Golf picks: World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba best bets and predictions from Diane Knox Balas

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Diane Knox Balas


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Diane Knox Balas loves golf (she’s Scottish, so of course she does) but let’s just say she’s much better at analyzing golf than playing! The same cannot be said for her brother, Russell Knox, who’s a 2-time winner on the PGA Tour and fueled Diane’s initial passion for the sport. A seasoned TV and radio host, Diane has given out 8 outright winners since joining the Pickswise team in April 2022. Her general rule is she has to have three stand-out reasons for each pick and spends her time studying stats, playing form and little nuggets of information from golfers’ lives on Tour. Diane lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Garrett, son Greyson and two English Bulldogs Bowser & Barkley. You can follow her antics on Twitter @KnoxyDiane and Instagram @dianeknoxbalas. For Diane Knox Balas media enquiries, please email
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Guys, we had our second outright winner of the season! Irishman Seamus Power had the…ahem… power to overcome the field, and the wind, to clinch his second PGA Tour victory. I hope you took him at 25/1! Another of my outright picks, Thomas Detry, finished in solo 2nd, as well as Justin Lower who finished T8. So, all in all, a successful week in Bermuda.

Now we move to another tropical destination and fly to Cancun, Mexico. The resort this week is Mayakoba, another popular stop on the schedule that attracts some of the big names during this Fall portion of the season.

Viktor Hovland has won this tournament the last two years, and he returns to El Cameleón to go for the three-peat. Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau and Collin Morikawa will also be teeing it up.

With only two more regular-field events after this one before the festive break, guys will be looking to get some valuable FedExCup points on the board before the top players make their return in Hawaii at the start of the new year.

El Cameleón Golf Course: What you need to know

Another week where we get to see a stunning, resort golf course right on the water. El Camaleón Golf Course at Mayakoba is a par 71 and measures 7,034 yards. It’s a relatively short course that results in low scoring, but it’s a tight course that really rewards precision and great iron play. Greens in reg will be a big stat this week, but more importantly, hitting the large greens in the correct places to be able to convert.

The winning score averages 20-under since 2013, so expect to see birdies in abundance! Even though Hovland has won this tournament the last two years, he captured the trophy in totally different ways. Last year, he hit 73% of fairways and was 6th in scrambling, but in 2020 he hit way fewer fairways (T17 in accuracy) but lead the field in GIR. In both years, he was just outside the top 10 in putting.

I’m looking at a combination of great stats, good momentum and excellent course history this week.

Knox’s Knockout Mayakoba picks

Viktor Hovland (+1100)

Available at Unibet at time of publishing

I love a good storyline, and the three-peat for Hovland would just be too special to leave out. After winning here in 2020 & 2021, he clearly loves the course. In fact, the Norwegian seems to love these tropical courses, also securing wins in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Hovland always has a great attitude, and you best believe he’ll be smiling his way around the course this week when reminiscing on the past two victories. We’ve only seen him place twice of late, but his T5 finish in Japan showed solid tee-to-green play.

Aaron Wise (+2000)

Available at BetMGM at time of publishing

I’ve been keeping a close watch on Aaron Wise for a while now, and it feels like it’s only a matter of time before he’s holding another trophy. This is only his third start of the season, but he’s coming off a top-10 at the CJ Cup with a load of confidence. This course really suits Wise’s game, and he finished T10 here in 2018, 2nd in 2020, and T15 in 2021. He’s a big hitter, but his putting has been on point lately as well as his scrambling. I like him to contend again this week.

Tom Hoge (+3000)

Available at DraftKings at time of publishing

Tom Hoge has been playing well and has had a great start to the new season, playing four times and finishing within the top 13 each time. The standout finish was T4 at the Shriners in Vegas, and Hoge was T13 at the CJ Cup against a stacked field. The approach shot will be vital this week and it’s a real strength of Tom’s game, sitting at 3rd on the Tour. He’s also 6th in greens in reg and 20th in putting. Put it all together, and Hoge should have another good week. He also finished T3 here in 2020.

Thomas Detry (+5000)

Available at Unibet at time of publishing

For all the reasons I gave for picking Detry last week in Bermuda, I replicate it for this week at Mayakoba. His solo 2nd finish got him into the tournament and it won’t be too challenging for the Belgian to take his game to a similar, coastal course. Detry knows how to make birdies, and is now sitting at #7 in the FedExCup after some fantastic play.

Adam Long (+8000)

Available at Unibet at time of publishing

This is a real “horses for courses” type of place, and you see the same guys playing well here year after year. Adam Long is one of those names, after finishing 3rd here in 2020 and 2nd in 2019 (and T22 last year). His season has been fairly mediocre so far, but he’s back to a familiar course where he’s made a lot of money.

World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba Prop Bets

Emiliano Grillo top-10 (+270)

Available at DraftKings at time of publishing

Grillo is another guy who plays well on this course, and the results show with four top-15 finishes in his last six starts here (we’ll put last year’s missed cut down to an anomalie). The Argentinian has already had two top-5 finishes this season and sits within the top 20 in greens in reg. He should feel right at home at El Camaleón this week.

Austin Smotherman top-10 (+800)

Available at DraftKings at time of publishing

Smotherman had a great few days in Bermuda and was leading the tournament after Friday; I watched most of his Friday round and he was solid in all areas. A few costly weekend bogeys knocked him down to a T23 finish, but he’s taking his game to a similar course with similar conditions.

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