PGA Tour Picks: OHL Classic at Mayakoba Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 11/12/2014
At least we finally had a big-name player win on the PGA Tour. It had been a while. American Bubba Watson took the WGC-HSBC Champions event last week in China. It was a great finish as Watson had to hole an eagle bunker chip on the 72nd hole to get in a playoff after teeing off in No. 16 with a two-shot lead only to double bogey (Watson trailed leader Graeme McDowell entering Sunday by two shots). At least four players had a chance at the par-5 18th hole to get to 11 under, but only Watson and Tim Clark were able to do it to set up a playoff. Watson won the playoff with birdie putt back on No. 18, the first playoff hole.
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It was Watson's seventh career PGA Tour win -- he's now third alone among left-handers -- and his fourth via playoff. His only loss in five career playoffs came to Martin Kaymer at the 2010 PGA Championship. It was Watson's first victory in a World Golf Championship event, making him the fourth player to win a major and a WGC in the same calendar year. Rory McIlroy also did it this year. Perhaps the best stat was that Clark finished runner-up to extend his streak of finishing second at least once for 11 straight seasons. Clark does have two career wins or he'd probably be going insane with 13 career second-place finishes.
I wasn't high on Watson last week. My guy was Mr. International, Sergio Garcia. However, he was never a factor after an opening 74 and he finished T28. I also mentioned Jamie Donaldson, and he was T24. I did hit on Top 10s for McDowell (+220) and Ian Poulter (a nice +600 price). Also correct on Rickie Fowler at -130 head-to-head over Jordan Spieth, McDowell (-105) over Kaymer and Poulter (-115) over Brandt Snedeker.
Now the Tour returns to this part of the world -- albeit with a very weak field -- for the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It's the final official PGA Tour event of 2014, although there are a few other events I will still preview before January. Three guys could become the first player ever to win two Fall Series events in the same year this week: Ben Martin (won Shriners in Las Vegas), Robert Streb (McGladrey Classic) and Nick Taylor, who won last week's opposite-field event, the Sanderson Farms. Only Martin has played this event previously. Taylor came back from a four-shot hole on Sunday in Jackson, Miss., to become the first Canadian winner of a Tour event since Mike Weir in 2007. Taylor earned his PGA Tour card less than two months ago by shooting a 63 in the final round of the Web.com Tour Championship.
Last year, Harris English was the winner here but had to play 29 holes on Sunday because of rain delays. He shot a career-best 62 in Saturday morning's second round to get into contention. English finished at 21-under 263 despite playing the event with a borrowed driver after breaking his. He hasn't won since and didn't play all that well most of this past summer.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: OHL Classic at Mayakoba Favorites
English and Streb are the 22/1 Bovada favorites . English hasn't started this season well, either, with missed cuts at the Frys.com Open and McGladrey sandwiched around a T16 at the Shriners. Since this year's Masters, English has made only eight cuts in 18 starts. He led the field last year in putts per greens in regulation. Streb is your early FedEx Cup points leader. He has three straight Top-10 finishes, including that win at the McGladrey. He was eighth last week in Mississippi.
Stroud (25/1), Martin and Charles Howell III (both 28/1) round out the favorites . Stroud, who has played Mayakoba all seven years of its existence, is sixth in scoring average among players with 20 or more rounds in the event. Stroud hasn't finished worse than T5 in the past three visits here. Martin was T31 here a year ago. Howell has played here five times and has yet to miss the cut, with a best finish of T6 last year.
PGA Tour Picks: OHL Classic at Mayakoba Predictions
On the Top-10 props, I like Stroud (+225), Howell III (+250) and Jason Bohn (+285), who was runner-up to Taylor last week and T3 here last year. Head-to-head, go with Streb (-110) over English (-120), Stroud (-125) over Martin (-105), Howell III (-130) over Brian Stuard (even), Bohn (-115) over Nick Watney (-115) and Rory Sabbatini (-115) over Russell Knox (-115). Go with Sabbatini at -138 as the top South African and Robert Allenby at +200 as the top Australian.
I'm going with Bohn at 33/1 to win, although I pondered Stroud for a while. Bohn's scoring average of 68.00 here is the third best among all players with at least eight rounds. Six of his eight competitive rounds on El Camaleon have gone for 68 or better. Bohn gets his first win since the 2010 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Also take a playoff as the winning margin. Three of the previous seven editions have been decided in playoffs.
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