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Monday, November 11, 2013

OHL Classic at Mayakoba - Power Rankings

Players have made the trek from the coast of Georgia to the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, and it’s time to take a looks at those likely to hoist the hardware in this week’s power rankings.

One development, Sunday night the forecast for the event was calling for at least a 70% chance of rain in each of the four rounds, with 100% chances on Friday and Saturday. That has been scaled back significantly today. While I am not familiar with the weather patterns of Mexico, perhaps it’s like Scotland? If you don’t like the weather, wait 20 minutes? Either way, things are looking up in that regard.

For considerations that went into today’s power ranking, I’ll point you to yesterday’s preview. While last week Webb Simpson stood out as a clear number one for the ranking, that isn’t the case this week. Without further ado, here’s this week’s Dandy Dozen:
  1. Brian Gay – Coming off his first top 10 since his 2013 win at the Humana Challenge way back in January, Gay finds a landing spot on a course that has proven to be made for him. He won this event in ’08 and tied for fifth in 2011, never missing the cut in five tries. This is the classic case of form meets history, but stats also match up relatively well if he can manage to hit enough GIR.
  2. Kevin Stadler – Coming off a T10 at The McGladrey Classic and having played in the final threesome on Sunday, he also owns a solid record at El Camaleon. He’s a perfect 6/6 with four top 25s and a top 10. He’s a fairways and greens machine, with the big question mark resting on his anchored putter. If he can roll it to around or just above the field average, he can be in the thick on Sunday afternoon again this week.
  3. Daniel Summerhays – Like Stads, Summerhays has done his share of knocking on the door for a first win of late. While his comps on courses like Harbour Town and Waialae CC aren’t as good as I would prefer, he did tie for fifth at El Camaleon in his only start last year. He’s especially solid at finding GIR from shorter range, and the lack of length on this week’s track should allow for that to show up.
  4. Briny Baird – If I went just of my magic spreadsheet, he’s the guy. He’s 6/6 with five top 25s and three top-six finishes in this event, and has an immaculate record in other courses that tend to indicate success here. Form is obviously excellent, but it is reasonable to expect a hangover from his 72nd hole disappointment last weekend. A breakthrough win this week would be along the lines of what Kyle Stanley did at the WMPO in 2012 after his heartbreaking loss at Torrey Pines.
  5. Tim Clark – Clark had never played The McGladrey Classic until last week, and that didn’t stop him from nearly winning it. Things appear similar in almost every regard this week as well. His recent success at events like McGladrey and the Sony Open lead me to believe his game is a perfect fit this week. Straight driver and a good short iron player.
  6. J.J. Henry – I’ll admit that I didn't see this one coming when I started my research, but Henry was the other darling of the “spreadsheet.” He’s pretty accurate off the tee and is a very underrated iron player. He’s also 4/4 in this event, with a pair of top 10s including a solo second in 2009. Form isn't spectacular, but good enough to still endorse.
  7. Matt Every – On the surface, he should be higher. He tied for third here in 2012, so course history buffs will be all over him. His form is very good, coming off a T7 last week that should have been even better if not for a couple of late stumbles. In fact, I’ll venture a guess that he’ll top some power rankings this week. The reason he’s so far down is a trend I spotted last year. He almost never follows up top 10s well. If there’s ever a week where he does, this could be it, but he always seems to celebrate the big weeks a little longer than most players do. That, or he puts more pressure on himself the next week. Ironically, the same season he tied for third in this event, he also tied for sixth at the Sony Open and eighth at the RBC Heritage.
  8. Chris Stroud – I like him better as a gut play than I do on paper, but this event would be the perfect type of event for him to pick off his first win. He’s 5/6 here, with top-five finishes in his last two trips. Much like Every, expect course history buffs to be all over him, and with good reason. His T3 at the CIMB Classic isn’t all that far in the past, either.
  9. Charles Howell III – This sets up as another good week for CH3, the question is how good. He’s 4/4 with three top 25s in this event, so it’s plenty logical to plug him in for a guaranteed decent payday. I pause for two reasons. First, is how many times do we expect big things from him and he fails to deliver? Second, he struggles with driving accuracy and most of the guys with solid records here do not.
  10. Mark Wilson – A past winner here, Wilson can be counted on to be in play off the tee. Tied for 28th in his title defense, so it seems unlikely that he will fall on his face. Its easy to back away from him, given his form isn't anything stellar.
  11. Harris English – Somewhat quiet, but steady start to the season has English a little under the radar. He’s never played here before, but has shown some game on similar courses. Hits a lot of greens, a good putter and plays the par 4s well, so a legitimate threat.
  12. Heath Slocum – Odds are, this may be the only week we see Slocum in the top 12 in this feature. He’s 3/3 in this event with a T3 in ’09 highlighting nothing worse than a T37. He has laser precision off the tee, and has very little trouble finding GIR. His weakness is the putter, but El Camaleon has identified winners with very similar stat sheets in the past.

Next 5 (alphabetical): Jason Bohn, Greg Chalmers, William McGirt, Kevin Na and Brendon Todd

We will return tomorrow and begin to narrow our fantasy focus. Anybody else ready for the Yahoo! game to start to give us more to talk about?

Best of luck to all!

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