World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba Odds: Justin Thomas The Clear Favorite
World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba Odds: Justin Thomas The Clear Favorite
After a bizarre week in Bermuda, where travel and weather wreaked havoc on the field, we return to Mexico, where the week should be much smoother.
This week it is the turn of the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, formerly known as the Mayakoba Golf Classic, and a stellar field has assembled. Defending Champion, Viktor Hovland is joined by top-10 players, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau, World No.11, Brooks Koepka and home favourite, Abraham Ancer. The secondary list of players is not bad either. Ryder Cup standout, Scottie Scheffler, 2020/21 Rookie of the Year, Will Zalatoris, 2021 MGC Match Play and victor on the European Tour, Billy Horschel and one of last week’s runners-up, Patrick Reed bring a strong American contingent, while Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry and Sergio Garcia will try to ensure a European victory.
This event moved from its original February shot, to mid-November in 2013, as part of a move that saw it become part of the wraparound season, making it an early event of the new season each year.
Given the strength of field this year, which may surprise a few, this projects to be the best tournament remaining in 2021.
World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba Odds
How to watch the World Wide Technology Championship
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Qualifying criteria for the World Wide Technology Championship field
- Major Winners
- WGC Winners
- Winner of Arnold Palmer, Genesis or Memorial (last 3 years)
- Tournament winner (past 2 seasons)
- Career Money Exemption
- Sponsor Exemptions
- Past Champion
- Top-125 from last season’s FedEx Cup
- Major Medical Extension
- Leading Points Winner from Korn Ferry Tour & KFT Finals
- Three-time winner from Korn Ferry Tour
- Top 50 Finishers Korn Ferry Tour Finals Category (2021)
Last Year's World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
Viktor Hovland secured his second PGA Tour title here 12 months ago, adding to his Puerto Rico Open win earlier in the year.
Hovland drained a 10-foot birdie putt on his 72nd hole to deny Aaron Wise a chance to play him in a playoff, securing a one-stroke victory. It looked like it could have been more comfortable for him at one stage, as he made the turn on Sunday holding a two-stroke hold, but he butchered a chip from the right-hand side of the green on No.12 and Wise had just birdied to tie him. Adam Long also birdied 13 to give a three-way tie.
Long didn’t last though, putting his tee shot in trees on 17 and eventually finishing in a tie for 3rd with fellow American, Tom Hoge.
Hovland’s bogey on 13 was his first and only dropped shot of the day, and that was actually his first bogey since his opening hole on Saturday, so he played very well over the weekend. He did look likely to drop another on Hole 16 when his second shot found the sand, but he made a crucial par-save and Wise’s 15-feet birdie putt on the last just missed. Despite a bogey-free 63 from Wise, Hovland held on with the clutch putts on 16 and 18, showing exactly what it takes to emerge victorious in the toughest situations.
The World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba Favorites
Justin Thomas (+1200)
Justin Thomas has played here on two occasions, finishing T12 and T23 and he will be coming into the event hoping to piece all facets of his game together for the first time in a while. When Thomas was striking the ball so well, he couldn’t buy a putt and when his putting improved, his ball-striking wasn’t as strong. This will be why he’s only finished inside the top-5 twice since winning the PLAYERS Championship, one of which one came in a 30-man field. He is capable of winning any week and his course form suggests he could return to the Winners’ Circle here.
Viktor Hovland (+1800)
Hovland made his debut in this event back in 2018 and while he missed the cut that week, and on his subsequent return in 2019, he found himself hoisting the trophy 12 months ago. Both times he missed the cut, he did so on the number and with rounds of 67 and 68 across those two starts, it’s probably fair to assume this is a good layout for him. Now firmly one of the best players in this field, it will be interesting to see how he copes with being the defending champion, as well as one of the best in the field. T18 last time out at the CJ Cup, with fellow favourite, Justin Thomas, both players enjoyed a decent week last time out. Hovland won on the European Tour earlier in the season but he will hope to add another PGA Tour title before the year is out.
Abraham Ancer (+2500)
I have been critical of Abraham Ancer in the past, as I have always thought he let himself down in contention, but further investigation suggests that was unfair.
