2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic Preview
Dates: November 5-11, 2018
Where: Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Course: El Camaleón Golf Club at the Mayakoba Resort
Defending champion: Patton Kizzire
Purse: $7,200,000 ($1,296,000 to winner)
FedExCup points: 500 to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Mayakoba Golf Classic enters 12th year
The Mayakoba Golf Classic made golf history when it became the first PGA TOUR co-sanctioned event to ever be contested outside of the United States and Canada in February of 2007. The Mayakoba Golf Classic has not only crowned an array of great champions over the years, but it also put Mexico on the golfing map as the first-ever PGA TOUR event in the country.
The three key pillars within the 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic: #GOLFisGiving #GOLFisFamily and #GOLFisGourmet. This year, the culinary activities will be sponsored and presented by Tequila Patron. Participants will enjoy of a great variety of culinary experiences highlighting the great Mexican culture, food and tequila.
Mayakoba Golf Classic and the FedExCup
The Mayakoba Golf Classic is the seventh event in the PGA TOUR’s wraparound schedule that bridges two years with 46 official events. All season long, players vie to become the FedExCup Champion, which distinguishes the one player who not only performs well during the PGA TOUR Regular Season, but also excels through the three-event FedExCup Playoffs events.
Every week is significant in the race for the FedExCup – four of the eight winners from the fall calendar of 2017-18 (Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Patrick Cantlay and Patton Kizzire) qualified for the TOUR Championship, with Rose becoming the FedExCup champion. The other four winners advanced through at least the third of four Playoffs events – Brendan Steele (56), Pat Perez (39), Ryan Armour (49), Austin Cook (38).
FedExCup champions in the field: Jordan Spieth (2015), Billy Horschel (2014), Bill Haas (2011), Jim Furyk (2010)
About the El Camaleón Golf Club
El Camaleón Golf Club at the Mayakoba resort is a Greg Norman-signature course. The 6,987-yard layout is unique—not just to Mexico but to the entire world of golf. The course bends through three distinct landscapes—mangrove jungles, limestone canals and stunning, oceanfront stretches of sand. El Camaleón incorporates a cenote, a massive underground cavern, into the heart of the opening fairway. The handsome, Mayan-influenced clubhouse rises above the 18th green and features stunning views over the course. The adjoining practice facility and driving range are of international caliber. With Mayakoba’s unique system of waterways, golfers can step out of their rooms and into a boat, which will ferry them directly to the first tee.
A look back at the 2017 Mayakoba Golf Classic
In just his second start at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, Patton Kizzire birdied two of his last three holes in the final round to post a bogey-free, 4-under 67, good for a one-shot victory over Rickie Fowler for his first career PGA TOUR title in his 63rd start at the age of 31 years, 8 months, 9 days. Kizzire opened with a career-low 9-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead, highlighted by six consecutive birdies (Nos. 8-13). The win was the first of two victories in the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season (Sony Open in Hawaii), enabling him to reach the TOUR Championship for the first time in his career, finishing No. 30 in the FedExCup.
