When to bet
By 6.15pm on Friday (shotgun start)
4pts each-way 17-2 Coral, Ladbrokes
3pts each-way 11-1 general
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The LIV Golf season starts in Mexico at a venue which was previously used by the PGA Tour – the first of 14 scheduled events this year – and hardly any significant additions have been made to the LIV roster for 2023.
Thomas Pieters is the most high-profile new recruit, so Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith remain the star attractions. A back problem meant Johnson opted to skip the Saudi International earlier this month and he will make his El Camaleon debut, while Smith has been lacking sparkle in recent outings and has course form figures of MC-42.
Steve Palmer’s top tip
Joaquin Niemann 17-2
When Joaquin Niemann left the PGA Tour he seemed on the brink of becoming a member of the absolute elite – world number 18 and rising – and the 24-year-old Chilean should develop into a prolific LIV Golf champion over the months ahead.
Niemann, who won the Genesis Invitational with a 19-under-par total 12 months ago, has warmed up for the start of his 2023 LIV campaign with tenth place in the Saudi International and fifth in an Asian Tour event in Oman. He was fifth the last time he tackled El Camaleon – in the 2021 World Wide Technology Championship – and he won titles in Mexico as an amateur.
Niemann has played in four LIV events, finishing in the top five in three of them, and a first victory could be coming on Sunday.
Next best bet
Abraham Ancer 11-1
Mexican hero Abraham Ancer made hardly any mistakes when winning the Saudi International earlier this month – it was a rock-solid performance – and there is every reason to believe he will contend in his home country this week.
Ancer boasts El Camaleon form figures of 9-21-8-12-7 – the course sets up perfectly for him – and, like Niemann, he is hungry for a first LIV triumph and the accompanying $4m cheque.
El Camaleon course guide
Course El Camaleon Golf Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Prize money $20m ($4m to the winner)
Length 7,062 yards
Par 71 – three par-fives, 11 par-fours, four par-threes
Highest-ranked players in field (world ranking in brackets) Cameron Smith (5), Joaquin Niemann (23), Abraham Ancer (27), Thomas Pieters (35), Talor Gooch (43)
Course records – 72 holes 261 Viktor Hovland (2021 World Wide Technology Championship), Russell Henley (2022 World Wide Technology Championship) 18 holes 61 Roland Thatcher (2008 Mayakoba Classic)
Course winners taking part Graeme McDowell (2015 OHL Classic), Pat Perez (2016 OHL Classic)
When to bet By 6.15pm on Friday (shotgun start)
Time difference Playa del Carmen is five hours behind the UK and Ireland
Course type Parkland
Course overview The Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon has been a PGA Tour venue since 2007, so securing the course for LIV action is a coup. It is a quirky, fiddly track where sound course management is required
Weather forecast Sunny and warm with light to moderate breezes
Type of player suited to the challenge Accurate drivers typically succeed at El Camaleon
Key attribute Accuracy
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