Ancer eventually broke his duck at the WGC St Jude, an emphatic way to get your first victory but four runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour preceded that. The first came at The Northern Trust in 2019, when finishing runner-up to Patrick Reed, who started the final round a stroke ahead and stayed there. At the American Express in January 2020, he finished 2nd but was 6th going into Sunday and six shots behind, closing the gap to two strokes with a strong finish. The Heritage was the one that stuck out for me as he co-led going into the final round, but again when you look, he shot 64-65-65 in his final three rounds and Simpson had to shoot 64 to win. When that happens, you just got beat as opposed to doing too much wrong. His most recent came at the Wells Fargo when five strokes back after 54-holes, but again he took a step forward on the Sunday and only came up one shot shy of Rory McIlroy.
Since his win at the St Jude, he’s had finishes of T9, T11 and T14, with the latter coming at the CJ Cup, so he’s showing no signs of resting on his laurels. He was 3rd going into the final round at the CJ Cup and just three strokes back, but a final round 71 saw him slip back to 14th. Rounds of 65 and 63 that week give reason for optimism as he returns home, to a course he’s played well in the past.
After a slow start here in 2020, he posted rounds of 67-65-66 to climb into a tie for 12th and that added to two top-9’s and a T21 finish here in the past. Expect a good showing again.
Tony Finau (+2500)
Two top-8 finishes alongside a T16 outweigh two missed cuts here, and now a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, Tony Finau will no doubt be hungry for more. Finau has been criticised for years, for not being able to follow up his Puerto Rico Open victory from 2016 but he hit back in emphatic fashion winning the Northern Trust in a playoff against Cameron Smith.
His results since haven’t been great any means but he did follow up the win with a T15 the next week at the BMW Championship. Since though, he has been T24 out of 30 players in the 72-hole scoring at the Tour Championship and then T45 at the CJ Cup, out of 77 players. He did finish the week with a round of 65 though, giving him some positive energy going into this event.
Billy Horschel (+2800)
Now a more global player, Billy Horschel has been enjoying his time over on the European Tour in recent seasons, and this year managed to win the flagship event there, the BMW PGA Championship. He was T36 at the Dunhill Links on his next start, but this will be his first start on the PGA Tour this season.
Horschel has played here four times, missing the cut on his debut, but finished 21st, 8th and 5th since. There’s every reason to believe he can win here this week, making it a three-win season, there just might not be enough juice in the price for everybody.
Brooks Koepka (+3200)
Since going T4-T5-T6 across the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship and the Open Championship, it’s been far from plain sailing for the four-time major champion.
His best finish since came when T22 in a 70-man field at the BMW Championship, so Koepka will be looking to take some form into 2022 before the year is out.
Two starts here have yielded two missed cuts and that’s not particularly encouraging, nor is his current form, but there’s always reason to expect Brooks to go well. He tends to be the type to remind us of his quality, when either we least expect it or at the biggest of events, so a win here would fit his profile.
He won the Phoenix Open earlier this year, off the back of three-straight cuts starting here at the Mayakoba and in his two opening events of the year, so it will be interesting to see if he can overcome poor course and current form. His missed cut last year was on the number, and the other came back in 2013 before he really announced himself on the world stage, and even then that was by just two strokes. His Phoenix Open win may have come when out of form but he had already won there in the past, so that was a good course for him, this one hasn’t been thus far.
The Course - World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
El Camaleon, Mayakoba Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Length: 7,017 Yards
Designer: Greg Norman
Greens: Paspalum Greens (Slow)
Course Record: 61 (Roland Thatcher, 2008)
Notes: Just once in the history of this tournament has the winner ended the week more than two shots clear (Harris English, 4 strokes in 2013), and the last four renewals have been won by a single stroke.
Correlating Courses & Events
Sony Open in Hawaii
Four players have won both the Mayakoba and Sony Open. These players are, Matt Kuchar, Patton Kizzire, Mark Wilson and Johnson Wager.
Harris English has a win here, and three top-9 finishes at the Sony.
Brian Gay has a win here, and three top-10 finishes at the Sony.
Robert Allenby has finished 2nd in both events.
Brian Stuard has twice been 2nd at this event, and he has four top-8 finishes at the Sony Open.
Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship
Graeme McDowell won here in 2015 and won the Corales in 2019.
Brice Garnett who has an exceptional record here, with three top-7’s, also won the Corales back in 2018.
Joel Dahmen won the Corales, and ranks inside the top-10 here in terms of course form. A 6th place finish and two top-23 place finishes at this course and no missed cuts in four starts suggests a nice correlation between the two courses.