2017 Mayakoba Golf Classic Leaderboard
Patton Kizzire 62-70-66-67—265 (-19)
Rickie Fowler 65-67-67-67—266 (-18)
Si Woo Kim 67-68-69-65—269 (-15)
Charles Howell III 68-70-66-66—270 (-14)
Martin Piller 66-68-71-65—270 (-14)
More on Patton Kizzire
- Advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs for a third consecutive season, reaching the TOUR Championship for the first time, finishing No. 30 in the FedExCup
- Won his first two PGA TOUR events in the span of 63 days (2017 Mayakoba Golf Classic, 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii)
- Making his third start in the Mayakoba Golf Last year’s victory marked his first top-10 showing (T58/2015)
- Opening-round 62 (-9) in 2017 marks career-low on PGA TOUR
Additional Player Notes Jordan Spieth
- 2015 FedExCup champion makes first appearance at Mayakoba Golf Classic
- Three major championships (2015 Masters Tournament, 2015 S. Open, 2017 The Open) among 11 PGA TOUR titles
- After playing Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, first time in his career he makes multiple fall starts in same season
- Fired third-round 63 (-8) in 2017 WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec
- Making second start of 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season
- Last year, finished runner-up to Patton Kizzire in only previous start at Mayakoba Golf Classic
- Fan favorite is a four-time TOUR winner, most recently at The Honda Classic in 2017
- Advanced to FedExCup Playoffs eight consecutive seasons, reaching the TOUR Championship five times
- Making third appearance at Mayakoba Golf Classic (MC/2016, T7/2014). Fired 65s in rounds one and four in 2014
- Finished career-best sixth in FedExCup last season, without a victory but with three runner-up results
- Posted 11 top-10s last season, including three in major championships (T10/Masters Tournament, 5th/U.S. Open, T9/The Open)
- Ranked No. 2 with most birdies made last season (405) behind Austin Cook (419)
- Final Captain’s selection by Jim Furyk for 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup Team in Paris; defeated Tommy Fleetwood in Singles (6 and 4)
- Making fourth appearance at Mayakoba Golf Classic (T68/2015, T3/2008, T18/2007)
- Third-round 64 in 2008 is low score in 12 trips around El Camaleón Golf Club
- One of 10 players who has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs all 12
Si Woo Kim
- Youngest winner of THE PLAYERS (2017) finished third at 2017 Mayakoba Golf Classic
- In 2015, sat T3 through 36 holes at this event after rounds of 68-64, but weekend rounds of 72-70 led to T17 result
- Withdrew from this event before the opening round in 2016
Charles Howell III
- Made eight cuts in nine consecutive appearances (2009-17) at Mayakoba Golf Classic, with three top-10s in last five starts (T4/2017, T7/2016, T6/2013)
- Owns scoring average of 68.65 at El Camaleón Golf Club (34 rounds) with last 13 rounds par or better
- Two-time TOUR winner seeks first victory since 2007 Genesis Open when he defeated Phil Mickelson in a playoff
- One of 10 players who has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs all 12
- 17-time PGA TOUR winner and 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain makes his 593rd TOUR start
- First player in PGA TOUR history to shoot 59 or better on two occasions (58/2016 Travelers Championship, 59/2013 BMW Championship)
- Missed cut with 74-70 in only previous start at 2016 Mayakoba Golf Classic
- PGA TOUR rookie won 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship in ninth TOUR start, second as PGA TOUR member
- Made first professional start at 2017 Mayakoba Golf Classic, missing the cut while playing on sponsor exemption
- Voted as 2017-18 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year by his peers. Others in the field who have claimed the Rookie of the Year include Rickie Fowler (2010), John Huh (2012), Jordan Spieth (2013) and Emiliano Grillo (2016)
- 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson was lone win amongst four top-10s
- Only rookie to advance to 2018 TOUR Championship, finishing No. 24 in FedExCup last season
- Makes third start at Mayakoba Golf Classic (T55/2016, MC/2017)
A record four Mexican PGA TOUR members highlight the 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic
- Carlos Ortiz – Three-time winner and Player of the Year on the Web.com Tour in 2014 makes his fifth career start at the Mayakoba Golf Classic (T9/2014, MC/2015, T55/2016, T45/2017). Recorded career-best finish on TOUR with T3 at 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship. Guadalajara, Mexico native became a father (Sofia) in
- Roberto Diaz – Veracruz, Mexico native made 25 starts on PGA TOUR during his rookie season, with one top-25 finish at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Had missed the cut in three previous appearances at El Camaleón Golf Club (2016, 2014, 2013). Concluded his rookie season No. 189 in the FedExCup. Secured his PGA TOUR card for the 2018-19 season with a 14th-place finish in The Finals 25. Was 28th in the final priority-ranking
- Jose de Jesus Rodriguez – The Irapuato, Mexico native ended the 2018 Web.com Tour season with three top-10 finishes, highlighted by his first Web.com Tour victory at the United Leasing & Finance Championship. Secured his PGA TOUR card for the first time, ranking 29th in final priority-ranking order. Makes his ninth start at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. In his seven previous starts in the event, he has made two cuts, with a T38 in 2009 his best finish among them. Won the money title on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in
- Abraham Ancer – Advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs for first time, ending his season No. 60 in the FedExCup. Made 20 cuts in 30 starts, including five top-10s, highlighted by a T4 at the Quicken Loans National. Born in McAllen, Texas, but raised in Reynosa, Mexico, Ancer makes his fourth consecutive start in the Mayakoba Golf Classic (T9/2017, T55/2016, MC/2015). Ancer’s T9 in 2017 joins Oscar Fraustro (2014) and Carlos Ortiz (2014) as the best result of any Mexican players in the history of this event.
