The field this week is set at 132 players for the 16th running of the Mayakoba Championship. This event started in 2007 and was moved to a fall November date back in 2013. The venue has remained the same as it takes place at the resort course of El Camaleon which is set near the sea in the Riviera Maya. This will be the second week in a row that the PGA TOUR will play outside of the US. The field this week will be much stronger than last week. There’s 13 players in this field from the top 50 in the OWGR, with world No. 2 Scottie Scheffler headlining. Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau and two-time defending Mayakoba Championship winner Viktor Hovland are also in attendance.
Last week’s winner Seamus Power is in the field, as are some other top finishers from Bermuda like Patrick Rodgers and Denny McCarthy. The cut this week will take place after Friday and remains the same, with the top 65 and ties playing the weekend.
El Camaleón, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Par 71, 7,017 yards
This is a Greg Norman-designed course set on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. This course has hosted the event since 2007, although the dates changed from February to November back in 2013. This change is significant, as the tournament has seen much lower scores since the move because the winds at this time of year are usually much milder than they are in February. In the last five years, the lowest the winning score has been here is 19-under-par (back in 2019). Each of the other years have winning scores of 20-under par or better, and last season Viktor Hovland blitzed a wet venue to post 23-under.
As a shorter course with some hazards in play off the tee, driving distance almost always takes a backseat, as players will often “club down” to find fairways and avoid trouble. This is very much a second-shot course where players will simply be looking to avoid trouble off the tee. One other thing to note is that the course uses Paspalum-style greens, which will be average or slower than normal on the stimpmeter. Three-putt percentages at this venue also tend to be very low, so players can be more aggressive with their putter from long range as well. There is once again rain in the forecast this year, so wet, receptive greens could be in store, especially early on.
The setup here is fairly standard, as El Camaleón plays as a par 71 with three par 5s and four par 3s. As previously mentioned, the course plays short for PGA TOUR standards at right under 7,000 yards, making wedge and accuracy off the tee the most important factors in producing a big week. In terms of the hole setups, three of the four par 3s measure in at 155 yards or less and none of the par 5s come in at longer than 554 yards, making it essential for players to score on these holes. Three of the last par 4s all come in at over 450 yards.
Viktor Hovland has used premier ball-striking to set himself up for back-to-back wins at this venue, ranking top 20 in driving accuracy and greens in regulation in both of the last two years. Hovland also ranked top 20 in Putts per GIR, and his weaker short game simply doesn’t get much profile here given that he’s hit about 80% of the greens in regulation. Expect a similar formula out of whoever the winner is this week.
2022 Weather Update: The weather this week will likely only benefit the players. There is some early week wind in the forecast, with 8-10 mph winds on the first two days. Rain is the big story though as the course is expected to see rain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the moisture petering off into the weekend. Thursday is the only day with actual thunderstorms in the forecast, ones that could stop play for portions. The rain will likely only act as a small annoyance for the field and should help to soften up what is already a very soft course. As of now, there’s not a huge advantage in either wave but if one afternoon does end up showing clear skies it may be worth targeting that wave over another. Expect low scoring and players with good accuracy and short iron proximity to get well rewarded once again.
Last 5 winners
2021—Viktor Hovland -23 (over Carlos Ortiz -19)
2020—Viktor Hovland -20 (over Aaron Wise -19)
2019—Brendon Todd -20 (over three players at -19)
2018—Matt Kuchar -22 (over Danny Lee)
2017—Patton Kizzire -19 (over Rickie Fowler -18)
- Four of the past 11 winners were playing this event for the first time in their career — 2017 and 2018 winners, Patton Kizzire and Matt Kuchar, had each played here just once before winning.
- Viktor Hovland had missed the cut in each of his first two visits prior to his first win in 2020.
- Four of the last five winners had recorded a top-15 finish in one of their previous two starts before winning here.
