2022 World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba Updated Odds & Expert Picks: Collin Morikawa Ready to Win Again
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa.
- The World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba begins Thursday, and Jason Sobel has found betting value in a variety of betting markets.
- He is placing an emphasis on elite iron play as he likes Collin Morikawa and Emiliano Grillo's chances of going low this week.
- Check out his picks and analysis below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba odds via BetMGM
|Byeong Hun An||+15000|
|Erik van Rooyen||+20000|
|Paul Haley II||+20000|
|Jose De Jesus Rodriguez||+50000|
|Enrique Marin Santander||+100000|
Let’s start with the good news: Much like last week’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship, this week’s World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba is similarly on a shorter course in a tropical location where birdies will come in abundance. If you studied up for that test, you should at least be semi-prepared already for this one.
And now the “bad” news, which really isn’t all that bad: Unlike last week’s event, this one includes some big-name performers who will tilt the odds – and potentially, the leaderboard – in their favor.
We’re fresh off an Occam’s Razor result, which states that “entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.” In other words, doubling down on our longshot plays wasn’t the best idea. Sometimes the simplest explanation is also the correct explanation, which helps explain why Seamus Power, the highest-ranked player in the field, earned the title.
Power entered last week as the world’s 48th-ranked player. This week’s field features 11 players ranked above that number, including five of the top 16 – Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau, Billy Horschel and two-time defending champion Viktor Hovland.
Looking to become the first back-to-back-to-back winner of a PGA TOUR event since Steve Stricker three-peated at the John Deere Classic in 2009-’11, Hovland’s success should offer a pretty clear window into which skills are necessary at El Camaleón Golf Course, and which ones aren’t.
Last season, the Norwegian ranked 15th in strokes gained on approach shots but dead last in strokes gained around the greens. On a 7,017-yard track with large, resort-style greens, there’s an obvious focus on the former, not the latter. Delving even deeper, previous recent winners include Brendon Todd, Matt Kuchar, Pat Perez and Graeme McDowell – their commonalities existing in the realm of accuracy over power.
We should be seeking elite-level ball-strikers who can pile up birdies in bunches, which is where I’ll start my picks.
One player to win the tournament
Collin Morikawa (+2000)
It’s been a weird year for Collin Morikawa, whose game has alternated from solid to very solid, with a few peaks and valleys in between. He’s posted five top-five finishes during this calendar year but rarely has been in serious contention coming down the stretch on a Sunday afternoon. If that’s his baseline performance level, though, then we should still be optimistic that another peak is coming soon.
I like him for a few reasons this week. The first is that his elite iron play should fit this course, as he ranked third in strokes gained on approach shots last season and is already 10th after two so-so results in this one.
The second is that he’s never played here before. I get it, that alone is often viewed as a demerit in the category of experience, but I’m reading into his rationale. Deciding to play here for the first time likely means Morikawa wants one last chance to step on the gas pedal and end his year on a high note.
He’s one of the players on whom I’ve been waiting for a win, and he knows this is his last chance in the 2022 calendar year to claim one. It was close, as you’ll see in the next section, but recent history suggests we shouldn’t look too far past the shorter numbers.
Which leads to the final reason: In six events so far during the fall portion of the PGA TOUR schedule, winners have owned average pre-tourney odds of 33/1 (according to the numbers at golfodds.com), with only Mackenzie Hughes, who was 100/1 at the Sanderson Farms, bigger than a 30/1 price. While this feels like the right time of year to play some longshots, that hasn’t been the case.
Potential selections for one-and-done pools
Emiliano Grillo (+3500)
If Morikawa is my 1A for this one, then Grillo is 1B. This might’ve been switched around if Grillo’s odds were double those of Morikawa, but at these opening prices, this is the preferred order.
In six previous starts at Mayakoba, he owns four results of 15th or better, and 19 of his 22 rounds have been under-par. This just happens to align with some much-improved play as of late, with a pair of top-fives in his last four starts. While his game isn’t on the same level as that of Morikawa, Grillo owns a similar skillset, which is to say, we’re rarely concerned about his ball-striking, and if the putter gets hot – or at least tepid – he should contend once again.
Tom Hoge (+3000)
Did somebody say ball-strikers? Hoge ranked 11th last season in strokes gained on approach shots and has already improved upon that in the early part of this season, in third place on that list so far. It’s resulted in four results of 13th or better, which should make him one of the more popular selections this week.
Just as Power deservedly broke through for a second career victory last week, it’s not difficult to envision the same scenario for Hoge at this one, especially knowing he was T-3 here just two years ago.
Thomas Detry (+5000)
I don’t know if it’s more a critique of the public or the media or a combined effort, but I’ve always believed it’s not fair for a player who keeps falling heartbreakingly short of winning titles to receive more criticism for his lack of victories than one who appears content to unwittingly post top-25 finishes each week.
