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Our in-form PGA Tour expert turns his thoughts to Mexico for the next event of the Fall season.
This is the fifth of the seven Fall Series events
A Tiger Woods design is being used on the PGA TOUR for the first time
Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg is the betting favorite
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World Wide Technology Championship Picks and Predictions
Akshay Bhatia each-way at +3300 (1/4 1-5) with bet365
Luke List to beat Davis Thompson over 72 holes at -110 with bet365
Emiliano Grillo for Top 10 at +320 with DraftKings Sportsbook
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After a week off following the long-haul flight to Japan for the ZOZO Championship won by Collin Morikawa, the PGA TOUR pitches up in Mexico.
The World Wide Technology Championship is a staple on the calendar but this week’s course is not.
Regular host El Camaleon was a Greg Norman design so, with money talking, the Mayakoba venue has been added to the LIV Golf roster.
But that has opened the door for welcome new ground: the first Tiger Woods design to be used on the PGA TOUR.
Tiger’s creation - El Cardonal at Diamante in Los Cabos - is a par 72 that can play over 7,400 yards.
It’s set by the ocean and, with the resort golfer in mind, features wide fairways, no rough and huge putting surfaces.
Scoring should be low this week, especially as the course’s main defense, the wind, doesn’t look troublesome.
Woods isn’t yet fit to play but he’ll be watching on to see how the field fares in this fifth of the seven Fall Series events.
For those trying to secure full playing privileges for 2024 by finishing in the top 125 in the FedExCup standings, the clock is ticking.
|Year||Champion and winning score|
|2022||Russell Henley (United States) -23|
|2021||Viktor Hovland (Norway) -23|
|2020||Viktor Hovland (Norway) -20|
|2019||Brendon Todd (United States) -20|
|2018||Matt Kuchar (United States) -22|
El Cardonal is a par 72 measuring 7,452 yards from the tips
The course, set by the coast, features four par 5s
Tiger Woods designed the resort course which has no rough
The layout has wide fairways and huge paspalum-covered greens
Sunny conditions are forecast and breezes will be light
In these weaker Fall Series events, Aberg continually finds himself at the top of the odds sheet and that’s do with his recent stellar play rather than the alphabet. The Swede, who made his Ryder Cup debut just over a month ago, has a win, a second, a fourth and three other top 15s in his last six worldwide starts. This is his first appearance in Mexico.
Young didn’t make the US Ryder Cup team - perhaps they could have done with him - so this is his first start since August’s BMW Championship in Illinois. That creates guesswork about his sharpness while he hasn’t pegged it up on Mexican turf either. He’s a class act but there are some imponderables.
The popular Theegala has connected four top 20s on the PGA Tour and the second of those was his breakthrough victory in September’s Fortinet Championship in California. He putted the lights out there and, with room off the tee here, this course should suit. He posted tied 24th in the Mexico Open on his last start in the country.
One big clue this week is that we’re by the ocean and the grass is the typical seaside strain of paspalum.
Not everyone comes to terms with it but one man who does is Akshay Bhatia.
The 21-year-old talent is already a PGA TOUR winner after landing July’s Barracuda Championship in California.
After a fairly inevitable post-win dip, he’s picked up again in the last two starts with 35th in the Shriners Childrens Open and 21st in Japan’s ZOZO Championship.
Now to Bhatia’s big selling point: his stellar record in events played in tropical climes on paspalum grass.
Taking into account both PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry events, in his last six starts on paspalum surfaces he has a win, a second, a fourth, a seventh and a 24th.
Also fourth in the Mexico Open the last time he crossed the border, Bhatia looks a great each-way bet at 33/1 with bet365.
We landed the 72-hole match bet in Japan as Keegan Bradley got the better of Adam Scott.
This week in Mexico I’m going to back Luke List to outshine Davis Thompson.
List has found a real burst of form, winning the Sanderson Farms Championship last month and logging top 25s at the Fortinet and Shriners either side.
He’s also got a strong record in events played on paspalum with top 15s in this event, the Corales Puntacana Championship, the Puerto Rico Open and the CIMB Classic.
Thompson is ticking over quite nicely but List has outscored him in all three Fall events they’ve contested so far.
His record on paspalum is also inferior, Thompson missing two of his three cuts on this terrain.
Bet365 makes this a pick ‘em at -110 but it’s List who holds the aces.
Beau Hossler won us the Top 10 cash at +300 after his second place in Japan and I’ll play the same market here in Mexico.
Carrying our money this time in Emiliano Grillo.
The Argentine was fifth in April’s Mexico Open, eighth at El Camaleon in 2020, ninth in 2017 and, on other paspalum layouts, has a second and third in the Puerto Rico Open and is also a past runner-up in the CIMB Classic.
Grillo was 10th at the ZOZO last time and can crash the top 10 again at +320 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Tournament: World Wide Technology Championship
Location: El Cardonal at Diamante, Los Cabos, MEX
Date: THURSDAY NOVEMBER 02 - SUNDAY NOVEMBER 05
How to watch: THURSDAY-SATURDAY 4.30 p.m.-7.30 p.m, SUNDAY 3 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). And all four days on Sky Sports.
Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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