There are only two more events on the PGA Tour before it winds down for the winter break. This week sees the OHL Classic, which was the first PGA Tour event to be held in Mexico this century and has gone from strength to strength since its inaugural event in 2007. Initially the tournament was held as an alternate event on Tour but it is now a fully-fledged PGA tournament which carries 500 FedEx Cup points for the winner and a Masters invitation.
El Camaleón Golf Club has always hosted this event and that hasn’t changed this year. Some big stars on the PGA Tour will compete around the 6,987 yard par 71 course. Given that this is by no means the longest course on Tour this is an event which will be decided more by accuracy off the tee than length although Charley Hoffman ranked fifth for driving distance when winning last year. The most important stat to point towards success at ‘the Chameleon’ is greens in regulation, you’ve got to hit the greens to have a chance of winning here.
This year the popularity of the OHL Classic is clear by the calibre of players competing. Matt Kuchar is perhaps the biggest name of the lot and he has been installed as the bookies’ favourite. When you think of the measured, accurate game needed to challenge the top of the leaderboard at El Camaleón, Kuchar is one of the first names to pop into your head. He is one of the most consistent players in the world and although he almost always finds a way to go low wherever he plays, it is this sort of course at which he excels. He’s making his debut at this event but at 14/1 it could be a winning start for Kuchar.
Graeme McDowell is a man in desperate need of a good tournament. He has endured rather than enjoyed the last year of golf but there are good signs of recovery for the Northern Irishman. His ball striking and driving have improved and he’s been there or thereabouts without really threatening those at the top of the leaderboard. He’s not one of the biggest hitters and his greatest successes have tended to come on tricky, tight courses so this could really be a tournament that suits GMac and allows him to get back on track at odds of 35/1 with Bet365.
Harris English won the OHL Classic in 2013 so he’ll turn up full of positive memories which should push him on to have another good week in Mexico. English has built his game around a very impressive ability to hit greens in regulation and then take the chances that are served up for him. So far this season he’s not exactly pulled up any trees but what a chance he has to get some early FedEx Cup points on the board. So, he’s got the game to go well and the history at El Camaleón, making the 25/1 that BetVictor are offering on him winning yet again looks very generous.