2021 World Wide Technology Championship: Is Ancer the answer in Mexico?

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 09: Abraham Ancer of Mexico looks on from the 15th hole during the final round of the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 09, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 09: Abraham Ancer of Mexico looks on from the 15th hole during the final round of the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 09, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The PGA Tour returns to Mexico this week for the 2021 World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. This event comes in under a new name this time around, but it has been held every year since 2007 when it was first introduced and made history by becoming the first PGA event held in Latin America.

Formerly known as the Mayakoba Golf Classic, and the OHL Classic, the event has remained in one location at the beautiful El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The stunning resort course along the Yucatan Peninsula is a very appealing location for the PGA Pro’s and as such, this week’s 132 man field has attracted some of the bigger names in golf.

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Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Scottie Scheffler, Victor Hovland, and Abraham Ancer are just several of the big names that have made the journey south this week. In total, the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba has attracted 20 of the World’s top 50 ranked players per the Official World Rankings.

El Camaleon Golf Club

The stunning El Camaleon is a Greg Norman PAR 71 design that will play just short of 7,000 yards in length. The relatively short course by modern standards features distinct stretches of play that wind through tropical landscapes alongside canals and vast amounts of nearby mangroves, and portions of the course that are played along the nearby Caribbean coast.

El Camaleon should play relatively easy with previous winning scores encroaching upon the low 20’s. Players will certainly be challenged off the tee however and will often need to club down to avoid lurking trouble. The greens are fairly large and feature the unique Seaside Paspalum that is often found on coastal tracks to help combat the wind.

Previous Winners

2020: Viktor Hovland (-20)

2019: Brendon Todd (-20)

2018: Matt Kuchar (-22)

2017: Patton Kizzire (-19)

2016: Pat Perez (-21)

2015: Graeme McDowell (-18)

Favorites and Picks at The World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The odds used in this article are provided by WynnBet and are current at the time of the article, for up to the date odds for the 2021 World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba be sure to check out WynnBet

Justin Thomas +1200 leads the way at the top this week, JT has found a good amount of success during golf’s swing season previously with eight of his sixteen victory’s coming during the fall swing. Justin’s lone appearance since the Ryder Cup was an18th place finish a couple of weeks ago at the CJ Cup.

Thomas is followed by both Abraham Ancer +1750 and Viktor Hovland +1750 to close out the under +2000 range this week. Hovland returns to El Camaleon as the defending champion after securing his first PGA victory at this event last year. Ancer has had a good amount of success at this event in previous appearances and will be hoping to secure a win on home soil this week in front of the home crowd.

The Picks

Abraham Ancer (+1750)

Ancer didn’t quite deliver for us in this spot last year when I picked him to win, instead, he added another fine finish at El Camaleon and he now has recorded a 12th, 8th, 21st, and 9th place finish in his last four starts on home soil.  Abe has since gone on to record his first PGA victory earlier this year at the WGC Fed Ex St. Jude and he has demonstrated an ability to get over the line on the big stage. This course clearly suits his game as well as he is one of the most accurate players from off the tee on tour. Ancer has gained on average 1.4 strokes from Off The Tee over his last 20 starts.

Abe struggled two starts ago at the Shriners but he rebounded with a solid 14th place finish at the CJ Cup in his last start where he gained nearly three strokes with his irons. There will be pressure on Ancer to win in front of the home fans this week, but we just saw that it can be done after Hideki’s impressive win in Japan a few weeks ago.

Mito Pereira (+5000)

I’ve liked the talented young Chilean for a while now and even though he has yet to break through for his first PGA win he has been playing some really excellent golf of late. Pereira has gained strokes with his irons in three of his last four starts and during that same period, he has gained nearly two strokes on average from Off The Tee.

Mito will be making his first appearance at El Camaleon this week but he did record a 6th place finish earlier in the year at TPC Twin Cities site of the 3M Open and one of the comparable courses to El Camaleon according to Data Golf.  The problem for the Chilean has often been his performance with the putter as he has continually lost strokes on the greens. The seaside Paspalum greens this week should help to mitigate that a bit though and we already know that the talented young player isn’t afraid to make birdies in bunches.

Emiliano Grillo (+7500)

Grillo loves playing this event and the results speak to that as he has finishes of 8th, 41st, 15th, 9th, and 10th in his last five appearances at El Camaleon. It was only earlier this year that he finished 2nd at Harbour Town during the RBC Heritage on another short course that has some similarities to this week.

Emiliano is as accurate as they come from Off The Tee especially on short courses, and he is traditionally excellent with his irons as well. The Argentine has gained strokes with his irons in 6 of his last 7 starts now, this includes last time out at the CJ Cup where he gained over two strokes with his approach play.

Just like Mito before him, Grillo is often let down by his putter, but playing on Paspalum seems to work to his benefit as some of the best strokes gained performances of the Argentines career have come at El Camaleon.

Adam Hadwin (+10000)

The Canadian Hadwin gets the final nod for this week’s card. Adam has two top 10 finishes in two of his last three starts at the Mayakoba and like some of the other picks this week has some solid finishes on comparable courses as well.

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Hadwin has finishes of 6th and 4th at TPC Twin Cities in two previous starts and he also finished 10th at the Wyndham Championship just a couple of months ago on another similar design. The Canadian comes into this week in decent form having made three consecutive cuts, this includes a 6th place finish at the Shriners two starts ago.

Even though a quick glance will show that Hadwin has struggled Off The Tee, digging a bit deeper reveals that some of his most accurate driving performances have come on shorter courses. Adam rates out 5th in the field in driving accuracy over his past twelve rounds on shorter courses and he should be able to continue that this week. If he can combine that with some of the solid approach numbers he has recorded of late he could find himself making a run up the leaderboard come Sunday.