Tiger Woods is back in the golf conversation this week at the PGA Tour’s stop in Mexico.
Now before you get too excited, sorry… he’s not playing. That would be a great story, but that’s not why we’re talking about him.
This week’s tournament, the World Wide Technology Championship, will be played at the first golf course that Woods designed: El Cardonal at Diamante in Los Cabos, which opened in 2014.
It will be the first time a PGA Tour event has been played on a Woods-designed layout.
Russell Henley is the tournament’s defending champion but he won the event when it was played at El Camaleon in Mayakoba.
Now it’s on to Los Cabos as the PGA Tour winds down 2023 with just three events remaining: this week’s tournament, next week’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship, and the following week’s RSM Classic at Sea Island, GA.
Then we’re on hold until the best-of-the-best tee it up at the Tournament of Champions in Maui the first week of January — well, except for a couple of silly season tournaments.
Most of golf’s big names are already planning holiday festivities as there are just five players ranked in the top 50 in the world rankings teeing it up.
That means there are plenty of players looking for status who will be gunning to make their mark on the PGA Tour and maybe win for the first time.
There’s a lot of money (almost $1.5 million for the winner) and Fed Ex Cup points (500) on the line this week.
Let’s get started on the final stretch of 2023 with our World Wide Technology Championship odds and picks.
World Wide Technology Championship Field: Top Favorites & Best Odds Available
The Course is the Story This Week
With Tiger’s course being used this week, just about everyone teeing it up will be taking on the layout for the first time.
That means practice rounds and pro-ams take on a whole new meaning as players will use them to gather as much information as possible.
Most tournaments, players, and caddies have pages and pages of information of where to hit it and — more importantly — where not to hit it.
Not this week… at least not when they first land and head to the course.
It’s going to be one of those tournaments where one mistake can cost a player a shot at the title and the top prize money to go along with the FedEx Cup points.
It all will come down to who’s the quickest learner this week… or who has Tiger on speed dial and has made a call or two to get the lowdown on his course.
No Defending Champ This Week
Henley, who won here last year by four strokes, won’t be in the field as he and the others who are secure in their standings won’t be back in action until Maui.
That does open it up for those who need to have good showings — or even a win — to keep that precious PGA Tour card going forward.
If not, they will be spending time on the Korn Ferry Tour trying to make their way back onto the PGA Tour.
Pressure? For many of these guys, it’s make or break over the next three weeks.
Joel Dahmen and Mexico Go Together Well
We’re going way, way out on that limb again as we’re thinking it’s time for Joel Dahmen to get back in the winner’s circle.
At +5500 (Best Live Odds: ) this week, he’s way down the betting list.
But, looking at his T-3 finish here last year, we love backing a player coming in with positive vibes about a tournament — even if it’s being played on a different course.
Dahmen has one PGA Tour victory and it came in the Dominican Republic at the 2021 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
That tournament saw him finally break through and he’s making the most of that chance and playing as much as possible.
He’s coming into this week off a T-59 at the ZOZO Championship but prior to making the long trip to Japan, he was T-13 at the Sanderson Farms event and followed that up with a T-7 at the Shriners tournament in Las Vegas.
He’s playing solid golf and that T-3 last year will certainly boost his confidence.
And he needs a great showing this week. He’s 84th in FedEx Cup points and 153rd in the world rankings so he’s looking to climb into solid positioning heading into 2024.
Lucas Glover Looks To Keep Hot Playing Going
One of those top-ranked players in the field is Lucas Glover who is an appealing +2200 (Best Live Odds: ) this week.
He comes in at No. 32 in the world rankings. His status for 2024 is solid but we feel he’s still looking to make a statement after not being a choice for the Ryder Cup team.
He’s coming in off some time off but before this break, he was one of the hottest golfers on the planet.
He won the Wyndham Championship and followed that up with a playoff victory in the next event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship, which was the first FedEx Cup playoff event. He then wrapped up his impressive run with a T-22 in the BMW Championship and a T-18 at the Tour Championship.
We’re thinking he’s used the time off to relax… but also spent time on the range to keep this hot streak going.
Around the Prop Scene
Over at DraftKings, there is one prop bet that caught our eye.
Check out the bet that the tournament winner won’t be playing in the final group.
At +175, we like the fact that it’s likely the players in the last group won’t have much — if any — experience when it comes to being in this pressure-packed situation.
If any players in the groups right in front of the final pairing put a low number on the board, that just might be good enough to pick up the victory.