This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
Mayakoba Golf Classic
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
El Camaleon Golf Club - Par 71 - 7,017 yards
Field - 132 entrants
Purse - $7.2M
A week-long break from PGA Tour action accompanied the conclusion of the recent Asian Swing, which produced a trio of superstar winners in Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy from the CJ Cup through the WGC-HSBC Champions. The Tour isn't quite ready to return to the states just yet, however, as a vacation-like feel will be present throughout the grounds of El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, where a couple holes align just off the coast of the Caribbean Sea. Scattered thunderstorms figure to hamper the vibes during Rounds 1 and 2, but soft and slow conditions should promote generous scores over the weekend as the eventual winner likely surpasses the 20-under-par mark.
Key Stats to Victory
Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Charles Howell III - $43
The 40-year-old vet has already tallied a trio of top-25s, including two top-10s, through five events played to begin the 2019-20 campaign as he heads to Mexico ranked 22nd in the early FedEx Cup standings. Howell's price tag may seem a bit high, but this field is not top-heavy with names like Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau listed atop the betting odds board, so Howell belongs among his peers in this general range thanks in part to a brilliant course history that includes seven top-20s over his last nine trips to El Camaleon.
Joaquin Niemann - $43
Niemann became old enough to enjoy his first legal adult beverage in the United States just last week, but he already proved himself fully capable of winning on the PGA Tour at the Greenbrier in mid-September. The young Chilean has posted a 68 or better in five of his last eight competitive rounds, while he leads the entire Tour in scoring average and comes in at second in birdie percentage this season. Niemann has lost strokes on approach shots since the Open Championship back in July.
Russell Knox - $34
A horse for the course as of late, Knox has surged to impressive finishes of T9-3-T2 throughout his last three appearances at El Camaleon dating back to 2015. On the heels of four consecutive cuts made from the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship to the Houston Open, Knox tied for 11th during his most recent start at the Bermuda Championship where he came out of the gates firing with a first-round 64. He's gained strokes on approaches in 10 of his last 11 measurable events.
Harris English - $30
Landing inside the top-10 on Tour in a handful of key stats such as driving accuracy, GIR percentage and birdie average this season, English coasted to three finishes of T6 or better in his last four starts. He gained over four strokes both off the tee and on the greens during a recent T4 at the Houston Open, culminating with a six-under 66 in Round 4. It should also be reminded that he's a past champion at El Camaleon, reaching 21-under en route to victory here in 2013.
Abraham Ancer - $30
The Mexican-American should be a fan favorite down in Playa del Carmen this week and he's produced here in the past with finishes of T21-T9 the last two years. This time around, however, Ancer enters as a top-40 player in the OWGR and he's coming off a T4 against a relatively strong field at the WGC-HSBC Champions compared to other fall series events. He was one of the most accurate drivers of the golf ball last season, ending the 2018-19 campaign 10th in FIR percentage.
Denny McCarthy - $27
McCarthy paces this week's field in SG: Total over their last 12 measured rounds, collecting three straight top-15s from the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to the Houston Open after adding another top-20 earlier in the season at the Sanderson Farms Championship. He's gained strokes with the flat stick in all but one of his last 10 starts, and he led the entire PGA Tour in the SG: Putting metric last year.
Carlos Ortiz - $20
A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Ortiz will have the home-crowd mojo on his side when he tees it up at El Camaleon where he notched a top-10 back in 2014 during his debut at the Mayakoba. He's already posted a pair of T4s this season at the Sanderson Farms Championship and Houston Open, so he's second in SG: Around-the-Green and 16th in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds.