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Why you should watch: World Wide Technology Championship - NBC Sports

Author: NBC Sports

Source: https://www.nbcsports.com/golf/news/why-you-should-watch-world-wide-technology-championship

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After a week off, the PGA Tour heads to Cabo for the World Wide Technology Championship.Five of the top 50 players in the world rankings will tee it up at the Tiger Woods-designed El Cardonal course, as will Swedish star Ludvig Åberg and everybody’s favorite club pro, Michael Block.Here is a quick look at the television schedule:Thursday-Saturday, 4:30-7:30 p.m.ET (Golf Channel)Sunday, 3-6 p.m.ET (Golf Channel)Here’s why you should watch:Tiger’s debutThis tournament’s move away from Mayakoba and the Playa del Carmen area after 16 years provides an opportunity for one popular golf-course designer to get his first crack at hosting a PGA Tour event.That designer would be Tiger Woods, whose first completed project, the El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas in Los Cabos, Mexico, will take the reins as host venue for the World Wide Technology Championship.The width-and-angles crowd are likely going to like this move.El Cardonal, a par-72 layout measuring 7,452 yards, is billed as a firm-and-fast test with wide fairways and big greens (8,300 square feet on average). Located on the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja Peninsula, it typically sees windy conditions.“I set up the golf strategy to make golfers think and make choices,” Woods said on the course’s website of El Cardonal, which opened in 2014.“There are going to be different ways to play every hole.Angles of approach are going to be very important and will dictate the type of shots you should consider.I love this kind of golf.”Woods hasn’t teed it up since withdrawing from the Masters this past April and a subsequent surgery on the right leg he badly injured in a February 2021 car accident.FedExCup race continuesJust three events remain in the PGA Tour’s fall slate, which means the FedExCup points races for that Next 10 (Nos.51-60 in points who will earn spots in the two signature events following The Sentry: Pebble and Genesis) and the top 125 (those players will keep full cards) is winding down.Seven players who finished the playoffs in the top 50 – and thus are fully exempt for every signature event next season – are playing, highlighted by Cam Young and Sahith Theegala. Also, Beau Hossler, No.51, has likely already clinched his Next 10 position.Eight other players currently in Next 10 range are playing this week:52.Taylor Montgomery53.Nick Hardy54. Ben Griffin56.J.J.Spaun57.Mac Hughes58.Stephan Jaeger59. Luke List60.Thomas DetryMark Hubbard (61) and Davis Riley (62) are knocking on the door.Alex Smally (55) is not playing.As for the top-125 bubble, Erik van Rooyen is hanging onto that No.125 spots, and unlike the limited-field Zozo two weeks ago, several players in this range are in action:123.Doug Ghim124. C.T.Pan125.van Rooyen126.Marty Dou127.Cameron Champ128. MJ Daffue129.Jimmy Walker‘Block Party’If you’ve never heard of Michael Block by now, you’re likely not a professional golf fan.Block, the 47-year-old pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, burst onto the scene at this summer’s PGA Championship, where he made a hole-in-one and tied for 15th to punch a return ticket to next year’s PGA.Block’s affable personality earned him overnight celebrity status, but the golf- and social-media machines quickly overdid it with their Block coverage – and Blockie didn’t quell the overexposure either, making some outlandish statements, including one about him being No.1 in the world if he could drive it like Rory McIlroy.Block was on over a dozen podcasts and television segments, he received a couple sponsor invites to PGA Tour events (Colonial and Canada), and sponsors lined up out the door, including Raising Canes, which featured Block in a commercial.Block recently garnered an invite into this winter’s Australian Open, and he’s competing this week as the PGA section champ. It will be the sixth time he’s played on Tour this season, with his T-15 at the PGA his only cut made.Mav returnsAfter nearly five months on the shelf because of a left-shoulder injury, Maverick McNealy is back competing on the PGA Tour.McNealy will tee it up this week for the first time since missing the cut at the RBC Canadian Open in June and then shutting it down to rehab a torn anterior sterno-clavicular ligament, which he suffered in February.Surgery was not needed, though the injury did require extensive rehab and set McNealy back considerably in terms of points.Prior to his injury, McNealy ranked No.26 in FedExCup points.He’s now No.121. He’ll surely get a major medical extension should he need it, though with three events left and McNealy expected to play twice, he could vault his way into Next 10 territory with two strong performances.Place your betsLudvig Åberg, who is No.58 in the world rankings, is the clear betting favorite at +900 in many places, but he’s not the only player to get behind at El Cardonal.Though it’s an unknown in Tour circles, the wide layout should place a heavy emphasis on approach play and driving distance, making Cameron Young (+1400), K.H.Lee (+4500), Chesson Hadley (+6600) and Kelly Kraft (+12500) among the players I like at their respective odds.

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