The Mayakoba Golf Classic, the penultimate event of the PGA Tour’s wrap-around season, will tee it up in the tropical wonderland of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
The 128-player field in Mexico is headlined by three members of the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup team – Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, and Tony Finau.
The field will also includes nine of the 14 players who finished in the final top 10 (with ties) at last week’s Shriners, including Bud Cauley, Gary Woodland, and Joaquin Niemann.
Other familiar names in Mexico include Pat Perez, Cameron Champ, Emiliano Grillo, Charley Hoffman, Graeme McDowell, Zach Johnson, and Jason Dufner, among others.
Tournament: Mayakoba Golf Classic
Dates: Nov. 8-11, 2018
Where: Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Course: El Camaleon Golf Club
Distance: Par 71, 7039 yards
Architect: Greg Norman
Format: 128 players, 72 holes, 36-hole cut, stroke play
Winning Share: $1,296,000
FedExCup/OWGR Points: 500/40
Defending Champion: Patton Kizzire
Marquee Players: Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Bud Cauley, Gary Woodland, Aaron Wise, Pat Perez, Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Champ, Emiliano Grillo, Charley Hoffman, Graeme McDowell, Brian Harman, Matt Kuchar, Billy Horschel, Bill Haas, Ollie Schniederjans, J.B. Holmes, Ryan Moore, Kevin Kisner, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner, Luke List, Ernie Els, Si Woo Kim.
THE GOLF COURSE
El Camaleon Golf Club, the host of the Myakoba Golf Classic, is a Greg Norman-design in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The course boasts a variety of tropical settings, including a jungle, mangroves, and ocean-side holes.
Distinctive hazards such as cenotes (sink holes), including the famous “cave bunker” along with crystal-clear fresh water canals make El Camaleón one of the most visually appealing on the Tour’s rota. It is certified by Audubon International for its commitment to the environment.
From a scenic standpoint, situated along the Mexican Caribbean Sea coastline, it will be one of the best the players see all year.
TV & ONLINE COVERAGE
The Mayakoba Golf Classic debuted in February 2007 as the first PGA Tour event ever contested outside of North America (U.S. and Canada), and the first-ever Tour event in Mexico.
The tournament started out as an opposite-field event with a purse of $3.5 million (and a winner’s share of $630,000), along with 300 FedExCup points.
Fred Funk took home the inaugural title in a playoff over José Cóceres of Argentina. The then 50-year old Funk, who had won on the Champions Tour earlier in the year, became the oldest player to win a PGA Tour event in nearly 32 years.
In 2013, the tournament was upgraded to a full-grade PGA Tour event, and moved to November as part of its wrap-around season, offering a larger purse ($6 million) and a full 500 FedEx Cup points.
2017: Patton Kizzire (-19)
2016: Pat Perez (-21)
2015: Graeme McDowell (−18)
2014: Charley Hoffman (−17)
2013: Harris English (−21)
2012: John Huh (−13)
2011: Johnson Wagner (−17)
Low Round: 61 (Roland Thatcher, 2008)
Low Score: -21 (Harris English, 2013; Pat Perez, 2016)
Rickie Fowler came into the annual PGA Tour stop in Mexico as the one Goliath in a field with 130 Davids.
Of those 130, 129 were slayed by Fowler. The exception? World No. 236 Patton Kizzire, who on a marathon 36-hole Sunday found his way out front, and refused to relent down the stretch, going bogey-free over the final 21 holes to reach 19-under and best Rickie by one.
Kizzire’s first PGA Tour victory career also came at the loss of another big name, THE PLAYERS Champion Si Woo Kim, who finished in third place, four strokes back at 15-under.
FINAL TOP 5: 2017 MAYAKOBA CLASSIC
1. Patton Kizzire -19
2. Rickie Fowler -18
3. Si Woo Kim -15
4. Charles Howell III -14
4. Martin Piller -14
FULL FIELD: WORLD RANK & ODDS
Mayakoba Golf Classic | El Camaleon GC | Playa del Carmen, MX | Nov. 8-11, 2018
Following the Myakoba Golf Classic, the Tour will head to the coast of Georgia for The RSM Classic at Sea Island Resort, which concludes the wrap-around portion of the schedule.
The 2019 season will resume in January with the traditional swing through Hawaii before moving to the West Coast.
NOV 16-19 RSM Classic (Sea Island Resort, GA)
JAN 03-06 Sentry Tournament of Champions (Kapalua HI)
JAN 10-13 Sony Open (Waialae CC, HI)
JAN 17-20 CareerBuilder Challenge (PGA West,CA)
Credits: Getty Images, PGA Tour Media