After looking at the outright market ahead of this week’s action, it’s now time to try and locate those players that look worthy bets in some of the alternate markets, such as Top 10 and Top 20. Are there any players who may struggle to come out on top but have realistic chances of earning themselves a respectable finish?
Unlike last week, there’s plenty of top talent in the line-up, so finding strong candidates for a top-ten finish shouldn’t be too difficult, though do any of the big names appeal at the current odds? World number seven Justin Thomas rates as a +125 chance to break into the top ten, while Abraham Ancer, who looks a great bet to win this thing, isn’t much bigger in that market, standing at +150. There’s a bit more juice to be had out of Viktor Hovland or Tony Finau, who rate as +188 and +250 chances respectively, but bettors are probably better off looking further down the list.
Who has El Camaleón form in the book?
In Bermuda, there was only a handful of players who’d really thrived at Port Royal, but that’s not the case this week, as plenty of players in the line-up have enjoyed themselves at has El Camaleón in recent times. There will be no fewer than nine previous winners in this field, while there’s a whole host of other players who’ve gone close, finishing inside the top ten on numerous occasions. Adam Long arrives here off the back of a second and third in 2019 and 2020, Argentinian Emiliano Grillo has posted three top-ten finishes in the last five years, while Brice Garnett has recent form figures of 32, 11, 5, 25, 7 and 6 at this venue. In addition to winning in 2016, Pat Perez has twice made the top ten in the last four renewals of this competition.
Top 10 Finish
Carlos Ortiz – 1 Unit @ +700
Much of the home attention will be on Abraham Ancer this week, but there’s another Mexican who has the credentials to thrive in his homeland. Carlos Ortiz, who now ranks as the 78th best player in the world, is no back number here, especially as this is a track where he’s played some exciting golf in recent years.
Back in 2014, Ortiz finished ninth here, and he’s since gone on to make four out of six cuts, really coming into his own in the last two years, as his game has matured with age. In 2019, the 30-year-old found only one player too strong, finishing second, while he wasn’t far away last year either, finishing in a very respectable tie for eighth place. Such form shouldn’t be ignored.
Given that the Mexican gets to play in front of a home crowd, on a course that he’s shown a clear liking for, odds of +700 on a top-ten finish look to be on the generous side, so I’m having a point on Ortiz’s name being in the first ten on the leaderboard come Sunday night.
Top 20 Finish
Emiliano Grillo – 2 Units @ +300
As touched on above, Emiliano Grillo has enjoyed himself at this venue in the past, and having ticked along quietly at the start of this new season, there’s no reason as to why he cannot put on another good show.
He arrives here with his game in decent shape having made the cut in each of his last four events, finishing T18 at the CJ Cup recently. Moreover, he has an accurate off-the-tee game that makes him suited to this sort of test. Last season, Grillo ranked 20th on the PGA Tour for strokes gained: off-the-tee. He also ranked 12th in terms of strokes gained: approach, while he’s a master of hitting the putting surface, ranking THIRD for greens in regulation, and with neither Cameron Percy nor Jon Rahm in attendance this week, the 29-year-old rates as the best in the field for GIR, which is eye-catching given the importance of hitting greens in regulation at El Camaleón.
Five out of five cuts and three top-ten finishes here highlight his suitability for this test, and if we couple this with the stats above, then it’s impossible to overlook the Argentinian in the Top 20 market at odds of +300.
Russell Knox – 1 Unit @ +400
Last week’s tournament in Bermuda was yet another reminder that Russell Knox is a player that can deliver the goods on coastal tracks, and with this course not being too dissimilar to Port Royal, the Scotsman could easily go well once again.
Like Grillo, Knox tends to do well at El Camaleón, where he’s made the cut in eight out of eight appearances. Not only has he featured over the weekend every time that he’s set foot on the Mexican track, but he’s got himself in the thick of the action on several occasions, hitting the top ten on three separate occasions, finishing no lower than 37th. That sort of form points towards this location being a good fit for the Brit’s game, which right now is in good condition following last week’s T12.