In any case, Detry is now encroaching on that ol’ Finau territory of playing so well that he gets ripped for not playing just a tad better each time. He already owned nine top-three results on the DP World Tour and is fresh off a runner-up in Bermuda last week. He’s too talented for a win to elude him forever. If you’re playing an OAD pool here in the fall, you might as well strike while the irons are hot.
One player to finish top-five
Tony Finau +300
For most players, it would be a compliment to project them in the top five for a specific event. Finau isn’t most players, though. Oftentimes, when he’s considered for a top-five type of finish, it’s some sort of backhanded compliment about him being a big-time talent who can’t close out events.
With that in mind, I’d like to explain that this isn’t one of those times. I think it’s going to be a big season for Big Tone, who could be on the verge of hoisting some major championship hardware. As for this week, he’s often played some of his best golf on shorter courses.
That might seem strange for a big hitter, but remember: Finau owned virtually the same driving distance as Jordan Spieth last season, which might say more about Spieth than him, but shouldn’t suggest that he can only contend on meaty tracks. He owns a pair of top-10s in six previous starts here. Perhaps the lone thing that should leave us a bit cautious is that the Presidents Cup has been his only competitive event since August.
One player to finish top-10
Nick Hardy +650
His closing five-under 66 was bested by only Garrick Higgo, Patrick Rodgers and Caleb Surratt during the final round in Bermuda. Without any strokes gained analytics from that one, it’s tough to properly analyze what a player is doing well, but ranking T-12 in greens in regulation for the week should be a sign that his ball-striking is ready for this test, as well.
One player to finish top-20
Lee Hodges +300
I don’t quite have Hodges on my edition of “The List” just yet – those players who are so undervalued on a weekly basis that we should consider them every time – but he’s not too far off.
I walked with his group for parts of a couple of rounds this summer and was impressed with his course management. He's another young player who looks like he belongs on this level. The ball-striking numbers are top-30 this season, and he’s coming off a T-7 finish in his last start, in addition to two other top-30s so far.
One player to finish top-40
David Lingmerth +300
A few weeks ago, I spoke with Lingmerth on my SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio show, Hitting the Green, and was struck by just how grateful he sounded after winning during the KFT Finals and getting his PGA TOUR status back.
Throughout his career, the Swede has traditionally been more of an all-or-nothing type of player, as evidenced by the fact that he doesn’t have another top-40 result in his last 15 starts besides that victory. Maybe he’s more valuable as an outright dart throw than a top-40 here, but I do think this is one of the places he can climb the board.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS lineups
It’s going to be delectably tempting for the public to chase Hovland’s back-to-back wins here and play him as the highest-priced player in lineups. And sure, there’s an excellent chance that, once again, the most obvious play is also the most correct one.
For the sake of difference, though, I’d prefer the presumed lower ownership on Billy Ho, who’s finished in the top 10 in his three PGA/DP World starts this fall and owns a pair of top-10s and five top-30s in seven career starts at Mayakoba. Consider him both a high-ceiling and high-floor play.
A lower-priced option for DFS lineups
Insert your favorite punchline here: Even if you don’t remember Kuchar’s victory here four years ago, you likely recall the aftermath, as the story leaked of him failing to pay his local caddie the usual percentage for a win. No doubt that will get brought up again should Kuch find his way back to the leaderboard, which is a very possible scenario, as he owns four other top-25s in five starts at this event and a pair of top-30s so far this season.
At this point in his career, the short-hitting 44-year-old knows his best chances are going to come on a handful of courses, and this one is certainly on that list.
One player to post the low round Thursday
Editor's Note: Kraft is now out of the field for this tournament as of 3 p.m. ET on Monday.
I’ve got some big names in some of the prime positions this week, so if you want to take a chance somewhere, the FRL market could be ripe for it. Kraft has broken par in his last three Thursdays at Mayakoba, and while that alone hasn’t been enough to cash these bets, he does have a 64 on this course and has been known to go low on shorter venues. I similarly don’t mind him for top-20/40 props or as a cheap, low-owned DFS play, as well.
One player who should beat comparable players
K.H. Lee (+6000)
Fresh off a third-place finish at THE CJ CUP in his most recent start, we might be chasing that success a bit here. However, Lee indeed feels like a guy ready to make a leap into the next tier from his current ranking of 35th in the world to somewhere inside the top-20 or 25. With the likes of Jason Day and J.J. Spaun at similar prices, I think there’s value in Lee as a head-to-head play.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value
Aaron Wise (+1600), Keith Mitchell (+5500), Sebastian Munoz (+7000), Joel Dahmen (+8000), Davis Riley (+8000), Adam Svensson (+14000), Adri Arnaus (+18000). C.T. Pan (+18000), Austin Cook (+40000)