2019 Mayakoba Classic Betting Preview: Back Kuchar in Return To El Camaleon?


Credit: Rob Schumacher, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Aaron Wise

Nov 13, 2019, 11:00 PM EST

Apparently, some of my co-workers enjoy offering, ahem, outlandish gambling propositions, so in the spirit of fairness, I’d like to present my own guarantee for this week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic: If the following picks aren’t winners, I’m still not stripping down to my skivvies. I’m not singing on video. In fact, I’m not even going anywhere near Times Square.

You’re welcome, guys.

There’s an intrinsic characteristic to golf betting – on outrights, at least – which often renders us losers more than winners. When we win, though, that taste of success is so much sweeter because of the riches it affords.

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One of the qualities which makes it enticing is the fact that it so closely mirrors golf itself. As one PGA Tour player likes to remind me, if you win just 2% of the tournaments you enter, you’ll be a Hall of Famer someday. His math might be a bit skewed, but his idea is impeccable.

This is a game which rewards brief moments of prosperity more than prolonged bouts of consistency. Those who bet on golf can easily recognize this sequence. You might want to hit more than 2% of the time, but the success rate doesn’t need to be as high as other sports in order to turn a profit.

All of which is a long-winded way of explaining why we don’t guarantee anything in this game. There are no guarantees in golf. We’re never sure enough of anything that we’d offer to sing in our skivvies in Times Square if we didn’t pick a winner.

Speaking of money and percentages, the defending champion at this week’s Mayakoba event is Matt Kuchar.

[Pause for laughter.]

Yes, this is the tourney where Kuchar made a verbal contract with caddie David “El Tucan” Ortiz, paid him the agreed-upon amount, was publicly shamed when it was revealed how little that amount was for a winning caddie, was called out by said caddie in the media, then finally obliged and bit the bullet by paying him the going rate for a man who totes a victorious bag.

I feel badly for Ortiz, who got caught in this maelstrom of trash-talking a player who’d previously provided a lifetime highlight by winning while he was caddying. I feel badly for Kuchar, who became Public Enemy No. 1 in the aftermath, carrying the weight of being called a cheapskate by everyone who heard the story.

Even with the resolution more than six months old, the story will undoubtedly surface again this week, with Kuchar back in the field, though presumably not with El Tucan on the bag this time.

But, hey: Unlike fall events like the Sanderson Farms or Shriners, at least everyone remembers who the defending champion is at this one.

With that, let’s get to the picks, where once again Kuchar could bury this old news and contend again.

No guarantees, though.

Outright Winner

One player to win the tournament.

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