While many (particularly Rory McIlroy) thought (and prayed) that LIV Golf would be over last year, the truth is looking far different. The iconic El Camaleon Golf Course at Mayakoba in Mexico is the venue for the opening week of the Saudi-sponsored tour’s comeback in 2023, which promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Let’s take a closer look at the first event of the year.
2023 LIV Golf: Mayakoba Preview
(Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
As a refresher on the format, each tournament is 54 holes, or three rounds of 18 holes, since LV is the roman numeral for 54. There is no cut, in contrast to the PGA Tour, and all 48 competitors compete over the course of three days while guaranteed an appearance fee.
Players compete both individually and in a team format with 12 teams of four players each in LIV Golf’s team-style event. The shotgun starts, in which all players tee off simultaneously at various holes throughout the course, are another distinctive feature of LIV Golf.
The payouts offered each and every week are perhaps (definitely) the main reason the majority of the players in the field this week left the PGA Tour. Every player who takes the course on Friday will be paid an appearance fee, unlike the PGA Tour, where players are only paid for making the cut.
At the first event of the year here in Mexico, all of LIV’s notable 2022 signees will be present as Carlos Ortiz and Abraham Ancer will represent their nation jointly for the first time under the LIV flag. Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith were two of LIV Golf’s top 2022 signees, and both are both among the favorites this week. At the top, DJ and Joaquin Niemann sit at +800 as of Tuesday.
Course Preview: El Camaleón Golf Course
El Camaleon, which is located on the Riviera Maya not far from Cancun, is a fitting starting course for LIV Golf this season because the legendary golfer and LIV commissioner Greg Norman created it. El Camaleon, which has previously hosted PGA Tour tournaments, will present this group with a number of difficulties as well as some of the most breathtaking scenery they will see all season.
As far as the course itself, as we find on most courses south of the border, the greens are covered in Paspalum greens, and there are water hazards throughout (10 holes). With smaller-than-average greens, players’ approach shots will be given more consideration.
Relevant Betting Stats
- Driving Accuracy
- SG: Approach
- SG: Putting
Outright Betting Pick: Carlos Ortiz (+3500)
With 28 rounds played here of PGA Tour action, Ortiz has the highest true strokes gained in the field at +1.39. In his past three appearances, the Mexican National has three top 10s, including two second-place finishes. With little to go of in terms of LIV metrics, I’ll take the proven commodity here at El Camaleon at nearly 40/1 odds.
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