The Tour makes its way south of the border to El Camaleon Golf Course for the Mayakoba Golf Classic this week. If you’re curious as to how the course has played historically and want to dive into the stats, check out yesterday’s article.
Today, we’re going to do our usual walkthrough of who’s shaping up to be popular, how lineups may be constructed and who some of the best pivots are this week. We’ll wrap up with our ownership projections. Keep in mind, that these are updated a few times during the week, so check back Wednesday night for the final run of the model.
CHECKING THE CHALK
As of the first run of projections, J.J. Spaun ($7,500) looks like he may be in the running for the highest-owned golfer on the slate. He looked excellent at the Shriners last week, gaining 8.4 strokes on approach. Spaun finished 15th in Las Vegas after a top 10 in South Korea the week before. For better or worse, another driver of ownership is course history. Over the past two seasons, Spaun has finished in the DK bonus (Top-30 finish) both times he’s played here. He’s carded six of eight rounds in the 60s over that span.
Speaking of course history, Cameron Davis ($7,400) is just below Spaun and is getting some attention this week as well. He helped Australia claim the Eisenhower Trophy a few years back and as a minimum salary option in 2016, he broke 100 DK points as he came in 15th. He can get a little wayward off the tee at times but he dominates on par 5s, making him an interesting consideration this week.
In the $8,000 range, it looks like Abraham Ancer ($8,400), Sam Ryder ($8,700), and Scott Piercy ($8,000) will be the ownership magnets. Ancer’s been putting together a solid few months. Since July, he’s made nine of 11 cuts including five top 10s. He was raised in Mexico and had an 85 DK-point performance here last year, finishing ninth. Ryder’s all about recent form. He’s made eight straight cuts and has four top 10s in that stretch. If not for a hiccup on Friday in the desert, he may have taken home the trophy last week. Piercy has finished fourth and 16th at El Camaleon over his past two starts. Over his most recent three starts, he has hit at least 75 percent of greens in regulation and has averaged over 90 DK points per start.
As of this writing, the model thinks that ownership will be relatively flat in the $10,000-plus range, with Emiliano Grillo ($9,700), Si Woo Kim ($9,200), and Luke List ($9,000) soaking up most of the ownership in the $9,000 range. Make sure to check back for the final run of ownership projections before making final lineup decisions on Wednesday night.
Note: This section is to look at a few options if you want to avoid the chalk at different prices . . . it doesn’t mean whatever chalk we’re listing is an automatic fade.
Making sense of the top of the salary range is vital every week in PGA. Even more so this week, as ownership looks pretty flat. Billy Horschel ($10,200) will be the lowest owned but has been trending in the wrong direction recently. After peaking at the BMW Championship, his GIR percentage has dropped each week. If Gary Woodland ($10,700) does end up as the next lowest owned, it’d be hard to argue with rostering him. He hasn’t finished outside of the Top 12 since the first week in September and has 15 of 20 rounds in the 60s during that timespan.
From an upside perspective, it appears that Joaquin Niemann ($8,800) might go under-owned this weekend. Niemann went 10 under on the par 5s at TPC Summerlin last weekend as he scored 118 DK points. As he puts the final touches on the prep for this week, he’ll be turning 20 years old. Don’t let his youth scare you though — Niemann already seems like he’s the real deal. Since turning pro after the Masters in April, the Chilean made 11 of 15 cuts with five top 10s. He’s been knocking on the door and it wouldn’t be shocking if he won this week.
Carlos Ortiz ($6,700) heads home to Mexico this week. He’s just a couple of weeks removed from a third-place finish that saw him card an eagle and 17 birdies in Mississippi. We saw a glimpse of his upside on Friday last week. Though he missed the cut, he birdied five of the last 10 holes. There have been 82,305 missed cuts in my database, which goes back to 1990. Only 441 golfers have ever missed the cut with the type of ball-striking (80.6 percent GIR and 78.6 percent fairways in regulation) that Ortiz displayed. He just couldn’t get the putter rolling correctly. If a golfer at that price finds a hot putter with elite ball-striking, you’re looking at a GPP winner.
|Charles Howell III||9500||12.9|
|Si Woo Kim||9200||14.2|
|Cheng Tsung Pan||8100||10.6|
|Meen Whee Kim||6800||1.2|
|Jose De Jesus Rodriguez||6200||0.8|