From The Range To The Rough: World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba

The PGA tour fall swing season is winding down with three tournaments left. The good news is all will be full field cut events. Of the 132 players several top tier players along with plenty of young and up and comers have decided to play. Overall the field is above average. Players will be taking a trip south of the border to play in Mexico. The bad news is we have no shot tracker data as the PGA tour doesn’t take the equipment out of the states.

The host course is El Camaleon Golf Club and has been the site for this tournament many years.The winning score typically falls in the -19 to -22 range with another 5-10 players eclipsing-15. The course is a short par 71 playing slightly over 7,000 yards.

Off the tee the fairways are on the slightly above average side to hit as far as easiness goes. If missed it’s not a huge penalty as the rough is minimal. The biggest penalty will be missing the fairway badly as they are surrounded by tropical jungles, mangrove forests and oceanfront.  From the fairway players will be targeting paspalum greens larger than average size. The greens are amongst the easiest on tour as they are soft and slow.

The early look indicates a quiet week which is good for scoring. No rain in the forecast, temperatures in the mid 70’s while the winds fall in the 5-10 mph range. Perfect weather for golfers.

Stats To Look At
Two big stats that I will focus on. Tee to Green play appears to be slightly more important than normal. Finding fairways will be critical to provide the best opportunities to get close on the large greens. 2nd is strokes gained on approach which goes hand to hand with the aforementioned. Elite ball strikers should thrive under the short conditions. I will also focus on birdies or better along with opportunities gained.

My focus will be on single and three entry contests. Using a core 2-3 players in all lineups with a tight player pool. Ownership won’t be a concern for me since the field is on the stronger side for a fall swing event with a cut.

The price on Joaquin Niemann is way to cheap for a player who has plenty of upside. The swing season hasn’t been spectacular by any means but neither has it been disappointing. Niemann is an elite ball striker who has done well on shorter courses over his young career. In addition he has shown to go -19 or better on occasions which is needed to win. Finally he has improved each year at this tournament.

Another player who is under priced would be Joel Dahmen who can be a difficult player to figure out. He is streaky but has played on the weekend in 11 of his last 13 tournaments. During that run his ball striking and tee to green play has been solid. His downfall has been the putter and the easier to putt greens should help. Dahmen has played well here in the past which is another plus.

Closing out my core is Tyrell Hatton who hasn’t played much on tour recently. His game style fits perfect as he is solid tee to green and can be an exceptional ball striker.    Making his debut here but Hatton is not stranger to Mexico having played the WGC Championship very well. In addition he has played another short course with similar conditions well, that being the RBC Heritage Classic. Hatton should provide excellent leverage from an ownership perspective if looking that route.

Upper Tier Roster Additions
I have mixed emotions on Aaron Wise. Part of me says he is way to expensive while the other is telling me to continue to ride him while his play is not. Wise has been very good tee to green and with his irons. It’s the putter that has taken him to the next level during his streak of great play. Wise has solid history at this tournament which is positive since he has done it when not playing at his current level.

A player looking to take his game to the next level and the win appears to be close is Maverick McNealy. Mav has been playing very good the past 2-3 months due to improved tee to green game. McNealy has always been a strong putter. The iron play is better and is what scares me to with him because it could easily go away as it has t been extremely good.

Mito Pereira has just been consistent over the fall season and end of last. He has made 7 of his last 8 cuts due to an exceptional tee to green game. During the run his iron play has been solid. The putter has been the inconsistent piece and hopefully the easier greens play to his advantage. I also like that Mito has shown to go low and compete in birdie fests during his hot run.

Cheaper Roster Additions
The price for Chris Kirk is way to cheap. While he hasn’t played a bunch recently his results have been solid. Kirk also has solid history here. His ball striking is solid and he has the tee to green game to match.

This past season was one Gary Woodland would like to forget as he showed no consistency. He either finished T10 or missed the cut in almost every tournament. Gary is solid tee to green and with his irons striking the ball. He has done well on short courses and the easier to putt greens should help the weakest part of his game.

Perhaps coming off his best season the last two tournaments for Seamus Power have been solid. Power is no stranger to birdie fests showing he has the ability to go low. He also sets up well for this course playing well on short courses and or by the ocean. Seamus has been exceptional tee to green and not far behind with his irons on approach.

Rory Sabbatini hasn’t been playing much golf but when he has it’s been good. Sabbatini has solid history here albeit nothing spectacular. The course should play in his hands being accurate off the tee. If the irons come around and he can drop some putts the hot run should continue.

Should be a good tournament with plenty of name power to go around. Lets finish the fall season strong over this three week run while Running Pure.


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