The second to last tournament of the 2015 PGA Fall series comes from El Camalèon GC at the Mayokoba Resort in Mexico. As the name of the course suggests, the 6,987 yard par 71 course is unique with three different types of landscapes permeating throughout the course. There is dense jungle, mangrove forests, and oceanfront holes. It is a resort course so the fairways are on the larger side and the rough is not that thick. If golfers miss wildly, many hazards come into play ranging from bunkers, dense jungle vegetation, and water on all but 3 holes. The greens are above average in size with Sea Isle Paspelum grass. Sea Isle grass is similar to Bermuda but much slower. The CIMB Classic also uses this type of grass, so looking at who putted well there can help you this week. The greens should only be around 10.5 on the stimpmeter and with rain in the forecast every day, they could run even slower. Wind could play a factor due to the course being located right by the Caribbean Sea.
Looking at the course description above, a few key stats come to mind. I will be using these stats, current form, and course history to select golfers for my DraftKings lineups this week.
Key Stats For The Course
***In order of importance with the most important first. Not including Strokes Gained Tee to Green (SG:T2G) and Strokes Gained Putting (SG:P), which are key stats every week. For most tournaments, being inside the Top 80 in any stat will be considered above average. Since the field this week is so weak, being inside the Top 100 for any stat will be considered above average for the field.
Driving Accuracy (DA):
Hitting it straight off the tee is my most important stat this week. Golfers will need to avoid the numerous hazards around the fairways to succeed. Of the 30 golfers who finished T3 or better in all 8 years of this tournament, 19 were ranked 100 or better in this stat for the end of that specific year. Bombers have not fared that well here in the past. Accuracy is key.
Par 4 Scoring (P4):
There are 11 par 4s on the course and according to previous trends at El Camelèon, golfers will need to do well on them to win. The Par 5s are reachable but the risk involved in getting there in 2 will be high due to all the crazy hazards around the course. 22 of the 30 golfers that have finished tied for or in the Top 3 here have been inside the Top 100 in this stat for that specific year.
Green in Regulation (GIR):
Fairways and greens. Fairways and greens. That should be on the mind of all golfers this week on this course. The greens are large but missing them will lead to a lot of trouble. Whether it be because of water, bunkers, canals, or thick jungle vegetation, missing the greens will cause problems. 22 of the previous 30 golfers who have finished T3 or better at El Camalèon have finished inside the Top 100 in GIR for that specific year.
Birdie or Better % (BoB):
Depending on the weather, the winning score should be around the -13 to -17 range so many birdies will be needed. In the last two years all nine golfers that finished T3 or better have been in the Top 100 in this stat. 7 of the 9 were actually in the Top 50 in BoB for that specific year.
High End Picks ($9000 and up)
*** I will be using stats from last season.
Matt Kuchar ($11700):
Kuchar is the highest ranked and best golfer in the field. He has made all his cuts at El Camalèon with a top finish of 3rd. He has two Top 10 finishes in his last three events and all of those tournaments had much better fields. I’m not sure he will win but he has a great shot and a Top 10 finish is highly likely.
Patton Kizzirie ($10700):
Kizzirie’s high price tag worries me a bit because he has hit less than half of his drives in the fairway this season so far. As long as his misses aren’t too wild this week, he has a chance to do well. Other than DA, his stats for the Fall Series (I know it’s a small sample size) are really solid. He’s 15th in P4, 10th in SG:P, 48th in GIR, 15th in BoB, and 31st in SG:T2G. He is one of the hottest golfers on Tour with three Top 5 finishes in his last three starts and a victory is possible soon. I won’t be using him in cash games because of his propensity to miss off the tee but I will be using him in GPPs.
Jason Bohn ($10300):
Bohn has been close to winning a few times this year including finishing 2nd at the Shriners and 3rd at the Frys.Com Open. He is my favorite golfer this week. He’s 5th in DA, 6th in P4, 46th in SG:P, 28th in GIR, 20th in BoB, and 40th in SG:T2G. He has finished in the Top 7 twice in the last two years at El Camalèon including a 3rd place finish in 2013. If you take into account stats, form, and course history he is my #1 ranked golfer by a lot and he is my favorite to take home the trophy this week.
