The PGA Tour heads to Mexico’s Riviera Maya this week and the Greg Norman-designed course at El Camaleon. Scotland’s Russell Knox tops the bill in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
With just two events left on the regular PGA Tour in 2016, this event provides players with a great chance to make a move up the FedEx Cup points list. Scotland’s Russell Knox tops the bill in the OHL Classic at El Camaleon, but he’ll be challenged by a number of strong players including Keegan Bradley, Emiliano Grillo, Harris English, Chris Kirk and Jim Furyk. The veteran Furyk is making his first start of the new season.
Designed by Greg Norman, the course at El Camaleon has played host to this event since it was first held in 2007. Set amid the jungle and mangroves with views out to the beautiful Caribbean Sea, it’s one of the most striking venues visited by the PGA Tour.
The first six editions of the tournament were contested alongside the WGC Match Play. As such they didn’t attract particularly strong fields. As of 2013, the event has been shifted to the autumn and the prize-fund ramped up. This year sees a purse of $7,000,000 and a first prize of $1,116,000. In last year’s tournament, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell came through a playoff against fellow Brit Russell Knox and Jason Bohn of the USA. All three of those men will start this week.
Graeme McDowell on how to play the flop shot:
This is the 10th running of the tournament and Chris Stroud will be the only player in the field this week to have contested all of them.
Rain can never be ruled out at El Camaleon but the forecast for the weekend looks reasonable with high temperatures and little wind predicted.
Venue: El Camaleon GC, Playa del Carmen, Mexico Date: Nov 10-13 Course stats: par 71, 7,039 yards Purse: $7,000,000 Winner: €1,0116,000 Defending Champion: Graeme McDowell
TV Coverage: Thursday 10 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm Friday 11 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm Saturday 12 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm Sunday 13 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Player watch: Russell Knox – He lost in a playoff for this tournament last year so clearly enjoys the course. The Scot has been in decent form with two top-10 finishes in recent PGA Tour events.
Keegan Bradley – He’s enjoying a strong return to form. He has back-to-back top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour. He also recorded a top-10 in this event last season.
Jason Bohn – His current form may not be too much to write home about, but this course should inspire him. He lost in a playoff here last year and recorded top-10s in the two years prior to that. A good outside chance.
Key hole: 12th. A long par-4 of 451 yards, this testing hole plays back into the prevailing wind. Approach shots must be accurate as the green is small, raised and sloping. Anything just off line will roll off the surface. Statistically, this tends to be the toughest hole on the course.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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