Puerto Rico Open
Viktor Hovland has won both events.
Danny Lee finished 2nd both here and the Puerto Rico Open.
Johnson Wagner has won here and finished 2nd at the Puerto Rico Open in 2019.
CIMB Classic (until 2018 as Paspalum Greens were replaced before 2018)
Pat Perez won the 2017 CIMB Classic a year after winning this event.
The man Perez beat in this event in 2016, Gary Woodland also had two runner-up finishes at the CIMB Classic.
Justin Thomas has won the CIMB Classic twice and played well here with two top-23 finishes
Brian Gay and Brendon Todd have won both events.
Aaron Wise who has finished 2nd and 10th here, also finished T3 in Bermuda in 2019.
Ryan Armour finished 4th here in 2007, and finished T8 twice in Bermuda.
Matt Kuchar has a win and two 2nd’s at Harbour Town and won here three years ago.
Brian Gay has won both events.
Graeme McDowell has won both events.
Abraham Ancer has three top-12 finishes here, and was runner-up at this year’s RBC Heritage.
Other events worthy of consideration
St Jude Classic
Before this event was upgraded to a WGC, it was a regular season event that Harris English, who has won here, won in 2013.
Brian Gay has won here and at TPC Southwind, the host course of the St Jude Classic.
Ellie Mae/Stonebrae Classic
This one seems like more of a stretch, but there is some interesting links.
Martin Piller won the Ellie Mae Classic in 2017, beating Brandon Harkins by one stroke, and finished T4 here later in the year. Harkins was also T25 that week despite falling out of contention after a third-round 75, when sitting in 4th place going into the final round.
Si Woo Kim won the Stonebrae in 2015 and was 3rd here in 2015.
Finau beat Fabian Gomez in this event in 2015 with both playing well either here or in correlating events.
Russell Knox has been extremely solid here with three-straight top-9 finishes in the past, and he was 2nd at the Stonebrae.
Key Stats - World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
SG OTT & Driving Accuracy
There’s not too much to this short, coastal course apart from the obvious, but there are hazards to find off the tee, so it would pay for players to club down here, find the fairways and avoid the various traps. With water in play on 9 holes, tight out of bounds and even a cenote in the centre of one fairway, accuracy trumps distance.
Proximity to the hole (100-125 Yards)
You could possibly extend this to 150 yards, but there will be multiple approaches from this range, so players’ wedge play will come to the fore here. Find those players that can circle the flagstick with their approaches when holding a short club.
Par-4 Scoring and Birdie or Better %
While the Par-5’s are all reachable and the aim would be to get your scoring done there, it’s the performances on the Par-4’s here which have stood out in the winners’ profile.
Hovland ranked T1 in Par-4 scoring last year with 3rd place finisher, Adam Long. Brendon Todd and Vaughn Taylor who finished 1st and 2nd in this event the year before tied for 1st in Par-4 scoring that week. Matt Kuchar led the field in this department when winning as did Patton Kizzire, and Pat Perez ranked 2nd, so the past five winners have all led or finished 2nd on the par-4’s the week they won.
Hovland made 25 birdies and an eagle last year, while Aaron Wise who finished 2nd made 22 birdies and two eagles so you need to go low to contend here.
Incoming Form (Last 8 weeks)
Top-10 for adjusted score average in this event and their results.
- Matthew Wolff - 17-2
- Talor Gooch - 4-11-5
- Aaron Wise - 26-8-5
- Tyrrell Hatton - MC-2-18
- Patrick Rodgers - 6-MC-4
- Brendan Steele - 42-17-MC-2
- Martin Laird - MC-11
- Justin Thomas - 18
- Gary Woodland - MC-9
- Russell Henley - 21-25
Course Form (15 Years)
Top-10 for adjusted score average in this event and their results.
