By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
John Huh has had to wait 21 months to defend his title at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Huh came from seven strokes off the pace that February Sunday and then took Robert Allenby to the eighth playoff hole before earning his first title. Huh went on to win PGA TOUR Rookie of the year honors in 2012
The OHL Classic moved to November this year, though, so Huh's title defense at El Cameleon has been a long time coming. This will be Huh's fourth start in the 2013-2014 wrap-around schedule, with a tie for 30th at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open his best finish.
"Normally only takes a year to come back," Huh said. "Turns out I have to wait 21 months ago. So really excited and honored to be here as defending champion and I look forward playing good golf.
"Obviously I have a good memory on that golf course hopefully to bring that memory back and play well this week. This golf course has a beautiful view and beautifully laid out. Look forward to play good golf with good players this week."
The 23-year-old Korean-American comes to Mexico after a two-week break. The OHL Classic is the sixth and final event of the 2013 part of the wrap-around schedule -- and this year offers a full slate of FedExCup points, a berth in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and an invitation to the Masters.
Huh has an affinity for courses designed by Greg Norman, too. Not only did he win the OHL Classic in just his fifth start on TOUR, Huh ended up tying for second at the Valero Texas Open later that year.
He admits that his debut at El Camaleon turned out to a "little more than I expected" but Huh feels like he is better prepared now for whatever happens with two years on TOUR under his belt.
"It will be a same, you know, same as playing another tournament," Huh said. "Just give myself a good chance every single hole if possibly I can and really enjoy the moment I'm there. Yeah, I mean, I think it's been success on PGA TOUR. Trying to really enjoy myself on the road and inside the ropes.
"Hopefully this week will be the one week I can really enjoy. And really look forward to teeing it up on Thursday."
Each week, PGATOUR.COM's Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton offers his Power Rankings for the weekly TOUR event as well as his Sleeper picks. But what about the players who don't make the Power Rankings but who can't really be considered Sleepers? Bolton will make one "wild card" selection from the large group of players who fall into that middle range but might rise up to claim the title. This week's pick is ...
John Huh ... For the second straight week, the defending champion lands here. While Tommy Gainey missed the cut in his title defense of The McGladrey Classic, Huh figures to fare better in his return trip to El Camaleon Golf Club where he survived the second-longest sudden-death playoff in PGA TOUR history in 2012. He's survived seven consecutive cuts but hasn't cracked a top 20 in five starts.
IRVING, Texas -- John Huh holed out from 162 yards with his approach shot at the par-4 14th for eagle during Saturday's third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
It's the first eagle at that hole since 2006.
Huh is now 7 under for the tournament through 16 holes.
IRVING, Texas -- Following his second-round 64 on Friday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, John Huh reflected on his play with Will Haskett from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. Huh is at 7 under through 36 holes.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A bunker lesson from K.J. Choi paid big dividends for John Huh on Friday.
Huh went 5-for-5 on sand saves on his way to a 69 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, where he'll enter the weekend in contention.
"We worked out about four or five hours," Huh said of the lesson, which came during the week of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. "He's the master of the bunker, so I took really good notes."
Huh added that he was basically trying to learn from Choi's touch in the sand.
He chose a good mentor -- Choi ranks second on the PGA TOUR in sand saves this season. Huh, meanwhile, entered the week 133rd.
Four birdies and just one bogey certainly helped Huh's cause. It's the first time he's been in contention this season and the lesson couldn't have come at a better time with Huh having missed four of his last five cuts.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ORLANDO, Fla. -- With four missed cuts in his last five starts prior to this week, John Huh needless to say didn't get off to the kind of start he was hoping for.
Last season's Rookie of the Year might be turning the corner, however. He opened with a 67 Thursday at Bay Hill and began the second round within two of the lead.
"I think it's a little advantage of having played here last year," Huh said. "Hopefully I can take advantage of that."
Huh also seems to be settling into his new equipment -- he switched to TaylorMade in the offseason.
"It was a little hard for me," Huh said of the change. "I changed pretty much every club in my bag except the utility club."
Huh had planned to visit Augusta National earlier this week in preparation for his first Masters but instead turned up at Bay Hill to work on his putting.
Among his equipment changes was a decision to go back to a center-shafted putter, which he used last year.
He didn't even need the putter on a couple of occasions Thursday, twice chipping in.
"My short game was pretty good," he said.
So is the rest of his game, thanks also in part to a pep talk he had with his father.
"He said to just go out and just have some fun," Huh said. "Play smart and play conservative."
Each week, PGATOUR.COM's Fantasy Golf columnist Rob Bolton offers his Power Rankings for the weekly TOUR event as well as his Sleeper picks. But what about the players who don't make the Power Rankings but who can't really be considered Sleepers?
Starting with this week's Sony Open in Hawaii, Bolton will make one "wildcard" selection from the large group of players who fall into that middle range but might rise up to claim the title. This week's pick is ...
Bolton's explanation: The 2012 Rookie of the Year flashed his mettle and aptitude for ball-striking at another windy seaside track -- El Camaleon -- en route to victory in a playoff at the Mayakoba Golf Classic last year. It became his calling card as he finished the year ranked 11th in fairways hit and 53rd in greens in regulation. Of course, his game extends beyond just keeping his ball in play. In his PGA TOUR debut at Waialae last year, he played the pair of par 5s in a bogey-free 8-under with an eagle and six birdies. He'll need to clean up elsewhere (16 bogeys) to improve on his solo 53rd from a year ago.
You can also check out Bolton's other predictions for the Sony Open:
Check 'em out, then join the discussion below