The First Look: Mayakoba Golf Classic
November 08, 2019
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Matt Kuchar wins at Mayakoba
Matt Kuchar defends his title this week in Mexico after finding the winner’s circle on the PGA TOUR for the first time since 2014.
In order to contend again at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, though, he’ll have to top a field that includes a handful of other Presidents Cup participants like Jason Day, Joaquin Niemann, Adam Hadwin, Tony Finau, and Mexico’s own Abraham Ancer.
FIELD NOTES: Chris Kirk is returning to PGA TOUR golf after taking time away from the game as he returns from battling alcohol abuse… Abraham Ancer, who has two straight top-25 results at Mayakoba, leads the Mexican contingent which includes Roberto Diaz, who received a sponsor exemption… Early-season winners, including Joaquin Niemann, Sebastián Muñoz, Lanto Griffin, and Brendon Todd will be teeing it up in Mexico… Jason Dufner returns to action for the first time since playing the Houston Open… Recently named captain’s picks for the Presidents Cup will be in the field including Hadwin (who finished T10 last year), Day, Finau, and Niemann… Danny Lee, who finished runner-up to Kuchar last year, will return, looking to do one better this year. Past champions including Graeme McDowell and Pat Perez are back in action in Mexico.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
COURSE: El Camaleón GC, 6,987 yards, par 71. The layout is hosting the PGA TOUR for the 13th time. It opened for play in 2004.
STORYLINES: With Matt Kuchar’s victory in 2018, nine of the first 12 champions at Mayakoba were in their 30’s or older. Experience still matters in Mexico, despite many TOUR winners in the fall skewing younger… A U.S.-born player has won all but one event at Mayakoba. The exception was McDowell in 2015... Jason Day will tee it up again after topping Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Hideki Matsuyama at the MGM Resorts The Challenge: Japan Skins prior to the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP.
72-HOLE RECORD: 262, Matt Kuchar (2018)
18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Roland Thatcher (3rd round, 2008).
LAST TIME: Matt Kuchar held off a hard-charging Danny Lee to win by one shot. For Kuchar, it was his first victory on the PGA TOUR since 2014. He rolled his fall success into another win early in 2019 at the Sony Open. Kuchar’s 2-under-par 69 was enough to stop Lee, who shot a 6-under 65 Sunday. A late bogey Sunday for Lee was eventually his undoing, as he couldn’t top Kuchar despite the 40-year-old making back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15. J.J. Spaun and Richy Werenski ended up T3 while Brice Garnett rounded out the top five.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. ET (Golf Channel).
PGA TOUR Live: None.
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m. ET (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).