- Adam Long - 2-3
- Rickie Fowler - 2-16-MC
- Dylan Frittelli - 11
- Anirban Lahiri - 28-14-10
- Emiliano Grillo - 10-9-15-41-8
- Matt Kuchar - 18-3-68-1-14
- Brice Garnett - MC-6-7-25-5-11-32
- Joel Dahmen - 23-41-6-20
- Viktor Hovland - MC-MC-1
- Justin Thomas - 23-12
Past World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba Champions (Last 10 Years)
- 2020 - Viktor Hovland
- 2019 - Brendon Todd
- 2018 - Matt Kuchar
- 2017 - Patton Kizzire
- 2016 - Pat Perez
- 2015 - Graeme McDowell
- 2014 - Charley Hoffman
- 2013 - Harris English
- 2012 - John Huh
- 2011 - Johnson Wagner
Early World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba Leans
Abraham Ancer (+2500)
There’s not much more to say on Ancer’s chances, on top of what was written above in the “Favourites” section. He’s up there for a reason, and that’s because he’s been one of the more solid operators on the PGA Tour in recent seasons, and with that recent win in the bag, in a field stronger than this, Ancer can finally provide this event with a home winner.
Ancer is one of the most accurate players off the tee, and hits his irons well when in form, so I fully expect the Mexican to impress in front of his home fans. Winning this would no doubt mean a lot to him, and now he’s got a win elsewhere on the PGA Tour, he may just feel freed up this week should he find himself in contention.
With the likes of Thomas, Hovland, Finau, and Koepka, plus a plethora of other talented players in the field, we may just get the price we want on Ancer, who looks capable of doubling his PGA Tour tally sooner rather than later.
Aaron Wise (+3200)
I have long marked this as a potential site for Aaron Wise’s second win, and he came so close last year, just missing the birdie putt on the last to force a playoff with Viktor Hovland.
That was his second top-10 here (T10 in 2018) and I fully expect him to go well at an event that clearly suits. Even when he’s missed the cut here it’s either been on the number or by two, and considering his form dipped severely, that’s not the end of the world. His form is now looking more akin to 2018 when he finished the season as Rookie of the Year, winning the Byron Nelson in the process.
He doesn’t have much correlating form, but T3 and T26 finishes in Bermuda boost the case slightly, and given his strong course and current form it doesn’t take much for me to rate his chances.
He was T5 at the CJ Cup where we also backed him, and that was the last in the line of six-straight made cuts, which included back-to-back top-8 finishes. He’s a prime candidate for a strong season, and he can get it off to a winning start in Mexico.
Russell Knox (+8000)
Russell Knox hit the most greens in the field last week (77.78%), along with our outright selection, Adam Hadwin and considering they were both in the worst part of the draw, I am really encouraged by what Knox did in particular. He is a bigger price than he was last week based on the field strength, but his course form here is exceptional, with a 2nd, a 3rd and a 9th, no missed cuts in 8 efforts and no finishes worse than 37th.
Were he on the right side of the draw last week, he would have surely finished better than 12th and with three top-29 finishes in his last six starts, it looks like Knox is getting his mojo back. There are not many places I feel confident in backing Knox for victory, given his more traditional style of play, but this event fits perfectly.
2nd and 9th place finishes at the Heritage give further confidence, as does his 2nd place finish at the Korn Ferry Tour event in Stonebrae, which seems to appeal to similar golfers.
Adam Long (+10000)
Adam Long has two starts here and he’s finished 2nd and 3rd. With the increased depth in the field this week that may be hard to repeat, but he’s certainly worth chancing given his course and current form alongside his long odds (excuse the pun!)
Long held off the challenge of Phil Mickelson to win for the first time at the Desert Classic, and Jon Rahm finished 7th that week as well, so he’s not scared to go against the big guns, and he’ll need to do that again this week.
As mentioned previously, Long did tie the lead on the back-nine here last year but a costly tee shot on 17 scuppered his chances of victory. With that said, it’s not easy to finish inside the top-3 anywhere on your first two starts on a course, and that’s what he has done here. Long is worth chancing at big odds, and should be considered for some prop bets, including the top-10 market.
Others to consider at World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
Nate Lashley (+20000)
Another like Adam Long that should probably be played in the top-10 and top-20 market, but has an outside chance of contending is Nate Lashley. Lashley is already a winner on the PGA Tour, having shocked the field when Monday Qualifying into the Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2019 and parlaying that into a win.
Lashley was someone I hoped would play last week, given his previous in correlating events but that form still stacks up nicely this week. Lashley won the Corales when still a Korn Ferry event in 2017, and finished 4th in 2020 when on the PGA Tour schedule. Add these two finishes to his T5 at Pebble Beach and T8 finish in Puerto Rico and it suggests he likes a coastal test.
