The OHL Classic at Mayakoba at El Camaleon GC is the next stop on the PGA TOUR. Graeme McDowell returns to defend his title from a year ago.
El Camaleon GC is a par-71 layout of 6,987 yards, which is not long at all by modern standards. It features three par 5s, four par 3s and 11 par 4s. While we have nine years of history at this venue, it’s important to note that success at El Camaleon GC often parallels success in the RBC Heritage.
The nine previous winners of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba are Fred Funk (2007), Brian Gay (2008), Mark Wilson (2009), Cameron Beckman (2010), Johnson Wagner (2011), John Huh (2012), Harris English (2013), Charley Hoffman (2014) and Graeme McDowell (2015).
The outlier of that bunch would be Charley Hoffman. He’s long and a little wilder off the tee than many of the other winners. However, Hoffman has also been quite strong in the RBC Heritage, thus explaining his inclusion. While he isn’t featured in the below power ranking for several reasons, Luke Donald would be a guy to keep an eye on with the Hilton Head connection.
As a general rule, the stat geeks in the crowd will want to take a look at driving accuracy and SG:Putting. The formula is keep the ball in play and make a few putts. Length really doesn’t matter.
With that as the backdrop, here we go with this week’s ranking!
1. Russell Knox – A couple of top 10s to start the 2016-17 season line up well with a T2 last year in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He’s a strong ball-striker, so it all comes down to the flat stick.
2. Jon Rahm – This could be the big one for the young stud. He snared a top 10 last year in this event and has back-to-back top-15 finishes ushering him into this week.
3. Jim Furyk – First trip to El Camaleon GC, but his game is a perfect fit for this course. This will be his first start of the 2016-17 season. If he had any positive course history or current form from which to study, he could have potentially risen to the top of this ranking.
4. Keegan Bradley – After a disappointing 2015-16, Bradley is off to a much more promising start to 2016-17. He has back-to-back top 10s entering this week to go with a T8 at Mayakoba last year.
5. Chris Kirk – While he is a rookie in this event, he is one of the higher-class players in the field who already has a runner-up in the new season.
6. Harris English – Any time a past champion enters a tournament off a T4 in his most recent event, that person is dangerous. English is hard to peg week-to-week, thus the slight fade outside of the top five.
7. John Huh – In four past trips to El Camaleon GC, Johnny Question Mark as a win and two other top 30s. Perhaps most enticing, Huh posted a top 10 last week in Vegas.
8. Charles Howell III – While we are thrown out nicknames, Chucky Three Sticks has a quiet MC-T39-T15 trend going in 2016-17. He has made six of seven cuts in this event, with five top 20s to just one top 10. That’s about par for CH3’s career on a number of courses.
9. Johnson Wagner – The past champion (2011) is usually off more than he is on. While Wagner missed the cut last week, he did have a T3 in the Safeway Open. Throw in a T8 last year at El Camaleon GC, and the smoke signals look good.
10. Derek Fathauer – Already has a T3 and a T15 on his ledger in 2016-17 and enjoyed a fourth-place finish in this event last year.
11. Aaron Wise – Earned his way into the field with a tie for 10th in Vegas last week. While he lacks the sizzle some of the recent college studs trying to earn their way on TOUR without status possess, he has similar talent.
12. Graeme McDowell – While he missed the cut in his most recent start leading into this event, he had some nice starts on the European Tour over the last month. His win in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba was a bit of a surprise, as his only other start here produced a T63 in ’07.
13. Jason Bohn – While he’s not played all that well since his heart attack earlier in 2016, he is back to making some cuts. He’s on this list because of incredible course history at Mayakoba. Went T3-T7-T2 in his last three trips to El Camaleon GC.
14. Kevin Streelman – Current form is a mixed bag, but he can hang his hat on being 3-for-3 with a T3 in 2009 on this layout.
15. Brian Stuard – Another course horse, as he’s made all three of his cuts in this event with two runner-ups, but his current form is horrible.
Best of luck to all this week!