It was a pretty watered-down field in Las Vegas last week for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, so I figured it was a good time to pick someone a bit off the radar to win -- and my choice was Scott Piercy. Alas, the American finished T24 after a final-round 71, his worst round of the week by far. He was in contention entering Sunday.
Your winner was way off the radar: Australian Rod Pampling. The 47-year-old shot a final-round 65 -- he also shot a course-record 60 in Round 1 -- to finish at 20-under 264 and beat out Brooks Koepka by two shots after making a 30-foot birdie on the 72nd hole at TPC Summerlin. It was Pampling's third career Tour win but his first in more than 10 years: his last was at Bay Hill in 2006. Pampling's last victory anywhere was the 2008 Australian Masters. He lost his Tour card after the 2013 season and played in the Web.com Tour Finals last month just to get his card back. Pampling is the oldest Tour winner ever from Australia and now will be exempt until he is eligible for the Champions Tour.
Lucas Glover, trying for his first victory in five years, was tied with Pampling with two holes to play until he made a bogey from the bunker on the par-3 17th. Glover, the former U.S. Open champion, did have his second straight Top 10 for the first time since 2006. It's Glover's third straight time where a 54-hole lead didn't lead to victory, however. As for Koepka, he shot a final-round 67 for his third runner-up finish on Tour in 2016.
Needless to say, I didn't touch on Pampling last week as I'm not even sure I knew he was still playing on the PGA Tour. Frankly, I had one of my worst tournaments of the year, missing on Top 10s for Ryan Moore (T15), Kevin Na (MC) and Jimmy Walker (MC). Took a shot on Graeme McDowell at +150 as the top player from Great Britain and Ireland, and he missed the cut too. I did hit a few head-to-head props, but let's put Vegas in the rearview mirror.
This week, the Tour heads back outside the United States for the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, staged at the El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It actually has a pretty solid purse, but it's still hard to lure the top names to Mexico for one of these fall events. Just four of the world's Top 35 are playing. There are a handful of Latin American guys in the field.
McDowell is the defending champion. He was rather fortunate to make the playoff at 18-under 266 as Russell Knox had a one-shot lead going to the 18th hole in the final round but hit his tee shot into a bunker and couldn't land his approach on the green. He would bogey to join McDowell and Jason Bohn in a Monday playoff (due to weather delays). McDowell nearly holed his approach back on 18, the first playoff hole, and tapped in for birdie to win it. For McDowell, it was his first win since the 2014 Open de France on the Euro Tour. It was his first on the PGA Tour since the 2013 RBC Heritage.
Golf Odds: OHL Classic at Mayakoba Favorites
Knox is the +1400 favorite at Bovada. The Scotsman last played at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China and had a Top 10. He actually hasn't played that well in Mexico other than last year. But he won as recently as August at the Travelers Championship.
Emiliano Grillo is +1800. The Argentine also last played in China and was T11. It will be his first time playing this event. The favorites are rounded out by Jon Rahm (+2000), Mr. 58 Jim Furyk (+2000) in his first start of the new season and Keegan Bradley (+2200). Rahm has finished T15 in both Tour events this season, including last week. He was T10 in Mexico last year as an amateur. Bradley was T8 here last year and seventh last week, his second straight Top 10. Furyk didn't close the FedEx Cup playoffs that well and hasn't played in Mexico.
Golf Odds: OHL Classic at Mayakoba Picks
For a Top 10, go with Knox (+120), Chris Kirk (+250) and Harris English (+300). Kirk had been playing fantastic of late and opened last week strong before blowing up on the weekend. It's his debut here.
Go with Knox at +225 as the top Euro and Marc Leishman at +110 as the top Aussie. Head-to-head, go Billy Horschel (-155) over Derek Fathauer (+120), Tony Finau (-125) over Anirban Lahiri (-105), English (-115) over Piercy (-115), Kirk (even) over Bradley (-130), Rahm (-120) over Furyk, and Knox (-125) over Grillo (-105).
My winner is English at +2800. He won here in 2013 with a tournament-record score of 21-under 263. English hadn't been playing great for a while but might have found his game with a T4 last week.
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