Preview: Mayakoba Golf Classic

Jungle, Quarry and Beach.

All in 18 holes.


Mayakoba Golf Classic

El Camaleon Golf Club

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Yards (per official scorecard):7,017
Par:71 (36-35)
Greens:Sea Isle 1 Paspalum; 7,000 square feet.
Rough:Sea Isle 1 Paspalum; 1.5 inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards36/canals running throughout the property.
Architects:Greg Norman (2006).
Course Record:61; Roland Thatcher (2008).
Defending Champion:Brendon Todd (20-under).
Fact of the Week:The last six winners are over 30.
Fact of the Week II:14th edition; no repeat or multiple winners.


  • Field of 132
  • Late autumn for the seventh consecutive year.
  • Top 65 and ties play the weekend.

2020-2021  Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz*
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details and angles for this week.

Previous Winners:

YearWinner Comment
2019Brendon Todd-20Won by a shot on Monday; best previous finish here was T49.
2018Matt Kuchar-22Tournament record and 26 birdies.
2017Patton Kizzire-19Only first-time winner since the move to autumn.
2016Pat Perez-21Gary Woodland set all the records but Perez won the tournament.
2015Graeme McDowell-18Only recent playoff winner as he knocked out bombers Jason Bohn and Russell Knox.

Facts and Figures:

Tournament Record:262 (-22); Matt Kuchar, 2015.
Course Record: 
Lowest Rounds – Last Year62; Danny Lee, Round 1; Matt Kuchar, Round 4. Neither are entered this week. 63;
Defending Champion(s) Event:13 events, 13 different champions.
Multiple Winners (entered):Nope.  
Oldest  Winner:50; Fred Funk (2007).
Youngest Winner:22; John Huh (2012).
First Time – TOUR:Only Kizzire since the move to autumn.
First Time – EventHuh.
Odd Fact:Best finish for a defending champion is T12.

Quick Thoughts

This is it. Finish line in site. Holiday break beckons for both US and the players!

Winners win here recently. Too many distractions on and off the course. Last year heading into the final round, the only two players in the top 10 who had never won on TOUR were the Ortiz brothers.

Winners win here because there is enough risk-reward to risk and not be rewarded. Guys who have closed the deal can sit around and wait for others to hit it in the jungle or in the water.

Go look up the ages of the winners this fall. Easily mid 30s.

Making pars from out of position isn’t a bad deal. Forcing it will lead to big numbers here.

Par-3 scoring here is the easiest on TOUR so another feather in the cap for iron players.

Big knockers need not apply. Check out that list of winners above and point out which one will win the long drive contest. Keep it between the mangroves!

Chalk – Betting Favorites ( under 33-1

Justin Thomas (+650): He’s the best player in the field but how often does that guy win? Oh, right, at the Masters, when Dustin Johnson did it. He was my play at Augusta and finished fourth. T23 in his only appearance during his rookie year and put all four rounds 70 or better.

Brooks Koepka (+1200): Questions about his knee and hip were answered with T5 in Houston and T7 at Augusta National. The angle in these  “off-week” events is he DGAF and that never leaves the back of my mind.  First appearance.

Harris English (+1600): 3rd on the all-time money list and former champion, English needed a sponsor’s exemption last year to get in. He opened 65-64 and cashed solo fifth. Picked up his third top 10 in five tries at RSM.

Abraham Ancer (+1800): He’s 38-under in his last three visits, best of anyone. He’s ready and so am I.

Daniel Berger (+1800): Super steady run of golf has stretched an entire year. No top 10 in his last five events and hasn’t played in a month.

Tony Finau (+2000): Only win came on Paspalum in Puerto Rico but the bomber profile doesn’t fit here. T8 at the US Open and going the wrong direction since.

Viktor Hovland (+2200): Guess who else won in Puerto Rico? He also hasn’t MC in 16 straight. Something has to give this week as he’s 0-2 at El Camaleon.

Russell Henley (+2200): 10 made cuts, 15 rounds in the 60s, 15 bogey-free rounds and 62-under this fall. I mean.

Corey Conners (+2200): Last four on TOUR are T10, T10, T24 and T8. Closed 66-64 last time out. 14 rounds in the 60s. Giddy up.

Rickie Fowler (+2500): Have name, will travel. Great course form is trumped by not contending for 10 months. Hard pass especially at these odds.

Select Next Tier (33-1 and up)

Will Zalatoris (+3300): Not going to be many more times to get him around this number, especially if he squirts our another top 10. Five starts, three top 10s and all T16 or better. Nibbles for sure.

Joaquin Niemann (+3500): Missed the Masters (COVID-19) but knocked the rust off last week closing 66-70-65 so he’s back. Ball-striking machine should have it figured out in his third consecutive trip to Mexico.

Billy Horschel (+4000): I’m not sure shoot outs are his strength but four of his last eight rounds here are 66 or better. Interesting.

Marc Leishman (+4500): This is his time of season. He’s getting a nibble from me after his very steady Masters performance.

Carlos Ortiz (+4500): Won his last time out in Houston and his coronation all week long in his native land should be enjoyed to the maximum. Pass.

Brendon Todd (+4500): Broken toe still bugging him? Too much history in the wrong direction here as past champions don’t thrive and neither do defending champions.

Adam Long (+5000): 10 consecutive rounds at 70 or better on TOUR and solo fifth at Punta Cana. Did everything but win here last year.

Charles Howell III (+6000): Eight of nine paydays in the top 25.

Emiliano Grillo (+6000): 2nd Puerto Rico and 2nd CIMB on his resume, both Paspalum. Last year was the first in four outside T15 here. Yes.

MY PEOPLE – Top 20 or Each Way Tickets

Patton Kizzire (+7000): Wow, boiling hot form and a previous winner here. What’s the catch?

Russell Knox (+7000): Course horse but all-or-nothing form has the same number as Kizzire?

Chez Reavie (+7000): Another top 20 play for me as he’s 47-under in his last four years.

Scott Piercy (+7500): Five straight, likes a bit of coastal golf. T26 or better in his last four here.

John Huh (+10000): Former champ rolls in on back-to-back T23 or better.

Sepp Straka (+10000): 14 rounds in the 60s and 21 under-par total rounds. He’ll need four more this week.

Doug Ghim (+10000): Four of five in the top 25 this season.

Brice Garnett (+12500): If he’s going to break thru, this is the place. Giddy up.

Brian Stuard (+12500): Perfect fit off the tee.

JJ Spaun (+20000): Course horse, get lucky.

Roger Sloan (+20000): T32 or better in his last three starts.

I’ll have others at

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me

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