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Jason Day of Australia watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the Zozo Championship PGA Tour at the Accordia Golf Narashino country club in Inzai, east of Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.
Jason Day of Australia watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the Zozo Championship PGA Tour at the Accordia Golf Narashino country club in Inzai, east of Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.|Lee Jin-man | Associated Press
Golf

Golf: Mike Kern picks the OHL Classic at Mayakoka, in Playa del Carmen where Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, and Viktor Havland are favored

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

After a week off the PGA guys are in Mexico for the OHL Classic at Mayakoka, in Playa del Carmen, a Greg Norman course that usually produces really low scores. You might recall that Matt Kuchar won last year and then created a controversy when he tried to pay his fill-in local caddie like 100 pesos. It happens.

Kuchar, who didn’t play as well at the end of the season, is still one of the favorites in what is a not so formidable field. He’s listed at 18-1. As is Viktor Havland. Jason Day, who’s had one top 10 in his last 12 starts, is 20-1, along with Tony Finau, who always seems to be around but never lifts a trophy.

Billy Horschel is 22-1. Charles Howell III and Joaquin Niemann are 28-1. Russell Knox, Abraham Ancer (who just finished fourth and tied for 20th last year in this) and Emiliano Grillo are 33-1. So is Scottie Scheffler. Denny McCarthy and Aaron Wise are 35-1. Kevin Kisner is 40-1. Lano Griffin is 45-1, Harris English 50-1. Pat Perez, who won this thing two years ago, is 60-1. Graham McDowell, another past champion, is 70-1. Nobody has won this event more than once in its 12-year history.

Si Woo Kim, who has top 15s in six of his 17 PGA starts, is 80-1. Brendan Todd, who just broke a huge slump by winning the satellite tourney in Bermuda, is 100-1. There are others out there, but in a field like this I can only name so many here.

I could try Day, who could be able to handle this competition. But it’s been a long time since he’s really done something (unless you count that one-day thing with Tiger Woods last month). Instead, I’ll try to look for some decent odds, since there are opportunities to be had. We’ll see.

My picks:

Joaquin Niemann, 28-1

This guy has been good to me. I had him when he won at the start of the season back in September. So I’m going to try him again. I think at the very least he’s going to contend. So as I usually say, you may want to back him up with a bet to finish in the top five.

Russell Knox, 33-1

He has a good track record here, with three top 10s, and has shown good form lately, so why not? Especially in a spot where there’s really no chalk.

Harris English, 50-1

He’s had three top sixes this season, including a tie for fourth in his last start in Houston. Good enough for me to give him a try.

And, for an even bigger stab at long odds …

Si Woo Kim, 80-1

For the reasons I mentioned above. He probably shouldn’t be anywhere near this big a number. I hope that turns into some good value.

And hey, is the Tournament of Champions are the real start of the golf season only six weeks away?

Keep reading for the college and pro football picks to come later in the week. Last week we had more winners than losers, never a bad thing.

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