Brendan Steele ($9900):
Steele’s weakness is his putter but he finished 3rd at the CIMB Classic which uses the same Sea Isle Paspelum grass on their greens as El Camalèon. He putted really well that week and I think he does it again. Other than putting, his stats are solid. He’s 97th in DA (still way above average for this field), 10th in P4, 40th in GIR, 14th in BoB, and 15th in SG:T2G. I think he makes for a low owned, high upside GPP play this week.
Wil Wilcox ($9400):
Wilcox withdrew mid round last week so that’s a bit worrisome but he stated on Twitter that he is fine. His exact words were “I promise I won’t WD this week yall.” So I’m going to believe him. His stats are sick. He’s 18th in DA, 3rd in P4, 32nd in SG:P, 4th in GIR, 17th in BoB, and 20th in SG:T2G. With stats like these a win is inevitable and I think he will be the next first time winner on Tour. If not this week, soon.
Chris Stroud ($9300):
I think Stroud makes for a sneaky low owned GPP play this week. He’s priced right in between Wilcox and Keegan who I think will both be in double digits when it comes to ownership percentage. He has finished as high as 3rd at El Camalèon and has two Top 10 finishes in his last three starts. His stats are well above average and I think he can surprise people this week.
Mid Level Golfers ($7000-$8900)
Brendon de Jonge ($8600):
This former Hokie hasn’t played here in a while but in three starts at El Camalèon he has two Top 15 finishes. His stats for the course are great. He’s 44th in DA, 50th in P4, 62nd in GIR, 58th in BoB, and 57th in SG:T2G. He has been on Tour for a while now without a victory but this weak field event presents one of his best chances to get that elusive W.
Brian Harman ($8500):
Harman is another golfer who putted well on the Sea Isle Paspelum greens at the CIMB Classic. He finished 7th there and has great stats for El Camalèon. He’s 55th in DA, 50th in P4, 47th in SG:P, 81st in GIR, and 87th in SG:T2G. A Top 10 finish for him is possible this week.
Alex Cejka ($8400):
Cejka has two Top 17 finishes in his last two starts and finished 16th here last year. He’s fairly accurate off the tee and plays par 4s well. He struggles with the putter but he is another golfer that putted well on the Sea Isle Paspelum greens in Malaysia. Not a cash game play but I can see him doing better than expected this week.
Daniel Hearn ($8400):
Hearn has played here three times and never missed a cut, finishing 16th just last year. He’s ranked in my Top 10 in key stats for the course this week. He’s 58th in DA, 26th in P4, 27th SG:P, 47th in GIR, and 80th in BoB. I like him for cash lineups and GPPs this week.
Kevin Streelman ($8000):
Streelman is accurate off the tee, plays par 4s well, and hits a lot of greens. That’s a solid combo to have this week. He hasn’t played here in a while but finished 3rd at El Camalèon a few years back. He should be very low owned so he makes for a solid boom or bust GPP play.
Spencer Levin ($7800):
Levin hasn’t missed a cut here in his last 5 tries AND hasn’t missed a cut on Tour in his last 6 events. Real good for a golfer with his price tag. His stats for the course are solid. He’s 16th in DA, 26th in P4, 45th in GIR, and 93rd in SG:T2G. He’s only 125th in SG:P but he is another golfer who putted well on the Sea Isle Paspelum greens at the CIMB Classic. He finished 2nd here in 2011 and I think he has a shot to beat that. He is my sleeper to win this week. He will be in my cash game lineup and I will use him in GPPs.
Jim Herman ($7700):
Herman is 33rd in DA, 50th in P4, 2nd in GIR, 105th in BoB, and 52nd in SG:T2G. He’s not the best putter but he putted well in Malaysia a few weeks ago. Yes, there is a theme here. I like players that putted well at the CIMB Classic and he is another golfer that falls into this category. He finished 23rd here last year and a similar performance this week is likely.
