After yet another close finish in Bermuda this past weekend, the 2022-23 PGA Tour season rolls on with the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.
With all due respect to everyone who teed it up last week, especially winner Seamus Power, the star power simply wasn’t there at Port Royal. But that’s certainly not the case this week at one of Mexico’s premier tracks, El Camaleon Golf Course in beautiful Riviera Maya.
Five of the top 16 in the Offical World Golf Ranking are in the field this week, including two-time defending champion and world No. 11 Viktor Hovland. Scottie Scheffler (No. 2), Collin Morikawa (No. 9), Tony Finau (No. 14), and Billy Horschel (No. 16) are the other four.
Former world No. 1s Justin Rose and Jason Day are also teeing it up this week.
Be on the lookout for birdies, as low numbers are the norm at El Camaleon. Since 2013, the average winning score has been 20-under, so we’re likely in for quite the exciting finish on Sunday.
Four of the six events played thus far on the PGA Tour fall schedule have been decided by a single stroke, and another went to a playoff. And chances are good we’ll get something similar this week.
2022 World Wide Technology Championship predictions
Luke Norris: Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa hasn’t played his best golf to start the new PGA Tour season, tying for 45th at the Zozo Championship and tying for 29th at the CJ Cup.
He’s had some issues on and around the greens, but El Camaleon is the kind of course that essentially hides those types of indeficiencies, as the greens aren’t all that tricky to navigate. The two-time major champ was sixth in strokes gained tee to green at the CJ Cup, and if he can bring that to Mexico, he’ll notch his first win of the year.
Jack Dougherty: Viktor Hovland
This is the square pick of the week, but I don’t care. Viktor Hovland is the two-time repeat champion at this event. The Norwegian has just three wins on his PGA Tour resume, and two of them came at El Camaleon Golf Club.
Hovland clearly loves this place, and he’s been impressive to start the 2022-23 season with a T21 at the CJ Cup and a T5 at the Zozo Championship. We’ve already seen two repeat winners on the PGA Tour this season. Let’s make it three this week.
Luke Norris: Tom Hoge
Tom Hoge certainly isn’t the longest of the long shots at the World Wide Technology Championship, but he’s long enough at 27-1.
Those odds seem a little off for a guy who shot 17-under here a year ago and tied for third.
Jack Dougherty: Chris Kirk
Chris Kirk is one of the shortest hitters on the PGA Tour at this point in his career, but he still knows how to score on manageable courses. That will be the case this week at El Camaleon Golf Club, which will measure just over 7,000 yards and play as a par 71. I could see Kirk riding his short game to a top-10 finish this week.
Most likely bust
Luke Norris: Tony Finau
Tony Finau is making his 2022-23 PGA Tour season debut at El Camaleon, and it seems he could have picked a better week.
While still one of the betting favorites, the world’s 14th-ranked player has finished tied for 45th or worse in two of his last three starts at this event, although he did tie for eighth in 2020. But I’m picking him to bust this week.
Jack Dougherty: Scottie Scheffler
Go big or go home, right? Scottie Scheffler is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and he’s the betting favorite to win the tournament. But I haven’t been impressed with the Texan’s play of late. Scheffler finished T45 at the CJ Cup in his first start of the season.
He was also the worst player on Team USA throughout the Presidents Cup in September, as he finished the event with a disappointing 0-3-1 record. He’s completely lost on the greens right now, and that doesn’t bode well for what should be a birdie fest at Mayakoba.
Luke Norris: No. 17
One might not think a 386-yard par-4 would be all that challenging for today’s big-hitting PGA Tour pros, but the 17th at El Camaleon can get a bit tricky.
There’s tree trouble on the right and a limestone canal that runs up the entire left side and sits just two yards from the putting surface. So any tee shot or approach yanked in that direction will get wet. The best bet is to leave the driver in the bag and be very careful with the second.
Jack Dougherty: No. 14
There aren’t many daunting holes at El Camaleon, but the par-4 14th is surely one of them. The dogleg left measures 452 yards long and snakes through a narrow tunnel of mangroves.
Players must lay up short of the water hazard that cuts through the fairway, which sets up one of the toughest approach shots on the course up the hill to a skinny green guarded by a massive bunker on the left. Par will be a fine score on No. 14 all week.
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