16th, 17th and 35th in his last three events, Lashley has impressed so far to open the season, and in 12 rounds he has only shot over 70 once to start the season. Now on a course that is the best suited of the four he’s played this year, it would be no surprise to see Lashley in the mix over the weekend, coming off the back of a nice 66 to close out the Shriners on his last start.
J.J Spaun (+20000)
J.J Spaun finished T7 last week, parlayed that into a start here, and he returns to a golf course he’s had success on in the past. Five starts here have resulted in five made cuts, and his first three finishes read 28-14-3. His efforts the past two years haven’t been great (80-65) but he was out of form going into both renewals. 68-35-7 in three starts this season, Spaun is on the ascent and on a course much more suitable for him, he can excel. Spaun’s 3rd here, 2nd at the RSM, 6th at the Heritage and 7th in Bermuda last week all point towards success on this type of course.
Brian Gay (+30000)
For the same reasons I liked him last week, I think Brian Gay makes appeal at what look huge odds here. Four of his five wins have come at relevant courses, with his first coming here in 2008, followed by wins at the Heritage, the St Jude Classic and the Bermuda Championship and he has great finishes at others as well. Four or five times a year Gay has a chance to win, and all the time he’s still contending on those courses, you should look to him on these. T12 last week from the hard side of the draw was impressive and if the wind, rain and poor travel hasn’t taken its toll, this is a good spot again at massive odds.
The Field at World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
* Four Monday Qualifiers still TBD
- Abraham Ancer
- Juan Carlos Benitez
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout
- Jonas Blixt
- Keegan Bradley
- Joseph Bramlett
- Joel Dahmen
- Samuel Del Val
- Thomas Detry
- Roberto Díaz
- Luke Donald
- Tyler Duncan
- JD Fernandez
- Tony Finau
- Matt Fitzpatrick
- Rickie Fowler
- Dylan Frittelli
- Sergio Garcia
- Brice Garnett
- Brian Gay
- Doug Ghim
- Talor Gooch
- Emiliano Grillo
- Bill Haas
- Adam Hadwin
- James Hahn
- Brian Harman
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Russell Henley
- Kramer Hickok
- Garrick Higgo
- Charley Hoffman
- Tom Hoge
- Billy Horschel
- Viktor Hovland
- Charles Howell III
- John Huh
- Stephan Jaeger
- Zach Johnson
- Matt Jones
- Sung Kang
- Chris Kirk
- Patton Kizzire
- Russell Knox
- Brooks Koepka
- Kelly Kraft
- Matt Kuchar
- Anirban Lahiri
- Martin Laird
- Andrew Landry
- Nate Lashley
- Hank Lebioda
- Danny Lee
- Luke List
- Adam Long
- Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra
- Shane Lowry
- Willie Mack III
- Peter Malnati
- Denny McCarthy
- Graeme McDowell
- Maverick McNealy
- Troy Merritt
- Guido Migliozzi
- Keith Mitchell
- Francesco Molinari
- Ryan Moore
- Trey Mullinax
- Joaquin Niemann
- Alex Noren
- Henrik Norlander
- Carlos Ortiz
- Ryan Palmer
- C.T. Pan
- Taylor Pendrith
- Mito Pereira
- Pat Perez
- Scott Piercy
- J.T. Poston
- Ian Poulter
- Seamus Power
- Andrew Putnam
- Aaron Rai
- Chez Reavie
- Doc Redman
- Patrick Reed
- David Riley
- Justin Rose
- Sam Ryder
- Rory Sabbatini
- Scottie Scheffler
- Adam Schenk
- Charl Schwartzel
- Greyson Sigg
- Roger Sloan
- Brandt Snedeker
- J.J. Spaun
- Scott Stallings
- Kyle Stanley
- Brendan Steele
- Henrik Stenson
- Sepp Straka
- Kevin Streelman
- Brian Stuard
- Adam Svensson
- Hudson Swafford
- Nick Taylor
- Justin Thomas
- Curtis Thompson
- Michael Thompson
- Brendon Todd
- Martin Trainer
- Cameron Tringale
- Kevin Tway
- Harold Varner III
- Jhonattan Vegas
- Camilo Villegas
- Jimmy Walker
- Nick Watney
- Richy Werenski
- Vincent Whaley
- Danny Willett
- Aaron Wise
- Matthew Wolff
- Gary Woodland
- Will Zalatoris