Winners Stats and Course Overview
2021 Winner: Viktor Hovland
(2021 lead-in: T18-T44-5th-T17-T43)
Green in Regulation %: T7
Putts per GIR—11th
Driving Distance— 20th
- 2019 winner Brendon Todd used a similar approach to Hovland, ranking third for the week in GIR %, but he also had a bit better week scrambling than Hovland. Regardless, the theme here is you want a player who can hit his irons (mainly short irons) consistently well all week.
- Hovland was even better last year than when he won in 2020, and has led the field in birdies made two years running.
- In both of his wins, Hovland has been top 20 in driving accuracy and top 10 in GIR%. He was much better scrambling last season but also missed a few more greens in 2021 vs. 2020.
- El Camaleón is an easy course because it features relatively easy to hit greens and doesn’t have a ton of long holes, so driver isn't necessary on every par 4. The field averages a couple percentage points above the PGA TOUR average in Green in Regulation % and three-putt percentage (due to the slower greens).
- Despite the venue featuring three par 5s, it’s the par-4 efficiency where players can pick up strokes. Five of the last six winners have finished inside the top 5 in par-4 scoring for the week.
Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their DraftKings Sportsbook odds of winning this week.
Maverick McNealy +1800 and $9,400
- Tom Hoge +3000 and $9,500
- Taylor Montgomery +2800 and $9,600
JJ Spaun +6500 and $7,300
- Justin Rose +8000 and $7,300
- Mark Hubbard +13000 and $7,300
- Cameron Champ +13000 and $7,300
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
HORSES FOR COURSES
1. Viktor Hovland ($11,200; best finish: win - 2020, 2021): Hovland has quickly become the Master of Mayakoba. After two missed cuts at this event early in his career, he’s managed to blitz this easier resort setup to the tune of two wins and a ton of birdies over the past two seasons. The easy to hit greens mean limited around the green work for Hovland which makes this an ideal set up for the ball-striking machine.
2. Brendon Todd ($9,000; best finish: win - 2019, T8-2020): Todd won this event back in 2019, capping a massive career turnaround. He’s third in strokes gained total at this event since 2018 despite only having played here three times in that span. With a T7 at the CJ Cup and an approach game that’s trending up, seeing him in the mix this week wouldn't be shocking.
3. Danny Lee ($6,600; best finish: second – 2019, T8-2021): Lee has made most of his PGA TOUR earnings during the last five seasons and during the late fall swing. He’s finished top 10 at this event in two of the last four years, and he loves these resort style setups and paspalum greens. He’s volatile but always seems to come alive one way or another in Mexico.
4. Russell Knox ($7,300; best finish: second – 2015): Knox lost in a playoff at El Camaleón in 2015 and has finished inside the top 10 at this venue in three out of nine starts. He’s 8-for-9 in terms of cuts made here and is still an elite iron player. If he can keep it in the fairway, Knox can certainly produce a solid week here again.
5. Billy Horschel ($10,100; best finish: T5-2020, T8 - 2020): Horschel has taken to this track quickly over the last few years, producing top-10 finishes at El Camaleón in two of the last three seasons. Like many veteran PGA TOUR pros, the easy to hit fairways and greens mean he can dominate with his superior putting and around the green game. He’s coming off a solid T7 finish at the CJ Cup.
1. Thomas Detry ($8,800; 2nd-T69-T9): Detry has gotten off to a great start to his first full stint on the PGA TOUR. He’s now piled up three top-12 finishes across four fall starts, and he grabbed full runner-up placing last week with a great final round.
2. Justin Lower ($7,600; T8-T20): Lower continues to putt the lights out and rack up top finishes on the fall swing. He has three top 20s in four fall starts and has gained over 1.0 stroke putting in each of his last four starts overall.
3. Patrick Rodgers ($7,900; T3-T16): Rodgers put up a valiant effort last Sunday, but came up short, firing 65 on Sunday and finishing in T3. Since missing the cut at the Fortinet, he’s made four cuts in a row.
