Our golf expert brings you his preview and predictions for this week's PGA tour event, The World Wide Technology Championship.
World Wide Technologies Championship - Winner
We welcome back El Camaleon for what is usually a mouthwatering market for punters. The course is a relatively short par 71 but one that rewards accuracy from the tee probably more so than any other course on the rota. This narrows down the field for prospective investors and we usually wind up having a few triple figure punts. Paspalum greens is another aspect to consider with Punta Cana and Puerto Rico the two events to look to for some corresponding Paspalum form. This years PGA at Kiawah was played on Paspalum greens also but for folk following that trend into the major weren't overly rewarded. The Sony Open and Heritage are other events to look to where accuracy from the tee is rewarded more than most as well as a nod to some Coastal layouts.
Joaquin Niemann at 50/1 (8 Places)
Joaquin Niemann is available around 50-60/1 this week which looks reasonably generous given he has only missed one cut in 15 months. During that period he has posted three runner up finishes and surely the next trip into the winners enclosure won't be long. For that reason alone the price looks generous. The Chilean on his day is much better than plenty above him in the market and I certainly don't think his recent form warrants a walk to this mark. He was let down in the CJ Cup by his putter and his effort at the Zozo was certainly nothing to worry about. 5th at the Heritage alongside two runner ups in the Sentry and Sony by the coast suggest Niemann's next win could come on one of these seaside tracks that demands a shade more accuracy than most. He isn't among the most accurate but taking his length into consideration he is certainly one of the more consistent performers from the tee. Lay second here after round one last year.
1.5pts each-way J.Niemann 50/1 (1/5 8)
Matt Fitzpatrick at 35/1 (8 Places)
Calmer conditions will suit Matt Fitzpatrick this week and we'll have a few quid at more than triple his price of last week. He went out on the wrong side of the draw last week but still managed a decent 71 during round 1. A fair effort the rest of the week to finish 30th was an ordinary enough result in a poor field. However I did warn this last week that relying on guys around that price in the volatility of the forecasted weather was a dangerous tactic. This week upwards of 40/1 looks much more appealing on a track that suits a fair deal better than last week in Bermuda. Fitzpatrick has accuracy in abundance as we seen when winning at Valderrama a few weeks ago and his distance gain over the last 12 months can be seen as another fair improvement in his game. He should go on to win bigger and better Championships in his career and a win on the PGA Tour can't be far away. This is his first visit to Mayakoba and I see him relishing the test.
1pt each-way M.Fitzpatrick 35/1 (1/5 8)
Mito Pereira at 60/1 (8 Places)
We'll go for a double pronged Chilean attack this week with Mito Pereira. In his short tour career so far he has managed four top 6 finishes. He looks to have the perfect combination of accuracy and distance for a test like this and simply must rely on a better putting effort than recent weeks. He finished 40th and 31st at the Shriners and Sanderson finishing well down the field in putting stats having a poor week on the greens in both events. His long game was absolutely firing as it was at the Fortinet where a small improvement on the greens there would have probably saw him close to winning the event. His start on the tour has been mighty impressive and it'd be no surprise to me should he manage to win early. Having been successful on the Latin American Tour he moved to the Korn Ferry where he managed a win in nearby Colombia winning the Bogata Championship. Add to that a 4th place in the Mexico Championship on the Korn Ferry and with all his experience on the Latino tour he may just feel more at home South of the American Border. Worth chancing at a fair price.
1pt each-way M.Pereira 60/1 (1/5 8)
Graeme McDowell at 150/1 (8 Places)
I'm not surprised the 200/1+ didn't last long about Graeme McDowell but around the 150/1 still looks fairly generous. McDowell's has churned out results in events like these later on in his career and a coastal track always sets up well for the Portrush native. He won here back in 2015 and has since posted a string of ordinary results. Last week was a huge plus though finishing 12th in Bermuda and one must look to his somewhat surprising 4th in Punta Cana earlier in the year where he showed his credentials on Paspalum again having missed three cuts in a row the previous three weeks. McDowell is the type who is a dogged competitor when he gets in the mix and can draw on past experiences. Got his eye in rightly on a tight track and will be quietly confident of a repeat performance, all be it in a stronger field.
1pt each-way G.McDowell 150/1 (1/5 8)
Brice Garnett at 175/1 (8 Places)
It may be difficult to envisage Brice Garnett winning in an event of this quality but it is of no surprise that his sole win on the PGA Tour came in Punta Cana. One of the straightest on the tour he can be relied upon to make the gains off the tee to give him a much better chance compared to other events throughout the year. That is backed up by other results. 6th Wyndham, 11th Heritage, 5th Puerto Rico (this year) and four top 11 performances here in Mayakoba show us this is an event that he peaks for most years. If the field was weaker we'd get a shorter price, but it is still worth taking the chance in a stronger event that he makes the requisite gains to compete over the weekend. 56th at the Sanderson he was let down by a poor putting week whilst the missed cut in the Shriners was all down to a misfiring approach game. This is a first shot golf course, and Garnett at 200/1 is a tasty option to make the frame.
0.75pt each-way B.Garnett 175/1 (1/5 8)
Jimmy Walker at 200/1 (8 Places)
When a golfer loses his game off the tee it is Goodnight Irene. That has been the story for Jimmy Walker over the past couple of years and it's almost impossible to maintain any form. There were glimmers of light this year though especially in the latter half of last season finishing 6th at the Memorial and 11th at the 3M Open. This season has kicked off well enough also finishing 45th in the Sanderson despite losing fair ground off the tee. Last time out he finished inside the top 25 at the Shriners with nothing special happening on the greens. His driving accuracy from the tee has been creeping up gradually over the last 12 months and he may be getting back into a position where he can contend. The driver will be under immense pressure if in contention over the weekend so I'd tread carefully, but there are signs that he may return to the fray sooner rather than later. Two wins at Waialae and a win at Pebble are decent wins to have on the CV for a potential Mayakoba winner.
0.5pt each-way J.Walker 200/1 (1/5 8)