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November 8 2013

8:14 PM

First Look: OHL Classic at Mayakoba

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El Camaleon Golf Club runs through distinctive landscapes.

FIELD: See who's teeing it up next week at El Camaleon

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM contributor

COURSE: El Camaleón GC, 6,923 yards, par 71. A 2004 Greg Norman creation, "The Chameleon" winds through three distinct landscapes – tropical jungle, dense mangroves and sand-lined oceanfront. The design even incorporates a cenote – an underground cavern common to the area – into the heart of the first fairway. The PGA TOUR made its first stop in 2007, spending six years opposite the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship until getting its own fall date this year. In 2016, El Camaleón will serve as one of two hosts for the World Amateur Team Championships.

FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

CHARITY: The tournament supports more than a dozen charitable outlets around Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula. Among them are the City of Joy Foundation, Rotary Clubs of Playa del Carmen and Cancún, and the Lorena Ochoa Foundation.

FIELD WATCH: Ryan Moore, a winner in Malaysia last month, joins defending champion John Huh to headline the event’s first edition to offer full FedExCup points status. … With the event moving away from the Accenture Match Play, the lineup includes all six former champions – Fred Funk, Brian Gay, Mark Wilson, Cameron Beckman, Johnson Wagner and Huh. … Esteban Toledo, twice a winner on the Champions Tour, heads a contingent of four Mexican pros on the roster. Two-time major winner Angel Cabrera (Argentina) is among six other Latin American pros entered from outside Mexico. … Cabrera, Darren Clarke and Davis Love III are among several top names coming to El Camaleón for the first time.

72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Brian Gay (2008).

18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Roland Thatcher (3rd round, 2008).

LAST YEAR: Gifted a playoff when Robert Allenby double-bogeyed the final hole of regulation, rookie Huh took advantage by outlasting the Aussie through eight extra holes. A par on the par-3 No. 10 won it, when Huh chipped to 2 and a half feet from the rough while Allenby’s blast from a greenside bunker stopped 15 feet away and he missed the par save. It was the longest PGA TOUR playoff since the 1983 Phoenix Open – also eight holes – and gave Huh victory in just his fifth start. Allenby took a two-shot lead to No. 18, on the brink of his first win since the 2001 Pennsylvania Classic. Going with driver off the tee, though, he watched his shot curl rightward into the trees.

STORYLINES: It’s the final stop of the new wraparound season’s autumn start, giving early birds one more chance to stockpile FedExCup points before the holiday break. Jimmy Walker stood atop the list heading into The McGladrey Classic, but will stand on 684 points heading into the break. … Charles Howell III, typically a fast starter when the season began on the West Coast, is showing geography isn’t necessarily a factor. He posted two top-7 finishes in his first three events before teeing up at The McGladrey Classic. … With the tournament’s move from spring to fall, it’ll be worth watching to see how differently El Camaleón might play.

SHORT CHIPS: The OHL Classic has a history of being kind to Champions Tour pros. Fred Funk won the inaugural event in 2007, eight months after turning 50, and John Cook placed third in 2011. Last year, Michael Allen tied for ninth. … Half of the previous six editions have been decided in playoffs. In addition to Huh’s marathon victory, Johnson Wagner captured a one-hole playoff in 2011 and Fred Funk won the inaugural edition in 2007. … Last year’s stroke average of 71.65 was the highest in the tournament’s six-year history, surpassing the 71.00 established at the 2008 edition.

TELEVISION: Thursday-Sunday, 2-5 p.m. (Golf Channel).

RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ET (PGATOUR.com and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).

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