Love it or hate it, LIV Golf is back. The Saudi-backed golf league’s sophomore season heads to Mayakoba for its season opener as it continues to poach the Tour, most recently with the acquisitions of Mito Pereira, Brendan Steele, and Thomas Pieters.
The 4 Aces GC, captained by Dustin Johnson, look to defend their throne after winning the inaugural LIV season. Pat Perez and Patrick Reed re-join Johnson in the quest to defend the title, while Peter Uihlein replaces Talor Gooch, who is now on Bubba Watson’s RangeGoats GC.
We break it all down in our full LIV Golf Mayakoba betting preview below, including outright odds, free golf betting picks, and more.
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LIV Golf Mayakoba picks and predictions
Dustin Johnson (+850 – 0.4 units)
Currently the king of LIV Golf, DJ looks to lead his team to back-to-back victories this season. Immediately establishing his dominance on the LIV circuit, he posted Top-8 finishes in six of the seven tournaments he played in last season, including his win in Boston.
Some off-course news follows DJ as he heads to Mayakoba due to the recent announcement that he and long-time sponsor Adidas parted ways this week. Perhaps the separation causes some distractions for DJ, or perhaps the golfer is just looking to re-brand himself and his team.
El Camaleon is a track that DJ never played when on the PGA Tour, but it should be a place where he succeeds. In his last full season on Tour, he ranked 28th in strokes gained putting and boasted a GIR% north of 66%.
Against the generally weaker competition, DJ flirts with winning in almost every LIV tournament, and this week shouldn’t be any different.
Abraham Ancer (+1,200 – 0.3 units)
Abraham Ancer boasts home-field advantage this week at El Camaleon and surely will be the most followed player around the course by fans. Mexico’s top-ranked amateur in 2013, it took Ancer a few years to further develop his game and find success on the PGA Tour.
He finally found that success in the 2020-21 season, where he finished ninth in the FedEx Cup Standings and boasted nine Top-10 finishes over 27 events played, including his lone career win at the St. Jude Invitational. A big part of his success that season was his putting and iron play, finishing 29th in strokes gained putting and 22nd in GIR%.
These strong aspects should especially benefit Ancer at El Camaleon, a track where he’s excelled. He made each of his last six cuts here when on Tour, posting three Top-10 finishes over that stretch.
Clearly, playing in Mexico elevates his game, and this weekend should not go any differently against a weaker field. One of the stars on the LIV circuit last year, Ancer finished inside the Top 11 in three of the last four tournaments.
Charl Schwartzel (+5,000 – 0.2 units)
Charl Schwartzel won the inaugural LIV tournament in London last season, and who’s to say he can’t start this year off with a bang as well? Ending last year in great form, Schwartzel posted two Top-9 finishes over his last three tournaments.
In his last full season on the PGA TOUR, Schwartzel boasted a GIR% north of 66% and finished in the positive in strokes gained putting. Can he utilize his solid iron play and putting to post a good finish at El Camaleon?
He made the cut in his lone appearance at this track when on the PGA Tour in 2021-22 and with a much more watered-down field this time around, Schwartzel could start off the year with a win in back-to-back seasons.
Eugenio Chacarra (+6,600 – 0.1 units)
A big reason why Chacarra is as long as 66/1 is the fact he’s relatively unknown to those who don’t follow golf closely. Hailing out of Spain and attending Oklahoma State, Chacarra was a big-time college prospect that most people pegged as a future PGA Tour member.
However, in a shocking move, he forwent his 2022 collegiate season to join LIV Golf on an undisclosed three-year contract. At the time, Chacarra was the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world, leaving opposers of the LIV circuit stunned.
How did the shocking move pay off for Chacarra? Quite fine considering he won the penultimate event last season in Bangkok, raking in $4 million.
Not too bad for a college dropout. One of, if not, the biggest prospects on the LIV circuit this season, look for the 22-year-old to make some serious noise once again this year, starting at El Camaleon.
Odds to win LIV Golf Mayakoba
|Golfer||Odds to win LIV Golf Mayakoba|
|Harold Varner III||+3,300|
Odds courtesy of bet365 as of Feb. 22, 2023.
LIV Golf Mayakoba field and favorites
If you’ve been betting on LIV Golf in any fashion, you’ll know that some combination of Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, and Joaquin Niemann has routinely made up the Top 3 betting favorites. That will be the case again for the season opener.
Dustin Johnson enters the week a +800 solo favorite after posting six Top-8 finishes — including a win in Boston — last season, with Niemann and Smith sitting close behind at better than 10/1 odds.
The Chilean finished T4 or better in three of the four LIV events he started in 2022 and also finished T5 at the WWT Championship at Mayakoba last season. Smith has been much less consistent but did notch his first LIV victory in Chicago in September.
Otherwise, notables include Patrick Reed (+1,800), Jeddah winner Brooks Koepka (+2,500), and Bryson DeChambeau (+4,000).
El Camaleon Golf Course notes
An annual stop on the PGA Tour, El Camaleon Golf Course at Maykoba in Mexico hosts the World Wide Technology Championship during the fall swing. A fitting way to kick off the 2023 LIV season, this course was designed by Greg Norman, who is the commissioner of LIV.
El Camaleon is a Par-71, 7,034-yard track that does not play particularly long. In fact, this course rewards hitters who can get to the greens on approach and get off them quickly.
Looking at the top of previous leaderboards, the metrics that predict the most success at this track include strokes gained putting and greens in regulation percentage (GIR%). This tournament is LIV Golf’s first appearance at El Camaleon, which should be a great and entertaining venue considering the course should provide relatively easy scoring.
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LIV Golf recent winners and odds history
Let’s take a look at some recent LIV Golf winners and their closing odds to win:
|Jeddah (Oct. 2022)||Brooks Koepka||+2,500|
|Bangkok (Oct. 2022)||Eugenio Chacarra||+15,000|
|Chicago (Sept. 2022)||Cameron Smith||+600|
|Boston (Sept. 2022)||Dustin Johnson||+600|
|Bedminster (July 2022)||Henrik Stenson||+6,000|
|Portland (July 2022)||Branden Grace||+3,500|
|London (June 2022)||Charl Schwartzel||+3,000|
Odds courtesy of GolfOdds.