Power Rankings: World Wide Technology Championship

Collin Morikawa, Jason Day and former champions Harris English (2013) and Matt Kuchar (2018) will be among the celebrities to be discussed in Draws and Fades.

Hovland are pursuing a goal that the previous 12 two-time champions have failed to achieve – to win three consecutive editions of the same tournament. Not since Steve Stricker triumphed at the John Deere Classics in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Hovland was 13 years old when Stricker converted the Dreitorf.

It was unusual when Hovland won the title for the first time in El Camaleón. A cursory glance at the champions on the pitch suggests that only forwards of a certain age prevail. They found what Ponce de León never did – the fountain of youth.

When Hovland was crowned the 2020 winner, he lowered the average age of the winners to 34 years. Granted, the tournament has evolved from an additional event in late winter (2007-2012) to a standalone competition in the fall (since 2013), but considering the talent’s prime years have gotten younger, that’s still something for the old guard. As Hovland successfully defended, the emphasis on the average age of the winners added more to the historical narrative than the overall direction of the boys awaiting Sunday’s Limestone Chameleon trophy. The Norwegian, who just turned 25 in September, thus fulfills the archetype that was repeatedly rewarded in the tournament.

El Camaleón is a par 71. Paspalum covers the property. In part because Mayakoba is a resort town, but also because the winds blowing off the Gulf of Mexico can be relentless, greens are not exposed more than 11 feet on the Stimpmeter. So when the breeze is light and the course finishes at just 7,034 yards (reflecting a 17 yard gain from last year, all on the seventh par 5 hole), the tournament becomes a green light special. Primary tube scraps are trimmed to just over two inches.

In his title defense, Hovland set the tournament record by playing 72 holes in 23 under 261. The field’s scoring average of 69,097 was also a new mark. With largely favorable weather forecasts for this week, at least after the opening round where rain and storms threaten, that’s a fair target for the 132-man field. Wind will sometimes affect a few shots, but it won’t be a primary challenge.

It won’t be the par 3 either. Once again they were the easiest set of 50 courses all of last season. Hovland averaged a 2.75 on them, but he also paced par-5s, scoring a decent 4.08. Although ability from tee to green is a Priority A on any shootout, utilizing the par 5s is necessary to stay on the leaderboard.

NOTE: ShotLink will not be used for this tournament.


ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE

PGATOUR.com’s Rob Bolton summarizes and previews each tournament from multiple perspectives. As planned, look for his following posts.

MONDAY: Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Draws & Fades
WEDNESDAY: Select them preview
SUNDAY: Payouts and Points, Medical Enhancements, Qualifiers, Recast, Rookie Leaderboard

* – Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Selection for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, also released Tuesday.

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