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With preferred lies in effect, defending champ and World No. 47 Brendon Todd signed for a 4-under-par 32-35=67 after the first round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, currently T5 and two adrift of the leader on the course Russell Knox, who's playing his final hole.
This is the 35-year-old's 203rd career event with three prior victories. He won two of those in back-to-back starts last season, capping off the run with a one-shot triumph here as the 54-hole leader by one, where he was T2 and one back after 18 holes (63-68-65-68). The Georgia alum checked in this week 4-for-6 on the season with one top 25, a T23 at his season-opener at the U.S. Open, and off a T37 at the RSM two weeks ago (68-70-67-68). His two missed cuts came at the Masters and the Bermuda Championship as the top-ranked player in the field and defending champ. On 12 (of 14) fairways and 16 greens in regulation, the Pennsylvania native squared a lone bogey-5 at 12, outpaced by five circles at 4-7 and 17.
Added 5:18 pm (EST)
With preferred lies in effect, World No. 19 Tony Finau carded a 4-under-par 34-33=67 in the first round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, currently T7 and two adrift of the leader on the course Russell Knox, who's playing his second-to-last hole.
This is the 31-year-old's fifth Mayakoba with two prior top 25s and one top 10, a T7 on debut in 2015 during his rookie campaign where he co-led after R1 (65-72-70-65). He arrived this week 4-for-4 on the season with three top 25s and one top 10 (T8, U.S. Open), and off a T38 at the Masters three weeks ago (69-75-71-72). On seven (of 14) fairways and 11 greens in regulation, the Scottsdale resident squared two bogeys at holes 4 and 12, outpaced by six birdies at 3, 5, 6, 11, 13 and 16. This is his 169th career event with his one win coming 123 starts ago at the opposite-field Puerto Rico Open in 2016, where he came from one back (T2) with 2-under 70 before prevailing in a 2-man playoff with Steve Marino.
Added 5:03 pm (EST)
Beginning off No. 10 tee and with preferred lies in effect, past champ and World No. 188 Pat Perez crafted a 3-under-par 35-33=68 in the first round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, currently T10 and two short of tri-leaders Joaquin Niemann, Emiliano Grillo and Tom Hoge.
This is the 44-year-old's ninth appearance with seven previous cashes and five top 25s. He won the 2017 edition by two shots, buoyed by a 9-under 62 in R3, and owns two other top 10s, both coming back-to-back in 2019 (T6) and last season (T6). The Arizona State product arrived this week 3-for-7 on the season and off four missed cuts in his last five, and a mid-tourney WD (no reason) at the Bermuda three starts ago where he had made the cut T58 on the number (1-over). On eight (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, he squared two bogey-5s at 12 and 6, offset by five birdies at 13, 15, 18, 3 and 5, posting a pedestrian 1.857 putts per GIR.
Added 4:36 pm (EST)
Beginning off No. 10 tee and with preferred lies in effect, World No. 26 Viktor Hovland birdied two of his final three holes toward a 4-under-par 32-35=67 in the first round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, positioning himself T5 on the live leaderboard and one back of co-leader Emiliano Grillo, and co-leader and playing competitor Joaquin Niemann.
The Norwegian made his TOUR debut here in 2018-2019 while still an amateur and returned last season as a TOUR rookie. Both prior visits ended up in missed cuts, including by one last year, where he opened with 68 (T31) but trunk-slammed after a disappointing 74, lowlighted by two, double bogey-6s. The 23-year-old checked in this week 4-for-4 on the season with three top 25s, each doubling as top 15s, and ranks 3rd on TOUR in Consecutive Cuts Made with 16. On 10 (of 14) fairways and 16 greens in regulation, he outpaced a lone bogey-5 at 18 with an eagle-3 at 5 and three birdies at 11, 7 and 9. The Oklahoma State product, not typically a fast-starter, could be in the top 10 after 18 holes for just the fourth time in 34 career events and first since last season's WGC-FedEx St. Jude in his WGC debut, where he was T9 before fading to T59 (67-75-72-69).
