Kizzire, Fowler headline commitments for Mayakoba
September 12, 2018
- September 12, 2018
- PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 12: Patton Kizzire of the United States and Rickie Fowler the United States look on from the seventh tee during the final round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba on November 12, 2017 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Reigning champion Patton Kizzire and World No. 9 Rickie Fowler headline a list of early participant confirmations for this year’s Mayakoba Golf Classic as tournament officials unveiled a series of player commitments today. Other players confirmed include a trio of Mexican members of the PGA TOUR, other leading Latin American players, a previous FedExCup champion, several past Mayakoba winners and current U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk.
“I am always excited to come to Mayakoba, doing so this year as the defending champion makes it extra special,” Kizzire said. “No matter how many PGA TOUR events I win in my career, Mayakoba and the Riviera Maya area will always hold a special place in my career. I feel fortunate to have such a memorable accomplishment in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I’m going to try my best to add some more great memories this year.”
Kizzire claimed the title by one stroke over Fowler in an exciting final-round duel last November before going on to win again two months later in Hawaii. Kizzire’s two victories played a major role in helping him to advance to his first TOUR Championship which will be contested next week.
Fowler is one of golf’s most recognizable and popular stars and counts four PGA TOUR titles among his total of eight worldwide victories. In the month following last year’s runner-up finish at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, he roared to the title at the Hero World Challenge. Following an 8th place finish at last week’s BMW Championship, his sixth top ten of the season, Fowler is presently 23rd on the FedExCup standings before the season-ending event in Atlanta next week.
“I was excited to attend my first tournament at Mayakoba last year because of all the great things I had heard from other guys, wives, girlfriends. And, they were all right. We had a really nice time there. Obviously, I had a good week, didn’t quite get the win. So, I am excited to go back down there and try to get into contention again.” Fowler said.
Jim Furyk has also announced his intention to compete at Mayakoba in November. The veteran has won 17 times on the PGA TOUR during his career, including the 2003 U.S. Open, and is the only player in PGA TOUR history to shoot 59 or better on two occasions with a record-setting 58 at the 2016 Travelers Championship and a 59 at the 2013 BMW Championship.
In 2018, a record number of three players will represent Mexico on the PGA TOUR all season long—including here at Mayakoba in November. Abraham Ancer of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, concluded his 2017-2018 season in 60th place on the FedExCup standings after earning a total of $1,676,695 in his second season as a PGA TOUR member. Additionally, Carlos Ortiz and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez earned TOUR membership via the Web.com Tour. Rodriguez, from Irapuato, Guanajuato, will be a PGA TOUR rookie, while 2018-2019 will mark the third season in which Guadalajara’s Ortiz competes as a TOUR member.
Additionally, the Mayakoba Golf Classic will once again feature the top players from Latin America as Emiliano Grillo, Jhonattan Vegas and Joaquin Niemann will tee it up in the Riviera Maya this year. Grillo, from Argentina, is ranked no. 59 in the Official World Golf Ranking, while Venezuela’s Vegas is no. 83. Grillo’s best finish at Mayakoba came last year when he tied for ninth place, while Vegas has competed in each of the last seven editions of the event with a best finish of T10 coming in 2016. Niemann will be embarking on his first full season as a professional and as a member of the PGA TOUR. The Chilean was the top ranked amateur in the world upon concluding his amateur career, which was highlighted by a victory at the 2018 Latin America Amateur Championship. In his first 12 PGA TOUR starts as a professional, Niemann notched four top-10 finishes including a sixth-place showing in his pro debut at the Valero Texas Open.
Also confirmed for this year’s event are 2014 FedExCup champion Billy Horschel and 2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner as well as five other past Mayakoba Golf Classic champions including Pat Perez (2016), Charley Hoffman (2014), Harris English (2013), John Huh (2012) and Brian Gay (2008). These champions have a combined 13 career victories on the PGA TOUR.
“It speaks volumes about Mayakoba and our tournament that we are able to make such a wonderful field announcement with these great player commitments and are still two months to go until tournament week,” said Tournament Director Joe Mazzeo. “With another strong field shaping up, we are certain to have an event full of excitement and action. Surely, we’ll be adding to this great field with other big names and we look forward to announcing more great players in the coming weeks.”
The Mayakoba Golf Classic will once again award three special exemptions for Mexican professionals, assuring tremendous representation of Mexico at this year’s event, as is tradition.