Chez Reavie ($7400):
Reavie is accurate off the tee, hits a lot of greens, and has never missed a cut at El Camalèon. He hasn’t missed a cut in his last six events and finished inside the Top 20 in five of them. You could do a lot worse than picking him at an attractive price tag.
Colt Knost ($7400):
Colt has the best stats for the course of all the mid level priced golfers. He’s 7th in DA, 26th in P4, 28th in SG:P, 63rd in GIR, and 79th in BoB. He has never missed a cut at El Camalèon in 5 tries finishing as high as 3rd in 2012. He has also made his last 4 starts on Tour. He will be in my cash lineup this week. He’ll make the cut and has upside for the weekend.
Jerry Kelly ($7000):
Other than GIR, Kelly has outstanding stats for the course especially for his price. He’s 9th in DA, 26th in P4, 44th in SG:P, 50th in BoB, and 69th in SG:T2G. He has made six of seven cuts here with two Top 6 finishes including a 5th place finish last year. He also has made his last 4 cuts on Tour. All solid for his price.
Low End Value Picks ($5400-$6900)
Ben Crane ($6900):
Crane putted and played well at the CIMB Classic finishing inside the Top 30. With his accuracy off the tee and his putting prowess he could surprise people this week.
Kyle Reifers ($6800):
Reifers has made three of his last four cuts on Tour and finished 29th at El Camalèon last year. His stats for the course are solid for his price. He’s 94th in DA, 74th in P4, 98th in SG:P, 72nd in GIR, and 97th in SG:T2G. He surprised people a few weeks back with a 6th place finish at the Frys.Com Open, which had a much stronger field than this week. I’ll take a flyer on him in GPPs to see if he can surprise again.
John Huh ($6800):
Huh won this event in 2012. He hasn’t been playing too well lately but he made the cut last week at Sanderson Farms and has never finished worse than 29th in his three events played at El Camalèon. He’s accurate off the tee and has great course history here. At his price, that’s all I need to deploy him as a punt play in GPPs.
Pat Perez ($6600):
Perez hasn’t been playing well lately but he is actually my #3 ranked golfer when it comes to key stats for the course behind Bohn and Wilcox. I know, crazy right? He’s 43rd in DA, 10th in P4, 25th in SG:P, 48th in GIR, 18th in BoB, and 80th in SG:T2G. He also has two Top 16 finishes here in three starts. He’s a GPP only play but if his game can return to some semblance of his 2015 season, he has a chance to finish higher on the leaderboard than most people think.
Mark Hubbard ($6400):
Hubbard is 3 for 3 in cuts made for the Fall Series this year. He is accurate of the tee and has decent GIR stats. He also made the cut here last year. At $6400, that’s all the reasons I need to use him as a GPP punt play this week.
Tim Wilkinson ($6300):
Wilkinson has made the cut in his last six events (1 PGA, 5 Web.Com) and has made four of five cuts at El Camalèon, with a 10th place finish here in 2013. That’s a solid resumè for someone with such a low price tag.
Jason Gore ($6200):
Gore has made both cuts during the Fall Series and four of five overall. He finished 2nd at the Wyndham a couple of months ago, which is another weak field tournament. His stats for the course are well above average for the field. He’s 36th in DA, 95th in P4, 61st in GIR, 50th in BoB, and 104th in SG:T2G. He is another GPP punt play I like this week.
John Merrick ($6200):
Merrick has played El Camalèon seven times and has made the cut every time. He actually finished 3rd here in 2008. He hasn’t been playing well lately but not many golfers under $6500 have. He’s accurate off the tee, hits a lot of greens, and he’s 48th in SG:T2G. If I had to have a cash game play under $6500, Merrick would be my guy.
Mark Wilson ($6100):
Wilson has won here in the past and has solid stats for the course. He’s 53rd in DA, 74th in P4, 51st in GIR, and 96th in SG:T2G. I don’t think he can win again but he has a chance to make the cut.
Blayne Barber ($6100):
Barber has the 2nd best stats for the course for all golfers under $7000. He’s 70th in DA, 50th in P4, 34th in SG:P, 90th in GIR, and 49th in BoB. He finished 9th here last year and made the cut last week at Sanderson Farms. Really solid for a golfer at $6100.