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Can a resurgent Perez do it again?

 

The 2017 leg of the 2017/2018 US PGA Tour heads over the border into Mexico this week to the El Camaleon Golf Club where Pat Perez will defend the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, an event that gave him his first Tour victory in eight years.

The 41-year-old American, whose first PGA Tour triumph came at the 2009 Bob Hope Classic, hadn't won again and coming back from an 8-month layoff for a shoulder injury, he was battling to break a winless drought in November last year when everything finally came together and he was able to carry off the OHL Classic.

Since then he has captured a third Tour title, the Cimb Classic last month, and now, with his confidence up and his game in good nick, he will be coming to Mexico with a good chance of a second successive victory, partly because the veteran ball striker is a good fit for the title.

In the first 10 editions of the tournament played at El Camaleón, veteran ball-strikers like Fred Funk (2007), Mark Wilson (2009), Cameron Beckman (2010), Graeme McDowell (2015) and himself have won the majority of titles.

Two or three young guns like John Huh (2012) and Harris English (2013) were also winners though, so we had better not rule out the British bookmakers' 28-year-old favourite Rickie Fowler even though it might count against him that he will be making his first appearance at El Camaleon in his first start of the season.

The World no 7 tops the bookie's list at 10/1 followed by Perez at 12/1, Gary Woodland and Chesson Hadley at 20/1 and Patrick Reed at 22/1.

Seasoned Charley Hoffman and two-time major winner Zach Johnson, both at 28/1, are two more contestants who fit the veteran strikers bill so you had better keep an eye on them as well.

The weather? A mixed bag is a forecast. The wind should not get up much above 12 km/h but thunderstorms on Friday afternoon and throughout Sunday could be severe enough to either cause the event to be shortened or taken into Monday.

LEADING ODDS
(Tuesday am, Nov 7, 2017)

Rickie Fowler 10/1
Pat Perez 12/1
Patrick Reed 22/1
Gary Woodland 20/1
Chesson Hadley 20/1
Charley Hoffman 28/1
Zach Johnson 28/1
Kevin Chappell 30/1
Chez Reavie 28/1
Luke List 35/1
Jason Kokrak 35/1
Bryson Dechambeau 40/1
Ryan Moore 45/1
Byeong Hun An 40/1
Anirban Lahiri 35/1
Graeme McDowell 45/1
Charles Howell III 40/1
Ollie Schniederjans 40/1
Scott Piercy 40/1
Kevin Streelman 50/1
Emiliano Grillo 50/1
Russell Knox 55/1.

NOTE: For all the latest odds, visit www.oddschecker.com/golf/ohl-classic/winner.

Neville Leck

Written by neville@golfweather.com.