World Wide Technology Championship Preview: Aberg and Young lead the field
By Bryan NicholsonLatest Golf Odds
1 November 2023
Russell Henley blitzed the field at El Camaleon last year in Mayakoba but now the Greg Norman design leaves the rota, and we’ll see a Tiger Woods designed course host a PGA Tour event for the first time. Coincidence? Here’s what Woods had to say on the venue:
“I set up the golf strategy to make golfers think and make choices,” “There are going to be different ways to play every hole. Angles of approach are going to be very important and will dictate the type of shots you should consider. I love this kind of golf.”
132 players line out at the worldwide Technologies Championship with 500 FedEx Cup points up for grabs for the champ. Market leaders Ludvig Aberg 10.0 and Cameron Young 13.5 look the perfect profile for the test awaiting the players.
Massive fairways and greens take centre stage at El Cardonal at Diamante. The wind here is the biggest defence, bringing dried out creeks and strategically placed fairway bunkers into play. El Cardonal at Diamante is a par 72, playing around 7,400 yards with two potentially drivable par 4s in play. There’s a 240-foot elevation change from top to bottom of this resort style track, and while low scoring is expected, it will be a trek for the caddies and the players. Big hitting, strong approaches and a lot of imagination and creativity in the breeze and coming into the huge surfaces will be required. It will be links style, firm and fast, and the greens average 8,300 square feet. The PGA Tour’s equivalent of Steyn City, perhaps.
Emiliano Grillo: 38.0 or 4.1 hit back with a top 10 at the ZOZO championship where he was in contention for 54 holes. Grillo has strong links and wind pedigree and is coming off the back of a great season overall, highlighted by a win, and a top six at the Open. Before the Zozo, Grillo ranked 12th in total driving efficiency and 17th in approaches from 150-175 yards.
Lucas Herbert: 50.0 or 5.3 is showing a mixed bag form-wise in the old ‘fall season’ but if the profile here is a big hitter that’s strong in the wind with a good touch on and around the greens, then the Aussie is close to the top of the list. Herbert’s opening 63 for the first-round lead at the Fortinet championship is still fresh in the memory.
Keith Mitchell: 50.0 or 5.7 had a solid ZOZO Championship with 4 rounds circa the 70 mark for a t21 finish. Mitchell is one of the biggest hitters on tour and the 31-year-old ranked 11th in driving distance and 2nd in total driving this year. Mitchell owns strong performances on the windy Florida swing that includes his win at the Honda classic. A recent 5th at the 3M Open backed a top 20 in the US Open and Keith currently sits 66th in world golf rankings. Mitchell resides and practices on the windy Sea Island Resort.
We’ll stick with Cameron Champ 48.0 or 6.0 this week following his recent T9 and T18 finishes despite him flopping at the Zozo on the back of those performances. Champ is arguably the longest player out, and this is his type of terrain. The multiple tour winner rates his irons as the strongest part of his game and the creative American has shown some form in the wind.
I also want to get one more player onside. Chris Gotterup 70.0 or 5.8 led the driving stats on the Korn Ferry Tour last season and is in great form there despite not winning. It’s worth chancing the big hitter in this company on one of the widest courses the pros will see.
Back Emiliano Grillo to win @ 38.0 or T10 @ 4.1
Back Lucas Herbert to win @ 50.0 or T10 @ 5.3
Back Keith Mitchell to win @ 50.0 or T10 @ 5.7
Back Cameron Champ to win @ 48.0 or T10 @ 6.0
Back Chris Gotterup to win @ 70.0 or T10 @ 5.8