El Camaleon will play as a par 71, measuring just under 7,000 yards and will be putt on Paspalum greens this week. Paspalum grass is often used in tropical climates and can be slow; golfers who have experience with playing and putting on Paspalum or slower greens should be taken into account when building lineups this week. El Camaleon routinely ranks as one of the easiest courses on the PGA TOUR in scoring relative to par, last season it ranked inside the top-10 easiest courses and 18th the year previous. Par-5 scoring average will be a key statistic again this week, El Camaleon recorded the 12th-most eagles made amongst all courses last season with 93% of eagles made on the Par 5s. Birdie or better gained will also be important with finishing scores averaging 20-under par over the previous four tournaments at El Camaleon.
The tournament started as an alternate event, but it later became a regularly scheduled tournament during the swing season, so we’ve seen golfers like Pat Perez, Graeme McDowell, Charley Hoffman and Harris English win at some favorable odds. The average odds over the past six winners have been right around +6000 with Harris English being the shortest at +2000 back in 2013 and Pat Perez as the longest at +12500 in 2016. Here are my favorite bets leading up to the tournament, with odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Best Score – Round 2: Shawn Stefani (+115) over Mark Hubbard (+100)Hubbard shot an impressive seven under par in Round 1 without making a single bogey while Stefani didn’t fare so well carding three bogeys and one double-bogey (on a Par 5). Stefani made the same number of birdies as Hubbard in the first round, which is not surprising; over Stefani’s past eight rounds on the second day of the tournament, he ranks 12th in Par 5 scoring average, seventh in SG: Putting and first in birdies or better gained. He’s got a lot of ground to cover and needs to stay aggressive if he wants to make the weekend, which should make him a good play.
Viktor Hovland to Win +2000
Hovland’s odds are favorable enough to bet him this week, even though he’s one of the favorites to win. As I mentioned in the preview article, Hovland is gaining an average of 6.1 strokes Tee-to-Green over his last 13 tournaments, and he hasn’t lost strokes with his irons since this same tournament last season. Hovland didn’t make the weekend in Mayakoba last year, but he is already off to a solid start this season registering a top 10 back in September.
Billy Horschel to Win +2000
Horschel continues to play solid golf, he finished sixth at the ZOZO Championship and inside the top 25 at the WGC-HSBC Champions earlier this month. The average age of the past six winners at the time they won was 35 years old and Horschel, who is 32 years old, is not only within the age range, but he also should rely on his putting this week since he ranks fourth in Strokes Gained: Putting over his last 12 rounds. If he’s not able to putt as well as he has been recently, Horschel can lean on his ability to score on shorter courses where he ranks first in Birdie or Better gained over his last three tournaments on courses less than 7,200 yards.
Brian Harman to Win +6600 | Top-5 +1200
Harman doesn’t have the best finishes at the Mayakoba Classic, and he missed the cut in his most recent start on the PGA TOUR, but plays extremely well on short courses. Harman ranks 13th in Strokes Gained: Ball striking, 26th in Par-5 scoring average and fourth in Birdie or better gained over his last 12 rounds on courses less than 7,200 yards.
Rafael Campos to Win +30000 | Top-5 +6600 | Top-10 +2500
This is the type of tournament where you want to take a chance on a longshot and Campos, the epitome of longshots, has a decent chance to bring back value this week. Rafael has an affinity for the warm, tropical weather winning The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club on the Korn Ferry Tour earlier this month along with nice finishes at The Puerto Rico Open, which is played in his home country. He gained his PGA TOUR card finishing inside the top 25 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season points list last season and just made it inside the top 20 at the Bermuda Championship earlier this month with two rounds in the 60s on the weekend.
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