading, but it’s the price – they both look just a little too short at 60/1 and 40/1 respectively. Cue a quinella.
Patton Kizzire 1pt win at $75
Whee Kim 1pt win at $70
Patton Kizzire from last week…”screams back me on course form and current form. We’ve backed Patton before and now with his 10th placed finish last week combined with his debut runners up spot at TPC Sumerlin in 2015 combine to make his 125/1 quote look way too big” and despite a wind wreaked Saturday he came within one of the playoff in Vegas closing with a 7 under 64. Consecutive top tens on the tour are hardly hens teeth but they point to a man in peak form and yes he’s nearly half the price from last week but he should be. One outing here wasn’t anything to draw on and he’s a much more experienced player now. The one downside is his driving which will need to be better but with his length he will have options off the tee other than driver. On the plus side posting 0.929 for 14th place in strokes gained putting says birdies.
Whee Kim came unstuck in the playoff at Vegas and if the truth be told no more enjoyed the wind than any other last week. Much like Kizzires’ horrific Saturday we can ignore Kim’s aberration, as he was 5 under the back nine on Sunday to the 18th – in the toughest conditions – which was no mean feet. This comes off a 4th place in the CJ Cup, which already makes this season better than last. At 25, with great fitness, and in top form how he’s 70/1 in this field is a mystery. Not short off the tee at over 300 he may not even have to use his driver much and with 68.75% of fairways and 69.79% of greens this season he’s striking the ball well. Throw in 0.892 strokes gained putting for 16th spot and all the cards look to be falling in place for Whee to contend again. He brings two very modest efforts to the table at El Chamaleon in 2014 and 2015 but was a much less developed player.