2021 Mayakoba Best Bets: Buy Justin Thomas Entering World Wide Technology Championship Round 2
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Thomas
The World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba got off to a blazing start as Chris Kirk knocked in an ace with his first swing of the round from the very first group off at the Par 3 10th. He would add another eagle just a couple of holes later to get to 5-under before much of the field even had had time to eat their breakfast.
His start was a sign of things to come, especially for Matthew Wolff who put together a 10-under round of 60 to start the week and take a two shot lead into Friday’s second round. He was three shots better than Kirk, and it was last year’s runner-up at this event, Aaron Wise, who snuck in between those two with the only 8-under 62 on the day.
Overall, the field averaged 1.72 strokes under par on the day, leaving thirty five players within six shots of Wolff’s lead going into Friday. While it’s a great start for the group up top, this is clearly a course where low scores will be able throughout the weekend, keeping a large portion of the field in contention.
I’ll be looking down the leaderboard as we look to find our best bets without the help of strokes gained data for this week in Mexico.
Justin Thomas +3000 (DraftKings)
I was really tempted by the numbers available on Justin Thomas as the first tee time approached on Thursday morning. I ultimately decided not to do anything at that time, and it turned out well as JT started really slow, with bogeys in two of his first four holes. He would actually drop one more shot, making the turn at 3-over and seemingly in trouble to even see the weekend.
The number seven player in the world was able to find something on the back nine as he reeled off five consecutive birdies and closed with one more to get all the way back to 3-under for the day. It was a perfect scenario for those willing to make a gamble on Thomas live, but even as we go into the second round, you have to love the momentum he build to close the first day.
He is a must-have play in all markets for me in the second round, as even from seven shots back, we know he is the type of player who can go really low to get into the mix this weekend as he did in his win at THE PLAYERS last spring.
Aaron Rai — Top 10 (+750)
There is no strokes gained data this week as the TOUR doesn’t travel internationally with the Shot Link equipment, so we are stuck using the traditional stats. Those stats tell me that Aaron Rai had a heck of an opening round with his ball striking as he missed just four fairways and only one green in regulation on Thursday.
Rai was able to get in at 4-under for the day, but he clearly left some shots out there on the greens. He ranked 88th in putts per green, which is abnormal for a player that may be most known on the European Tour for his solid flatstick. If he can keep things going tee to green on Friday, I believe the putts will start to fall, and he certainly has the experience to handle being in the mix for a high finish.
Doug Ghim over Sam Ryder/Brice Garnett 3-Ball +170 (DraftKings)
I may have a Doug Ghim problem, as I just can’t quit this kid, but I really believe he has the talent to do some things on TOUR. He has shown flashes, and hopefully he will eventually put it all together. I’m not sure this is that week for a great finish, but I really like his 3-Ball matchup for Friday.
He is getting solid odds on DraftKings against Sam Ryder, who simply had nothing in his game on Thursday, and Brice Garnett. Garnett is the slight favorite of the threesome, even with him losing this matchup to Ghim by two shots on Thursday.
It wasn’t just a scoring fluke in the opening round though, as Ghim showed better numbers throughout the bag, and, with this being a bit of a two man match based on Ryder’s struggles, I’ll happily take a shot on the former Longhorn to continue his good play.