Original article published 2 November 2022
All eyes are on the PGA Tour this week as the World Wide Technology Championship takes place at El Camaleon, Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
|What||World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba|
|Where||El Camaleon, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico|
|When||12:00, 3rd November, 2022|
|How to watch||Sky Sports Main Event & Golf|
|Odds||Scottie Scheffler 9/1, Viktor Hovland 11/1, Collin Morikawa|
There is no DP World Tour event this week - and the LIV Golf circuit is in hibernation until February - so the spotlight of the golfing world falls on the PGA Tour for the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. The tournament sponsors will be thrilled with the line-up that has been attracted to the El Camaleon venue.
Mexican duo Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz are no longer allowed to tee up - due to their participation in LIV Golf - but the locals have got Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland coming to entertain them. Scheffler lost his world number one ranking in the CJ Cup last time out. The Masters champion finished 45th in the CJ Cup, which meant a victorious Rory McIlroy took over as the top dog.
Scheffler is 9/1 to win the World Wide Technology Championship and regain the number one spot. Even solo second place would be enough for the Texas-based star to immediately leapfrog McIlroy. Given the lack of putting confidence Scheffler has been showing in recent months, his Mayakoba odds may not prove too popular.
He put a new putter in his bag for the CJ Cup, but the change failed to revive his fortunes. Morikawa is making his course debut this week. El Camaleon has hosted a PGA Tour event every year since 2007, so Morikawa is significantly disadvantaged in terms of experience.
The two-time Major champion can be backed at 16/1 to overcome his lack of familiarity with the venue and triumph. Hovland has no such course concerns. The Norwegian is seeking to win at El Camaleon for the third consecutive season.
Steve Stricker is the last man to win the same PGA Tour event three times in a row - he completed a John Deere Classic hat-trick in 2011 - and Hovland is 11/1 to successfully follow that example. Standard each-way terms of a quarter the odds, the first five, are available, as well as alternative options in the Each Way Extra section, including a fifth the odds, the first eight.
El Camaleon Golf Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is a 7,034-yard, par-71, with three par-fives, 11 par-fours and four par-threes. The tournament, which started in 2007, was previously staged in February, running alongside the Accenture Match Play, until getting its own autumn date in 2013.
El Camaleon is a quirky, fiddly track with limestone canals bisecting certain holes and there is even a cave which splits the first fairway into two sections. Sound course management is required, although scores in the low 60s have been recorded regularly by players with fairway-finding ability.
Precise operators like Fred Funk, Brian Gay, Mark Wilson, John Huh, Graeme McDowell, Pat Perez, Matt Kuchar and Brendon Todd are on the honours board. Thundery showers are forecast for the opening day. Sunny, warm, calm weather is expected for the final three days.
The about Billy Horschel claiming a seventh PGA Tour title on Sunday is understandably proving popular with punters. The former FedEx Cup champion has finished in the top ten in each of his previous three tournaments - and this week he is teeing up at a course he loves. Horschel, who won the Memorial by four shots in June, finished eighth at El Camaleon in 2019 and fifth in 2020. He is bursting with form and confidence.
Another player who has proved himself at El Camaleon in the past is 18/1 chance Aaron Wise, who was tenth in the 2018 Mayakoba event, runner-up behind Viktor Hovland in 2020 and 15th last year. Wise, the 2018 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, is a 26-year-old chasing a second PGA Tour title this week.
Given his stellar form during the FedEx Cup playoffs in August - and his sixth-place finish in the CJ Cup last time out - glory could be coming on Sunday evening.
That event was staged on a Greg Norman-designed track in Mexico which has the same type of grass (paspalum) as El Camaleon. Wu, who won the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Championship, may threaten a PGA Tour breakthrough this week.