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Doeden extends his lead to four shots in Tulum

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Doeden extends his lead to four shots in Tulum

    Written by Gregory Villalobos @PGATOURLA

    TULUM, Mexico–With the tough course at PGA Riviera Maya firming up and playing harder by the day, opening-round leader Justin Doeden kept his composure Friday to card a 1-under 71 and see a slim one-shot lead balloon into a four-stroke advantage heading into the weekend. The 28-year-old from Prior Lake, Minnesota, moved to 6-under 138, ahead of four players standing at 2-under.

    Mexico’s Jorge Villar, who fired a low-of-the-day, 4-under 68, and Alvaro Ortiz, coming off a third-place finish last week in Guadalajara, moved into the tie for second. They are joined by PGA TOUR Latinoamérica No. 1 Myles Creighton of Canada, who after back-to-back 71s remains in position to win the season-long race for the Totalplay Cup, and Harry Hillier of New Zealand.

    Making it four Mexican players inside the group of 10 players who reached the halfway point in red numbers, Raúl Pereda and Rodolfo Cazaubón are tied for sixth, at 1-under, with Fred Meyer of the U.S., Jeremy Gandon of France and Carlos Bustos of Chile.

    “Today was much more difficult. I felt hotter today, got off to a little bit of a slow start today. I was 2-over, I think, through five (holes), and then I birdied six and kind of got the mojo back,” said Doeden after another hot and humid day, with a high of 91 degrees.

    At 1-over for the day through 10, Doeden went birdie-birdie-par-birdie off 11 to get to 7-under for the tournament, right when officials suspended play due to lightning in the area. When the round resumed, 90 minutes later, Doeden’s next shot was the tee shot at the intimidating par-3 15th, a hole playing 240 yards, with water all the way on the right.

    “It might be the hardest hole out here, and after a couple rain delays, it was the first shot I had to hit, 240 into the fan. I had a decent shot, you know, just to the front of the green, chipped it up to about 10 feet. And then I hit a bad first putt and missed another one. So three putts from 10 feet for a five,” he said of the double bogey that put an end to a nice run.

    He bounced back not long after, recording a birdie at the 174-yard par-3 17th. He converted a 40-footer for a two that got him to 6-under through 36 holes.

    “There's a lot of golf to go. But yeah, it's a good spot to be. We're good,” added the leader regarding his comfortable four-shot lead.

    Did you know no 36-hole leader has been able to win the Bupa Tour Championship at PGA Riviera Maya? In 2021, the first year the Tour came here, Ben Cook of the U.S. tied for fourth after holding a three-shot lead through 36 holes. Last year, Cristóbal Del Solar of Chile shot 66-68 to take a five-shot lead into the weekend and then carded a third-round 84 to drop out of contention.

    Key Information

    Toni Hakula of Finland had an ace on the fifth hole early in the day. He hit a 5-iron from 206 yards for his 1, which had his father, Tomi, who is caddying for him this week, his mother and his wife as witnesses. The winner of the Kia Open in Ecuador this past May went on to shoot an even-par 72 Friday and is tied for 19th at 2-over for the week.

    Following back-to-back 71s to tie for second, Totalplay Cup No. 1 Myles Creighton remains on pace to win the season-long race to move up to the Korn Ferry Tour. He is the best-positioned player among those who started the Bupa Tour Championship inside the top 10 in the Totalplay Cup points list. This is how those players stand through 36 holes at PGA Riviera Maya:

    Points List Pos.PlayerPositionScore
    1Myles Creighton (Canada)T22-under
    2Walker Lee (U.S.)T427-over
    3Chandler Blanchet (U.S.)T11par
    4Charlie Hillier (New Zealand)T376-over
    5Austin Hitt (U.S.)T192-over
    6Conner Godsey (U.S.)T284-over
    7Linus Lilliedahl (Sweden)T376-over
    8Toni Hakula (Finland)T192-over
    9Cristóbal Del Solar (Chile)*----
    10Marcos Montenegro (Argentina)T448-over

    *Korn Ferry Tour player, not playing this week

    In a five-way tie for second, at 2-under, Jorge Villar and Alvaro Ortiz are the best of four Mexican players currently inside the top 10. There are a total of six Mexicans in this week’s field and all of them are in the hunt for two additional bonuses of U.S. $5,000 available by Bupa Mexico to each of the two highest-ranked Mexican players at the conclusion of the Totalplay Cup season. Not playing this week, but currently tied for 18th in the Totalplay Cup points list after his win last Sunday at the Jalisco Open GDL, José de Jesús Rodríguez is one of the players to beat in the race for the Bupa bonuses. The following are the scores and positions for the Mexicans playing at PGA Riviera Maya:

    Pos.PlayerScoreCurrent Totalplay Cup Pos.Projected Totalplay Cup Pos.
    T2Jorge Villar2-under3826
    T2Alvaro Ortiz2-under2617
    T6Raúl Pereda1-under2520
    T6Rodolfo Cazaubón1-under3933
    T42Isidro Benítez7-over4445
    48Luis Gerardo Garza10-over3239
    --José de Jesús Rodríguez*--T18T22

    *Not playing this week

    The top-10 table shows number of points awarded at the season-ending Bupa Tour Championship in comparison to the regular season events.

    Bupa Tour Championship Points Distribution

    Regular Season EventsBupa Tour Championship

    The following is a look at the different performance rewards available for the players who finish the season inside the Totalplay Cup top 60:

    2022-23 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Player Benefits

    2022-23 Final Reward
    Totalplay Cup Position
    No. 1Will receive exempt status on the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour
    Nos. 2-5Will receive conditional status on the 2024 Korn Ferry
    Nos. 1-5Exempt into Final Stage of the 2023 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament
    Nos. 6-25Exempt into the second stage of the 2023 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament
    Nos. 1-60Exempt through Latin America swing of the 2024 PGA TOUR Americas

    For the second consecutive season, the Tour will be enhancing the race for the Totalplay Cup, providing a U.S. $100,000 bonus pool for the top-10 finishers in the standings at the end of the 2022-23 season. The winner of the Totalplay Cup will receive $20,000 in addition to his 2024 Korn Ferry Tour membership. The following is the bonus pool breakdown:

    Totalplay Cup Bonus Breakdown

    Totalplay Cup PositionBonus Amount

    Second-Round Weather: Clear sky in the morning and partly cloudy in the afternoon. High of 91. Wind E at 9-20 mph. It did not rain, but lightning in the area forced the suspension of play between 1:07 p.m. and 2:35 p.m.

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