This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
Course: El Camaleon Golf Club (7,017 yards, par 71)
Winner: $1,296,000 and 500 FedExCup points
Just three more official PGA Tour events remain in 2021 before the calendar flips and the best in the world head to Maui for the Tournament of Champions. The El Camaleon Golf Club will play host to a pretty strong field for this time of year. Viktor Hovland returns to defend his 2020 title, while former World No. 1's Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka will also tee it up at Playa del Carmen. Ryder Cupper's Tony Finau, Scottie Scheffler, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry, and Sergio Garcia also join the contingent in the 14th annual World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. The prize fund will remain at $7,200,000 for the fourth straight year, but World Wide Technology signed on for a deal to sponsor the event through 2027.
After a bit of a dodgy weather week in Bermuda, there will no such problems at Mayakoba. Temperatures will hover around 90 for the duration of the event, with little threat of precipitation or wind. The Greg Norma design will be there for the taking given the great conditions. Since 2013, the winning score has been at least 17-under-par and it would be shocking if that didn't happen again this week. It's also worth noting that since 2014 this tournament has been decided by more than one stroke just once.
2020 – Viktor Hovland (-20)
2019 – Brendon Todd (-20)
2018 – Matt Kuchar (-22)
2017 – Patton Kizzire (-19)
2016 – Pat Perez (-21)
2015 – Graeme McDowell (-18)
2014 – Charley Hoffman (-17)
2013 – Harris English (-21)
2012 – John Huh (-13)
2011 – Johnson Wagner (-17)
2010 – Cameron Beckman (-15)
Key Stats to Victory
- SG: Approach
- GIR Percentage
- Driving Accuracy
- SG: Putting
El Camaleon is a resort course that has been a ball-striker's paradise. It is not long at all, but features narrow targets off the tee. That being said, the rough is trimmed at two inches this week, which shouldn't have too much of an impact attacking the receptive greens. The bigger fear off the tees is finding one of the penal fairways bunkers or shooting one right into the jungle. Viktor Hovland showed the primary formula for success at Mayakoba last season by leading the field in greens in regulation and ranking top-15 in driving accuracy. In a shootout, being able to give yourself a lot of quality looks will likely tell the story. Lack of wind means the strong iron players will be able to take dead aim all week at El Camaleon. These paspalum greens run beautifully and should sit around 11 on the Stimpmeter.
FanDuel Value Picks
Viktor Hovland ($11,800)
Hovland is just built for this test due to his tremendous accuracy both off the tee and into the greens. We've long known about his impressive ball-striking, but his putter impressed down the stretch of his championship victory at El Camaleon last year. Early in this season, Hovland ranks a very solid 37th in SG: Putting.
Abraham Ancer ($11,400)
Perhaps nobody in the field is more motivated this week than Ancer, who is looking for a win in his home country and to prove he belongs among the game's elite. Much like Hovland, Ancer's tremendous accuracy off the tee and into the greens puts him in prime position to contend at El Camaleon. Maybe that's why he has gone T9-T-21-T8-T12 the last four years at Mayakoba.
Aaron Wise ($10,600)
Wise nearly won this event last year when he closed with an eight-under 63 to finish one Viktor Hovland birdie on the 72nd hole shy of a playoff. That was his second top-10 in the last three years at Mayakoba, so obviously El Camaleon fits his eye. Wise is trending really strong this season placing T26-T8-T5 in three starts.
Billy Horschel ($10,400)
El Camaleon has been one of Horschel's best courses throughout his career, racking up five top-30 finishes in six starts, including a T8 and a T5 the last two years. Horschel is ranked inside the top-20 in the OWGR and is coming off a recent win at the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship.
Longer Shots with Value
Seamus Power ($9,700)
Power has become a favorite of mine the past few months because he has been so consistent. A T12 in Bermuda last week was his ninth top-25 in his last 12 starts on the PGA Tour. Power also has experience at Mayakoba, as he was in contention for a win back in 2016 before fading to T28 with a final-round 76. Iron play, scrambling, and putting are all pieces that are there for the Irishman.
Russell Henley ($9,600)
We are early in the season, but Henley currently leads the PGA Tour in SG: Approach, driving accuracy, and GIR percentage. The Georgia product has been one of the top-10 ball-strikers on Tour for the last few seasons now and that precision will be a big key to success at El Camaleon. Henley has finished top-25 in six of his last nine PGA Tour starts.
Emiliano Grillo ($9,100)
Grillo has had a lot of success in his career at Mayakoba, notching four top-15's and a scoring average of 67.95. It's not surprise considering how strong his ball-striking has been in recent years. Last season Grillo ranked top-20 on Tour in SG: Off-the-tee, SG: Approach, Total driving, GIR percentage, and proximity to the hole.
Carlos Ortiz ($8,900)
Much like Ancer, this is a major for Ortiz being one of just two PGA Tour events in his home country of Mexico. Ortiz has been close in the past here as well with three career top-10's, including a runner-up two years ago. The 30-year-old is a wizard around the greens and this season has hit the ball very well, ranking top-25 in SG: Approach and GIR percentage.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
This is a significantly deeper field than we had last week in Bermuda. Mayakoba has become a favorite on the PGA Tour for its great weather and a course that allows player to score well if they are in control of their golf ball. Just go through the list of champions and it's clear that putting the ball in the fairway and hitting a lot of greens is a common theme. Some higher ranked players I might avoid this week are Brooks Koepka ($11,700) because he hasn't made a cut here before and Patrick Reed ($11,300) because he has not been in form lately and can be erratic off the tee.