THE PRESIDENTS CUP
Ancer aiming for Presidents Cup momentum at Mayakoba Golf Classic
Already made history by becoming first Mexican to make International Team
November 13, 2019
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Abraham Ancer comments before Mayakoba
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – At 5 feet, 7 inches tall, Abraham Ancer is one of the shortest of the seven players representing Mexico at this week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic at El Camaleón Golf Club.
That’s OK, though, because he’s casting the longest shadow. Ancer, who carded a 5-under 66 in the first round, made history earlier this year when he was one of eight players to earn a spot on the International Presidents Cup Team, which will take on the U.S. at Royal Melbourne, Dec. 12-15. He is the first Mexican to make the International side.
“It’s a big deal for a Mexican to be on that team,” said countryman Carlos Ortiz. “We’re all going to be watching.”
That’s a sentiment shared by others, but Ancer, who last season finished 21st in the FedExCup, has been admittedly slow to let it sink in. He’s simply been too busy.
“I know it’s big,” Ancer said at El Camaleón Golf Club, where he played a rain-delayed nine holes in the pro-am Wednesday. “I get so caught up in like just playing good every week. I’m just so focused when I’m doing that, kind of (need to) take a step back and really think this is something that’s never been done before, which I’m really proud of and I’m really excited.
“Hopefully,” he added, “it helps get some kids to kind of get their eyes on golf a little bit more, and here in Mexico especially, help grow the game for sure.”
Ancer opened plenty of eyes when he won the Australian Open by five shots almost exactly a year ago. The victory was at The Lakes in Sydney, and the next week saw him finish second (with Roberto Diaz) to winner Belgium at the ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf.
Somehow, Ancer, who was born in South Texas but grew up in Reynosa, Mexico, had a knack for playing in Australia, a skill that presumably will come in handy at the Presidents Cup.
“Abe is really great with controlling his ball flight … which you need down in Australia,” said Jason Day of Queensland, a captain’s pick on the International Team who last played Mayakoba in 2009 (T28). “That’s a good plus for him to go back to a country that he feels very comfortable in.”
Ancer came into the new season telling himself that as the highest-ranked Mexican player, he had to play like it. But he missed the cut at the Safeway Open and Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. After more ho-hum finishes at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES (T57) and ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP (T41), he decided to slow down and try and enjoy the game, after which came an encouraging T4 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Now he comes to Mayakoba, where his best was a T9 two years ago, with one eye on making a good showing for the home crowd and one eye on the upcoming Presidents Cup.
“I have a good relationship with all team members,” he said, when asked whom he’d like to play with at Royal Melbourne. “I’ve been doing practice rounds with Adam Scott, Jason Day, C.T. Pan. I haven’t played a lot with Louis (Oosthuizen). I have played a lot with (Marc) Leishman, Cameron Smith, so I feel I’ll be glad to play with any of them. I’ll enjoy and learn playing with them, and maybe they could learn something from me, and we’ll do a good teamwork.”
And whom would he like to play in singles? The answer is ambitious, but not surprising.
“I would like to play against Tiger,” Ancer said, “but the truth is that our objective is to do everything we can to win. Winning a match in the singles would be very special, so we need to try to get the Cup. … Obviously playing here and playing good this week will be a lot of help going in there with a lot of confidence, so I’m looking forward to do that.”
Presidents Cup International Team dinner