Added 3:35 pm (EST)
Beginning off No. 10 tee and with preferred lies in effect, World No. 45 Joaquin Niemann tossed up a 5-under-par 31-35=66 in the first round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, currently sharing the clubhouse lead with Emiliano Grillo.
If this lead/co-lead holds up, it would be the Chilean's third 18-hole lead/co-lead in 72 events. He's previously 0-for-2 converting, including at last season's Sentry TOC, where he led by one before finishing T5 (66-72-74-70), and the 2018 Memorial, where he co-led after each of the first two rounds before settling for T6 (65-68-70-73). On 10 (of 14) fairways and 13 greens in regulation, the 22-year-old camouflaged a lone bogey-5 at 12 with four birdies at 13, 3, 5 and 6, capping off his scoring with eagle-3 at 7. This is his third Mayakoba with one prior cash, a T60 on debut in 2019 (66-71-73-69), and missed the cut by three last year (76-68). Niemann arrived 5-for-5 on the season with four top 25s and one top 10 (6th, ZOZO), and off a T44 at the RSM two weeks ago, where he closed with a season-best 65.
Added 3:14 pm (EST)
Beginning off No. 10 tee and with preferred lies in effect, World No. 173 Emiliano Grillo spun a 5-under-par 33-33=66 in the first round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic to take an early share of the top spot on the leaderboard with Joaquin Niemann.
If this lead/co-lead holds up, it'll be the 28-year-old's third 18-hole lead/co-lead in 136 events, first since T1 at the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational. He's previously 0-for-2 converting, including the API, where he eventually finished T7 (67-68-78-68), and the 2015 RBC Canadian Open as a non-member, where he led by one before fading to T22 (64-72-69-74). On eight (of 14) fairways and 11 greens in regulation, the Argentine outflanked two bogeys at holes 2 and 4, with seven circles at 12, 13, 1 and four straight at 5-8. This is his fifth straight Mayakoba with three prior top 25s among four cashes, and has now recorded 17 straight laps of par or better in the event. The Florida resident checked in 6-for-7 on the season with two top 25s, including a season-best T18 at the RSM two weeks ago, where he was solo 4th after 54 holes (66-68-65-71).
Added 2:58 pm (EST)
Will Zalatoris accepted Special Temporary Membership after his top 20 at the Bermuda Championship and now he's back in action this week for the Mayakoba Golf Classic presented by UNIFIN.
Zalatoris has been as steady as it comes this year. He's posted top 20s in 15 of his last 16 starts, across the PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour. That includes a T16 in his most recent start, five weeks ago. That was good enough to secure Special Temporary Membership which allows him unlimited sponsor invites for the remainder of the season. That is how he cracked the field this week, via sponsor's invite. His work isn't done, though. In order to earn full status for next season he will need to earn enough non-member FedExCup Points to finish Top 125 in the FedExCup standings. He currently has 334 points and roughly needs 376 points by season's end. He'll remain a strong weekly fantasy option until he shows any sign of slowing down.
Added Yesterday 6:13 pm (EST)
Added Yesterday 6:13 pm (EST)
Past champ Graeme McDowell is slumping ahead of his appearance at the Mayakoba Golf Classic presented by UNIFIN.
The Ulsterman heads into the week with nothing better than a T35 finish since the restart (13 PGA TOUR starts). He did land a T24 overseas at the BMW PGA Championship but nothing on this tour. This week's course presents a good chance to change that script. McDowell is 5-for-6 at El Camaleon with highlights including being his 2015-16 victory and a pair of other top 25s. Performing by the coast has always been a strong suit for the Northern Irishman. All four of his PGA TOUR titles have come on coastal courses. His lack of form should leave him overlooked this week but he does bring upside to the table for DFS gamers who are hunting for value.
Added Yesterday 6:02 pm (EST)
Added Yesterday 6:02 pm (EST)
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