Once again I failed to collect last week and when all three of my suggestions made the cut I felt we were in with a chance – until Mother Nature butted in and made the whole thing a farce thanks to howling winds and driving rains that made a mockery of the sport – and left some players badly disadvantaged in what became little more than a lottery.
This week I am hoping for better weather at the World Wide Technology at Makayoba in Mexico at the El Camaleon course at Play Del Carmen, just South of Cancun for any holidaymakers reading this. A short par 71, coming in at 6,987, it was designed by Greg Norman (who is getting bad press elsewhere), and although I doubt rain has an impact, wind is an issue here – though it is fairly consistent if nothing else. Trees line the fairways but step in to the rough and it gets pretty punishing very quickly, and with smaller than average greens to aim at, accurate drives will be far more important than length off the tee. Add in some horrendous bunkers (which I am willing to bet I would find without an issue), and make no mistake – this is a serious golfing test for the $7.2 million in total prize fund.
Selections with reasoning:
***NOTE*** Different bookmakers are offering different each way terms so do shop around – and make sure you only partake non-runner no bet – covid has seen last minute withdrawals all season and we don’t want to be throwing money away. DO shop around for best odds and best place terms and any special offers with the bookmakers to steal the most value, and DO check the exchanges for bigger prices – I can’t put them on here as cast in stone as they differ by the minute and Betfair prices quoted are as indicators only and were correct at the time of writing.
1pt each way Abraham Ancer 16/1 Boylesports top 10 places (20.0 Betfair)
Horses for courses time once again and the 30 year old Mexican will have the benefit of plenty of support here which has to be a bonus. The course suits him down to the ground with distance less important than accuracy, and with three top 12 finishes here in his last four visits, he looks to have an outstanding chance of a top ten finish here. Although quiet lately, he finished 2020 in fifth place for driving accuracy which tells its own story, and makes him my number one pick this week – though he is priced accordingly I suppose. A win in the World Golf Championships will have told him what we all knew – that he can mix it with the best on his day – and add a second in the Wells Fargo and a fourth in the Travelers and he is having his best year by a long long way.
1pt Each Way Billy Horschel 33/1 William Hill top 8 places (40.0 Betfair)
Fifth here last year, and eighth the year before, if he can repeat either of those then we will and our place bets at the very least. This season has seen a win in the BMW Championship and better still, he ranks seventh in the last three months for strokes gained – period – and that is a stat every player would like to have on their CV. Officially, this is his USPGA debut for the season but he has been playing in Europe instead and will arrive here fighting fit. He may even (dare I say it), find these conditions fairly blissful compared to the likes of Wentworth, and at 33/1, he is certainly overpriced.
1pt each way Carlos Ortiz 70/1 Paddy Power top 8 places (85.0 Betfair) As keen as I am on the chances of Abraham Ancer, his record here isn’t as good as his fellow Mexican, yet he trades at a quarter of the price. Eighth two year agos, and runner-up last time, he comes alive here, and although I confess he is not the most consistent golfer on show, he has his moments in the spotlight and is another who will be cheered on by the home supporters. Fourteenth on the tour for GIR (Greens In Regulation), that stat alone suggests he can do well at this tight track, though his putter needs to be awoken from its recent slumbers for him to have a realistic chance.