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2022 World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba First-Round Leader Expert Picks: Emiliano Grillo & Brandon Wu Among Value Plays

2022 World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba First-Round Leader Expert Picks: Emiliano Grillo & Brandon Wu Among Value Plays article feature image
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Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: PGA Tour golfer Emiliano Grillo

The PGA TOUR’s Fall Swing rolls along as we head to El Camaleón to play the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. 

The Greg Norman design is on the short side for a par 71, and winning scores at the course have consistently been between -18 and -23. Players who can putt well on the slow Paspalum greens will give themselves a chance to win. Viktor Hovland, who also won on Paspalum at the Puerto Rico Open, looks to win the event for a third consecutive year. 

In the past 10 editions of the tournament, there have been 20 first-round leaders or co-leaders. Of the 20, 16 have come from the morning wave while two have emerged from the afternoon wave. 

Therefore, my strategy this week will be to target early starters for my selections.

World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba First-Round Leader Picks

Emiliano Grillo +5500 (Caesars)

First-Round Tee Time: 8:39 a.m. ET

Although his inconsistency on the greens and propensity to collapse while in contention make him difficult to trust from week to week, I believe sticking with Emiliano Grillo throughout the swing season will eventually pay dividends.

I’ve backed him in the outright market this week, but his best chance of paying off for bettors may be in the first-round leader market.

Grillo has excellent course history at El Camaleón and has gone low here multiple times. In two of the past four editions of the tournament (2018 and 2020), Grillo has been within a shot of the first-round lead. In 2020, Grillo had built a strong four-shot lead heading into the weekend.

There’s a good deal of evidence that shows us this is one of the courses Grillo is most likely to go low on. An early Thursday tee time may just be the recipe for it to happen in the first round this year.

Brandon Wu +9000 (BetRivers)

First-Round Tee Time: 7:55 a.m. ET

In both 2017 (Patton Kizzire -9) and 2019 (Danny Lee -9), the first-round-leader at this event has come from the first group off in the morning. Brandon Wu is a player who has an excellent chance to contend at El Camaleón, and he just so happens to have the first tee time of the day.

Wu has been incredible throughout the early stages of his PGA TOUR career on Paspalum greens and also has his best ever PGA TOUR finish (T2) in Mexico at the Mexico Open at Vidanta. What’s not to like?

David Lipsky +12500 (Caesars)

First-Round Tee Time: 8:17 a.m. ET

David Lipsky will never overpower a golf course, but he is best suited to compete on shorter courses where his lack of length won’t be a major detriment. The 32-year-old is an accurate driver of the ball and has gained an average of 6.0 strokes on the field in his past three starts in Fairways Gained.

Lipsky also has some encouraging results on Paspalum greens and in Mexico. He finished sixth at the 2022 Mexico Open and gained 10.6 strokes on the field that week in Greens in Regulation Gained. The recipe for success will be similar at El Camaleón, and I love the course fit for Lipsky.

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