The Mayakoba Golf Classic made golf history in 2007 when it became the first PGA Tour event to ever be contested outside of the United States or Canada. The tournament is contested in Mexico and this year will be the fourteenth staging of the event.
From 2007–2012 it was an alternate event played early in the season the same week as the WGC Match Play Championship. The tournament was a counting event for the FedEx Cup, however like other alternate events it only counted for half points.
The event was not part of the 2013 season, but was moved to November 2013 to be part of the 2013–14 wrap-around season. As a primary event in the early part of the PGA Tour that season the winner of the Mayakoba Golf Classic earned full FedEx Cup points and a Masters invitation.
The host course El Camaleon Golf Club is a 6,900+ yard Par 71 which was designed by Greg Norman and opened in 2005. It has a varied layout which runs through dense tropical jungles, mangrove forests and oceanfront. Its coastal location means that it is hit by all the elements and scoring is ultimately dictated by wind levels.
If the wind gets up it will suit the more patient, experienced players and it is a layout that has rewarded veteran ball-strikers. Fred Funk won the inaugural 2007 event at the age of 50 years. With such a diverse terrain, missing fairways around El Camaleon can be costly.
Greens in regulation is key, a task made more difficult if the wind becomes a factor. The average winning score since 2007 is just over -17 so a fast start is important.
Last year, 34 year old Brendon Todd captured the Mayakoba Golf Classic for his second victory in as many weeks. It was a rain delayed Monday finish and the Pennsylvania native carded a score of -20 (263) for the week, one stroke clear of Carlos Ortis, Vaughn Taylor and Adam Long. It was an emotional victory for Todd who just a few years back had a case of the full swing yips, missing 37 of 41 cuts and was seriously considering a career change.
“It’s just amazing how fast this game can turn. It turned fast in the wrong direction for me in 2015, it turned fast the other direction for me, so I’m enjoying it and I’m just going to keep grinding”Brendon Todd
Todd squared only four bogeys for the week and racked up a total of 24 Birdies. He finished T25 for Driving Accuracy, 79th for Driving Distance, 3rd for GIR and T8 for Putts per GIR.
In 2018, Matt Kuchar won the Mayakoba Golf Classic and his eight PGA Tour title. It was his first victory since winning the 2014 RBC Heritage. He closed with a ‘nervy’ final round -2 (69) to win by one stroke from Danny Lee.
Kooch squared only 4 bogeys and finished T1 for Birdies, racking up a total of 26 to finish on -22 (262) for the week. He ranked 3rd for Driving Accuracy, T28 for Driving Distance, T9 for GIR and 41st for Putts per GIR.
In 2017, Patton Kizzire won his first PGA Tour title finishing one stroke ahead of a charging Rickie Fowler. Kizzire closed with a final round 67 for a -19 (265) total.
“I was glad to get it done, Rickie made me work hard. This is a special moment for me. But at the end of the day, I will leave here the same confident player, just with a different resume”Patton Kizzire
Kizzire finished the week T52 for Driving Accuracy, 21st for Driving Distance, T7 for GIR and 4th for Putts per GIR
The 2016 champion, Pat Perez, who was playing on a Medical Extension, shot a third round 62 to move within one stroke of the 54 hole leader, Gary Woodland. He made five birdies and one bogey in his final round to finish on -21 (263) and win by two strokes from Woodland. Perez finished the week T49 in Driving Accuracy, 19th for Driving Distance, T11 for GIR and T3 for Putts per GIR.
In 2015, Graeme McDowell emerged victorious in a 3-way Monday playoff with Jason Bohn and Russell Knox. G Mac finished the week T16 for Driving Accuracy, T30 for GIR, 4th for Putts per GIR and 1st for Birdies shooting 27 in total. In 2014 Charley Hoffman finished T33, 4th, 12th and T3 for the same stats respectively.
World Wide Technology Championship Tips
Harris English 16/1 (E/W) – a past champion at the Mayakoba Golf Classic winning here in 2013. He also finished solo 5th in last year’s tournament. Arriving to El Camaleon off the back of a T6 at the RSM Classic, finishing the week T14 for SG:Tee-To-Green and 19th for SG:Putting. Statistically balanced, he features in the Top 5 in this week’s Stats Analysis table. Arriving hot to a place where he has past success makes for a good mix. Game looks sharp highlighted by his form and stats. All things considered he is hard to ignore for this year’s final full field event.
Russell Henley 25/1 (E/W) – sticking with Russell Henley again for this week’s tournament. This is his third look at El Camaleon Golf Club with no form of note in his two previous visits. His Current Form is solid without being spectacular. A T4 at the ZOZO Championship was followed with Top 30 finishes in both the Houston Open and RSM Classic. Statistically a perfect fit for this week’s challenge, underlined by his first place position in this week’s Stats Analysis table. Currently 10th on Tour for both GIR and Driving Accuracy as well as being 6th for Scoring Average. If the wind gets up it won’t be an issue for the former Sony Open and Honda Classic winner. Perfect week to make it win number four on Tour.
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