As it makes its way closer to returning to the U.S., the PGA Tour heads for Mexico this week. After last week’s action in Bermuda, it’s time for World Wide Technology Championship. Like always, El Camaleón Golf Course will host the action.
Last year’s winner Viktor Hovland will be back in Mexico to defend his crown, and he won’t be the only previous winner of this event looking to get their hands on silverware. 2018 winner Matt Kuchar will be in attendance, as will Pat Perez and Brendan Todd, who won this event in 2016 and 2019 respectively.
What does the rest of the field look like?
After many of the best players in the world, with just two top-30 players attending, missed out in Bermuda last week, some of the golfing elite return to action this week. Four-time major winner and current world number 13 Brooks Koepka gets back in the saddle, while Tony Finau, who currently ranks number 11, and Abraham Ancer, who stands at 14th in the world rankings, are other high-profile inclusions. The highest-ranked player in attendance will be world number seven Justin Thomas, who finished in a tie for 12th here 12 months ago. Fresh from his win last week, Lucas Herbert looks to maintain his strong form, while Canadian Taylor Pendrith, who held the 36-hole lead in Bermuda, will be another in-form player teeing it up in Mexico. The home contingent is five strong with Juan Carlos Benitez, Juan Diego Fernandez, Roberto Diaz, and Carlos Ortiz joining Mexico’s leading light Ancer.
Requirements at El Camaleón
Designed by Greg Norman, El Camaleón Golf Course, which measures out at 7,017 yards, demands a little bit of everything. You don’t need to be long, but you need to be accurate, dialed in on approach, capable of scrambling, and hot with the flatstick. The layout of the course is varied, featuring jungle, coastal sections, and mangroves, while the elements play a huge part too, meaning that how low players can go often depends on how harsh the wind is.
Narrow fairways mean that waywardness off the tee isn’t really tolerated, while hitting greens in regulation is essential, as previous winners have shown. None of the last eight winners of this competition have finished lower than 11th for the week in terms of greens in regulation, with four of those eight finishing seventh or higher in that respect. And it’s not just hitting the greens that’s required here, as players need to be sharp with the putter to succeed. The winners of this competition in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019 all ranked inside the top ten at the end of the week in terms of putts per green in regulation.
Who’s hot in the betting?
The field is of a more high-class nature than last week, so it’s no surprise to see some big names at the head of the betting. Justin Thomas, who as mentioned above is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, is an unsurprising market leader at odds of +1400. He is closely followed by Abraham Ancer and Viktor Hovland. Depending on your choice of betting operator, they’re both available around the +1800 mark. After finishing the previous season in fine form, Tony Finau is available at odds of +2500, while Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler both hang around the +3000 line.
For those who like particularly juicy odds, 2018 winner Mutt Kuchar is as big as +10000 in places, as is 2017 winner Pat Perez. 2019 winner Brendan Todd isn’t as big as that duo but is still a huge price at +8000. If you’re a fan of following in-form players, then major winner Patrick Reed, who made a timely return to form in Bermuda last week, finishing in a tie for second, should make some appeal at +3500. The Texan can mix it with the best in the business on his day and certainly has the putting game to thrive here.
Abraham Ancer – 2 units @ +1800
For my money this week, if you want to narrow it down to the best outright option, then nobody appeals quite like Abraham Ancer, who looks to have a big opportunity back in his homeland. For starters, there will be no surprises for the Mexican, who knows what’s in store in terms of conditions and has gone on record saying that “I love the golf course, love playing here”, he should be relishing the test.
It is going to take a well-oiled, all-around approach this week, and there’s hardly a better all-rounder in this line-up. Straight off the tee, Ancer finds no shortage of fairways, while he picks up strokes off the tee too, ranking as the 24th best player on tour (ninth-best in this field) when it came to strokes gained: off-the-tee last season. The world number 14 also ranked highly (inside the top 30) for strokes gained: approach, strokes gained: putting and strokes gained: tee-to-green, which emphasizes his effectiveness as an all-rounder. Crucially, only four players in this field gained more strokes overall on the PGA Tour last season. That is not a stat to ignore.
El Camaleón is also a course where the diminutive native has played some promising golf in the past, finishing no lower than 21st in any of the last four renewals of the World Wide Technology Championship. After the best season of his career, with plenty in his favor, Ancer is a solid bet in the outright market.
UK based freelance sports betting writer. Specializing in golf and soccer, Bradley has written for numerous websites and publications both in the UK and abroad, covering a range of sports betting topics from match/event previews to betting guides.
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