Mayakoba Golf Classic: Hadwin can hoist trophy in Mexico
After place money with 66/1 and 50/1 shots last week, Dave Tindall looks for more success with three each-way picks in the PGA Tour event in Mexico...
"In his Web.com days he was third in the Mexico Championship, on his most recent start in this event he shot 67-66-70-67 to post T10 in 2016 and he closed 67-66 at this year’s WGC-Mexico Championship to take T9."
Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 7 places
Main Bet: Back Adam Hadwin each-way @ 50/1
It's a decent front-end of the market at Mayakoba this year but it thins out fairly quickly and that's why I'm happy to take Adam Hadwin at 50/1.
Fuelled by a win at the 2017 Valspar Championship in Florida, the Canadian has spent the last two season playing in majors (T36 and T34 in the last two Masters) and WGCs.
However, his ranking has slipped a little to 61st and it means he's desperate to use these early-season events to get back into the world's top 50.
Speaking at The Northern Trust in August, Hadwin said: "Being able to plan a schedule around majors and WGCs for the following year is big. Playing against the best players in the world every week and knowing that you're there, truly feeling like you're one of the best players in the world."
The 31-year-old from Saskatchewan finished T11 at The Northern Trust, T21 at the Dell Technologies and T19 at the BMW Championship in the first three FedEx Cup play-offs. It was a decent body of work but not enough to get him to the Tour Championship.
He's teed it up three times in the new 2018/2019 campaign and his last two effort show a tied 10th at the CJ Cup in South Korea and T30 in the WGC-HSBC Champions.
In other words, he looks close to a big week if the right course and field come along.
This could be the week.
Hadwin certainly seems to enjoy his trips to Mexico. In his Web.com days he was third in the Mexico Championship, on his most recent start in this event he shot 67-66-70-67 to post T10 in 2016 and he closed 67-66 at this year's WGC-Mexico Championship to take T9.
Past winners of this tournament (Fred Funk, Brian Gay, Mark Wilson) have all done well in windy Florida (this week's Paspalum greens at El Camaleon are similar to Bermuda) so Hadwin's victory at the Valspar carries some extra weight.
All his recent stats look good so I'm happy to pull the trigger at 50/1.
Next Best: Back Abraham Ancer each-way @ 40/1
As a fan of Mexico's Abraham Ancer, I'd kick myself around a large room for many days if he won his home-soil event and I wasn't on.
There's obviously lots of pressure on him this week but we only have to rewind 12 months to find out that he can handle it.
A lesser player back then, Ancer shot 71-69-65-68 to take tied ninth and just miss out on an each-way return.
The previous year he's opened 65-68 to lie fourth at halfway before fading on the weekend.
This is clearly a course he can shoot low on and it's one where he can use the home fans as inspiration.
Last year's T9 was Ancer's first top 10 on the PGA Tour but now they're commonplace. He's racked up three top sevens in his last five starts and five top sevens in his last 11.
The latest came just last week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas where he twirled three 66s and a 69, ranked second in SG: Putting and also gained 3.128 strokes Tee-To-Green.
Reading Ancer's back story, a theme that keeps coming up is his mental strength so that definitely helps me believe he can deal with the added expectation this week.
He was 287th in the world when he made the top 10 here last year; this time he's 98th after breaking the top 100 for the first time with his strong show in Vegas.
Interviewed in the gambling capital, Ancer said: "I hit some good iron shots and I putted really well and scrambled really good, too."
Those are the elements you want firing this week on a course that doesn't seem to require great driving so all in all the 40/1 looks a fair price.
Final Bet: Back Shawn Stefani each-way @ 125/1
At the top of the betting, I think Tony Finau's next win is imminent so I prefer him to Jordan Spieth (a lowly T55 in Vegas last week) at 11/1 and Rickie Fowler at 9/1.
Backing Fowler at a single-figure price just doesn't seem justified.
Gary Woodland at 20s is worth a look given his course and current form but again it looks short.
Instead, I'll jump all the way down to 125/1 and back a former runner-up here, Shawn Stefani.
That second place came on debut in 2014 and he's backed it up with T25 in 2015 and T20 last year so El Camaleon really does suit his game.
Talking to the press back then, Stefani said of the putting surfaces: "These are Paspalum, but I've kind of grew up on this. I felt really comfortable on the greens and therefore I made a lot of putts."
Speaking in Memphis a couple of years back, the Texas said: "In this game you want to go to courses that you have played well on." That certainly applies this week and he returns showing a few good signs.
True, he didn't make the cut at TPC Summerlin last week but he's now finished outside the top 60 in four of his five starts there.
The week before, he'd posted tied seventh at the Sanderson Farms Championship, a venue where he'd finished T10 the year before.
"I love this tournament. This is actually one of my favourite events," he said two weeks ago so basically in the last fortnight Stefani has proved his own point.
Go back to a course where he's had success and there's a good chance he'll play well.
The 36-year-old ranked 1st on the All-Around at the Sanderson Farms Championship when shooting three 68s and a 71 and even though he missed the cut in Vegas, he actually carded a 68 on day two.
His game looks in fine shape and he can outrun his odds of 125/1.
Dave's 2018/19 PGA Tour P/L (based on £5 ew per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)