Monday Finish: Todd triumphs at Mayakoba
November 18, 2019
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Brendon Todd's winning highlights from Mayakoba
Don’t call it a comeback! Actually, do. Call it a comeback. An incredible continuing comeback. Brendon Todd has given hope to all the grinders and believers. One win in an alternate field even, can be called a fluke by the negative thinkers. But two, in back-to-back starts? Now that’s making a statement!
Welcome to the Monday Finish for the Mayakoba Golf Classic, where not even cute spider monkeys can take the focus off Todd’s resurgence.
THREE KEYS TO SUCCESS
1. Perseverance. Brendon Todd could have easily walked away from golf. No one would have blamed him. Despite being a proven winner on the PGA TOUR, having claimed the 2014 AT&T Byron Nelson, by the 2015-16 season he missed 25 of 29 cuts. His spiral would send him outside the top 2000 in the world. In his previous 60 starts before his recent win at the Barracuda Championship, Todd had earned $385,725. About $6,428.75 a tournament isn’t much when you factor in travel and expenses. He wasn’t short on cash and certainly wasn’t complaining, but a year ago, he did entertain the idea of getting into a pizza franchise. Golf can be incredibly frustrating when it’s not going as well as you think it should be. But Todd is resilient. He kept fighting. He made swing changes to fight his way through his troubles. And now he leads the FedExCup after winning the Barracuda Championship and Mayakoba Golf Classic in back-to-back starts. For the record, that’s $1,836,000 in earnings for those last two tournaments. A distinctly better average. His journey back is great reading. Take a moment to get the low down.
2. Aggression. One thing Todd has had in these last two starts is an aggressive mindset. As soon as rain wiped out the first day of play in Playa Del Carmen, he knew the course would play soft, and with ball in hand, that means birdies or bust. He burst out of the gate with eight birdies in a bogey-free opening 63 and followed with a tidy 68. Facing 36 holes on Sunday, of which they would finish 32, Todd kept playing hard. His third round was a 65 and he finished with a 68 for a one-shot win. But the key is in the details. His last hole on Sunday ended in a bogey. It dropped him back into a tie for the lead. On Monday, there were no signs of negativity, despite reason to maybe have some. He drained a birdie putt he had marked from the night before, but then made bogey a hole later with a missed short putt. He shook it off and continued to push hard to the finish, making a clutch up and down on the last and drained another short putt for the win. It’s funny how confidence snowballs. “I did a good job of trying to just brush it off and look at it as an opportunity this morning,” Todd said.
3. Adapting. As mentioned above, the conditions of the golf course played a big part in the tournament. As the rounds went on, the speed of the greens quickened a little and the wind, which is hard to judge thanks to tree and mangrove lined fairways, would gust. But Todd stayed focused on the variables and was able to adjust.
“Even though it was drying out, the ball still was sitting pretty soft in the fairways and the greens remained receptive, so the difficult part from the conditions was really just always keeping an eye on the speed of the greens because that fluctuated a little bit from day to day,” Todd said.
“And then navigating the wind, because every day it blew eight to 12 and you can't feel any wind when you're in the fairways or on the tee boxes because you have the bushes surrounding you, so you're always looking at your compass, trying to stick to the wind direction of the day and do your best to hit a solid shot.”
Todd obviously hit plenty.
A home win is not far away for Mexico. Carlos Ortiz pushed so hard to be the first player from Mexico to win either of the two PGA TOUR events on the schedule hosted by his country. In the end, he would fall a shot short of a playoff, left to rue a double bogey on the first hole of the final round. Still, his runner-up finish was a career-best and gives hope for future success. “I was really, really pissed, so I just told my caddie it's a new challenge, we just need to face it,” Ortiz said of that costly double. “I think we did a great job of bouncing back the next hole, that gave us a little bit of a positive energy going towards the round. We birdied four more holes before the nine and I knew I was in the tournament. I tried to do my best; I think I played great golf. I'm pretty happy with the way I played this week.”
Abraham Ancer was also in the mix, finishing tied for eighth in his first home event since securing his place as the first player from Mexico who will compete in the Presidents Cup.
Even the pros can still get tripped up by the rules. You had to feel for Russell Henley. He was humming along nicely through two rounds and would have been thinking about just how he intended to surge to the finish line over the final 36 holes when he noticed something amiss. One of his used golf balls was not like the others - that is trouble in professional golf. After turning himself in, Henley was stung by an eight-shot penalty… and a missed cut. Read more about it here.
Apparently it’s easy to make an ace. In the opening round of the event, we saw the rare feat of back-to-back groups making a hole-in-one on the 112-yard par-3 4th hole. Cameron Tringale and Chase Seiffert were the stars, giving those fans in the area a great glimpse of how much skill is always on show on the PGA TOUR. You never know when something great is coming. And then, in the final round, defending champion Matt Kuchar aced the 8th hole and Brian Gay did the same on the 10th. The moral of the story – never look away if you are a fan in the stands!
“A lot of it for me was just the self-belief I had and all the previous success I've had. I've won at the highest level of junior golf, college golf and pro golf before I had the struggles. I always knew if I got my game back, I would know how to play at this level; it's just a matter of can I hit the ball between the trees.” – Brendon Todd
“It's awesome to have the energy pulling for you. Now I feel what Tiger feels a little bit in my country. It's awesome. I was really happy to be able to perform in front of them and I'm really thankful for all the support.” – Carlos Ortiz
2014 - @attbyronnelson -🏆, No. 27 - #FedExCup— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 18, 2019
2015 - No. 46 - #FedExCup
2016 - No. 212 - #FedExCup
2017 - No. 247 - #FedExCup
2018 - 0/6 in cuts on TOUR
2019 - Earned TOUR card @KornFerryTour Finals
2019 - @Bermuda_Champ -🏆, @MayakobaGolf - 🏆
Brendon Todd's resurgence. pic.twitter.com/16QTPGNxxT