After a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, the PGA Tour returns for its 2020 official event finale near Cancun, Mexico for the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
The field is much stronger than usual for this tournament, though it took a significant hit when Masters champion and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson pulled out. World No. 3 Justin Thomas (13/2) and Brooks Koepka (12/1) will now be the headliners and favorites. Harris English is priced lower than normal at 16/1 but does have four top-10 finishes in his last eight events including a T-4 at the U.S. Open, and he won here in 2013. Tony Finau (22/1) gained his lone PGA Tour win on a coastal course (2016 Puerto Rico Open).
Here’s a look at some longer shots to keep an eye on this weekend at the Mayakoba:
Russell Henley (25/1)
Has four top-10 finishes in his last eight events. The week after having to sit and watch the Masters at home, he disappointed with a T-30 finish at the RSM Classic. Nevertheless, this event could be go time for Henley. He sits at No. 56 in the OWGR. The top 50 receive Masters invitations and he would surely like to wrap that up before the New Year. He has played this event only twice with a best finish of 29th, but he surely fits the profile here. Henley rates No. 1 in this week’s field for Strokes Gained: Approach and No. 2 in this field for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. He also is a former winner of the Sony Open in Hawaii, which has a strong correlation to this event, as several players have won both tournaments.
Marc Leishman (55/1)
Was in dreadful form since the summer restart but showed the first signs of life at the Masters. He finished a respectable 13th at Augusta. The Aussie has always played well at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Kapalua and on coastal golf courses in general. Let’s not forget Leishman won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this calendar year at Torrey Pines, holding off the No. 2 player in the world Jon Rahm.
Adam Long (55/1)
Another player just outside the OWGR top-50 bubble who could lock up a Masters invite with a strong showing this weekend. Long finished runner-up here last year to Brendon Todd and does have some solid form over the last couple months with a fifth at the Corales Puntacana (same green complexes as this week’s event), a T-11 in Houston and a T-13 at the U.S. Open.
Joel Dahmen (55/1)
Finished sixth here last season. He is another player who is not too far removed from the OWGR top 50 and a top 3-5 finish could propel him above that number to earn a Masters invitation for next April. He also finished T-12 earlier this year at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Charles Howell III (60/1)
Has eight top 20 or better finishes in his last 10 events on this track. He is also a major horse for course at the Sony Open, having finished runner-up there twice.
Russell Knox (80/1)
Has been a bit hit or miss over the last couple months. In six events, he has missed three cuts, but in the other three events he has finishes of ninth, 15th and 16th. Knox once posted three straight top-10 finishes (second in 2015, third in 2016 and ninth in 2017) in this event.
Peter Malnati (110/1)
Has two top-5 finishes (second at Sanderson Farms and fifth at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open) over the last couple months and has seemingly found something in his game.
Wes Reynolds handicaps golf for Point Spread Weekly, VSiN’s digital magazine for sports bettors.