4. Tom Hoge ($9,500; T13-T9-T4): Hoge skipped last week or he’d be ranked higher in this category. He’s gained over 4.0 strokes and finished inside the top 20 in each of his four fall swing starts.
5. Ben Griffin ($6,800; T3-T60): Griffin has turned his elite iron game into some solid results of late. He’s got two top-5 finishes in his last five PGA TOUR starts and likely should have won last week if not for a one hole meltdown in Bermuda.
DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY
Cash Games: Work it with Wise
Despite being priced up to over 10k in this field, you have to like the idea of anchoring lineups around a very in-form Aaron Wise ($10,200). Wise produced a T6 in his last fall start and that came on the back of a solid all-around game which saw him gain over 3.0 strokes on approach and over 5.0 strokes with the putter. Wise has visited this venue numerous times in the past, producing a T2 at this event back in 2020 when he was only bested by a red hot Viktor Hovland ($11,200). Wise gives you salary room to target another top player and also plenty of upside given his recent form. Other targets in this format for this week include the likes of Brendon Todd ($9,000), Adam Hadwin ($8,200), Hayden Buckley ($7,500) and Chris Kirk ($7,200).
Tournaments: Dip down to Day
Despite two solid starts in a row, I’d still expect Jason Day ($9,200) ownership to be on the lower side this week. The Aussie has displayed immense ball-striking in two straight starts now, and with a course that will reward great iron play and not punish those struggling around the greens, Mayakoba feels like a place which could produce a special comeback win for the former No. 1 player in the world. Further down, Davis Riley ($7,800) is always in play as a GPP target given his immense talent. He’s played poorly this fall but has shown upside across all the aspects of the game, and he could find the easier setup appealing in Mexico. Other GPP targets this week include Joel Dahmen ($7,200), Danny Lee ($6,600), CT Pan ($6,800) and Ryan Moore ($6,300 - see below).
MY PICK: Emiliano Grillo ($9,100)
Grillo has been a cash machine for DFS purposes over the last couple of months or so, compiling four top-5 finishes over his last 10 PGA TOUR starts. While he regressed a bit with his putter over his last start at the CJ Cup, the confidence around and on the greens for the Argentine has been evident of late. Prior to the CJ Cup, Grillo had gained strokes putting in six straight events, and he should benefit from the slower paspalum greens in play this week — a surface he’s always excelled at on the PGA TOUR.
On top of having three top-15 finishes at El Camaleon in his last five starts, Grillo also grabbed a runner-up finish at the now defunct CIMB Classic in Malaysia in 2018, which also featured paspalum putting surfaces. Much like two-time defending Viktor Hovland, a course where he doesn’t have to scramble much and can rely on his accurate ball-striking off the tee, is ideal for Grillo and El Camaleon provides an ideal setting in that regard. With his salary still stuck in the low 9k range, he makes for a great core play in DFS — and solid outright target at +3500 on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
MY SLEEPER: Ryan Moore ($6,300)
We’re going way down in salary this week for our sleeper pick as we try and hit on the potential career resurrection week for Ryan Moore. A five-time winner on the PGA TOUR, Moore has just one top-10 finish on the PGA TOUR over the last 18 months but does come into this week off a T28 at the Shriners. The American has been in better form with his iron play of late, gaining over 1.0 strokes on approach in three of his last four starts and won’t be as disadvantaged this week by his sub-par around the green skills — given the easier to hit greens.
Over his career, Moore has often torn up these shorter tracks, which produce tons of birdie chances for those who can get dialed in with their wedges. His last top-5 finish on the PGA TOUR came at the John Deere in 2021, when he came in with virtually no form and produced a solo second-place finish. Mayakoba not only sets up similarly in a lot aspects to that venue but it also features paspalum greens which Moore thrived on over in Malaysia at the now defunct CIMB Classic — which he won twice between 2013-14. With two top 30s in his last four starts, and a great setup which should play to his strengths, he’s a solid target to use in stars and scrubs builds for DFS and also has nice odds to chase in the top-40 market at +300 on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
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