There's a common theme appearing across the golf section of the Twittersphere this week and it's one of the pros - especially the younger ones - very much enjoying the venue of the PGA Tour season finale. The sunny beaches of Cancun, Mexico ,and El Camaleon golf resort to be precise is the location and with the larger prize pool, Fedex Cup points, and exemptions on offer, the players need to get themselves fully focused on the job at hand.
The OHL Classic at Mayakoba was moved to this new slot in the calender last year where Harris English - 23.00 - was the last man standing. The first thing I've noted is the difference in scoring due largely to weather conditions. Fairways and green hit went up approximately 5% from preceding years and El Camaleon actually became one of the easiest rather than the hardest par 71 courses on the schedule.
The Course - El Camaleon
The Greg Norman designed sub 7,000 yard El Camaleon track is described as a tight little coastal gem. It's a par 71, comprising smaller than the average, well protected greens, and with the sea breeze always playing it's part here, there's a premium on ball striking and positional play. Past leaderboards have tended to be dominated by the more accurate or experienced players but with the track playing a little easier due to the schedule change, there's no harm in casting your net further afield. Placing particular attention on Past Sony Open and McGladrey Classic - which was played just a few weeks ago - leaderboards may pay dividends.
Three From the pack
First up is former Mayakoba Golf Classic champ Mark Wilson - 41.00 or 9.00 - who has had a resurgence of form of late. Interestingly it started at Sea Island which I've just made reference to and Wilson is also a former winner of the Sony Open. Indeed, 4 of his five wins barring the Honda Classic have seen an average winning total circa 18 under par. As pointed out on the official site Wilson's last 8 rounds on tour have all been red figures leading to consecutive top 10s. The secret to his recent success has been the wedge game - ranking 1st in GIR% from 75 - 100 yards - and this should stand him in good stead for the El Camaleon test.
John Huh - 51.00 or 11.00 -may be a lot younger but is a player in a very similar mould to Wilson. Noted for his accurate neat and tidy game, Huh is also a former event winner here, having taken the trophy in 2012. Huh has similar recent form figures to Mark with 9/12 under par rounds. His eventual finishing positions don't really portray the fact that he was twice sneakily in contention on the weekends, and that is the reason that I think we are seeing an inflated price.
John Rollins saw the fruits of his labor through three rounds last week where some recent work on his swing and game in general brought back that excellent tee to green weaponry and ball striking ability. With a GIR clip just shy of 80% at the Sanderson's Farms and with the flat stick also behaving, I'm not quite sure why he's very much under the radar this week, especially on a course that places a premium on ball striking. Rollins is a multiple winner on Tour and after regurgitating the taste of victory at the Sanderson Farms, he may well convert this time round if he continues where he left off.
Another man doing a lot of coaching work on his game is Lucas Glover who mentioned in an interview that he feels pretty good about where it's at. It had been a long time since the Clemson man contended for a PGA Tour event so I'm not overly surprised at a Sunday tumble down the leaderboard. What that does mean though is "sleeper" status and a very generous price for us in Mexico. Glover is 8th in the 2015 season ball striking ranks and in my opinion is too big not to have onside at 126.00 or 23.00 the place.