- Esteban Toledo (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012), Jose de Jesus Rodriquez (2009, 2012), Oscar Fraustro (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017), Carlos Ortiz (2014, 2016, 2017), Rodolfo E. Cazaubon (2015), Abraham Ancer (2017) and Roberto Diaz (2017) are the only Mexicans to make the cut in the Mayakoba Golf Classic in the 11-year history of the event.
- Multiple major championship winners Ernie Els (4), Padraig Harrington (3) and Zach Johnson (2) are joined by Jason Dufner, Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell as the six major champions in the field
- Chile’s Joaquin Niemann was No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking before making his professional debut at the 2018 Valero Texas Open, finishing sixth to earn a spot in the Wells Fargo Championship (MC). Niemann’s third top-10, a T6 at the Memorial Tournament, secured Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR. He earned full TOUR membership with a T5 at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, his fourth top-10 in a total of 13 starts last
- Chris Stroud is the only player in the field who has competed in each Mayakoba Golf Classic. With just three missed cuts and four top-15 finishes in his 11 starts, he claimed consecutive top-five finishes in 2011 (4th), 2012 (T5) and 2013 (T3). Stroud is scheduled for a return this week to keep his streak
- Through six events of the 2018-19 PGA TOUR season, the Safeway Open is the only event without a hole-in-one being recorded (CIMB Classic/Danny Lee, CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES/Paul Casey, Sanderson Farms Championship/Alex Cejka, WGC-HSBC/Thomas Pieters, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open/Chris Stroud & Joaquin Niemann). Nine aces have been scored in tournament history at Mayakoba, with two in each of the last three years. Two players, Keith Mitchell (2017) and Thomas Aiken (2015), have aced their opening hole of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, both beginning on Hole No.
- Ten of the 13 players who finished among the top 10 and ties in last year’s Mayakoba Golf Classic are scheduled to return (Martin Piller, John Oda, Russell Knox are not in the field). Of the 10, all but Abraham Ancer have won on
- Four players won the Mayakoba Golf Classic in their first start in the event; Johnson Wagner (2011), John Huh (2012) Harris English (2013) and Fred Funk (2007, inaugural event).
- Cesar Sanudo and Victor Regalado are the only native Mexican golfers to win on the PGA TOUR. Regalado won the 1974 Pleasant Valley Classic and 1978 Ed McMahon-Jaycees Quad Cities Open (John Deere Classic). Sanudo won the 1970 Azalea Open Invitational.
Since its inception in 2007, the tournament has contributed more than $2.5 million to a variety of charities and philanthropic causes, positively impacting the communities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Past Champions in the field
Seven of the 11 past champions of the Mayakoba Golf Classic are in the field this week. The past champions missing are Johnson Wagner (2011), Cameron Beckman (2010), Mark Wilson (2009) and Fred Funk (2007).
Mexican golfers who have/had membership on the PGA TOUR:
Player First Year of Membership (Hometown)
Cesar Sanudo 1969 (Navajoa)
Victor Regalado 1973 (Tijuana)
Rafael Alarcon 1983 (Guadalajara)
Esteban Toledo 1998 (Mexicali)
Alex Aragon 2006 (Mexico City)
*Carlos Ortiz 2014-15 (Guadalajara)
Oscar Fraustro 2014-15 (Mexico City)
*Roberto Diaz 2017-18 (Veracruz)
*Abraham Ancer 2015-16 (Reynosa)
*Jose de Jesus Rodriguez 2018-19 (Irapuarto)
- Adria Arnaus – Barcelona, Spain native earned a business degree while playing golf at Texas A&M. Posted eight top- 10s on the Challenge Tour in 2018 while earning European Tour card for 2019. Makes his PGA TOUR debut at Mayakoba Golf ClassicOpen
- Zachary Bauchou – Made his PGA TOUR debut at 2018 RBC Canadian Open (MC). All American as a sophomore at Oklahoma State University and winner of the 2017 Canadian National Championship
- Shintaro Ban – Missed cut as an amateur at 2018 U.S. Open with 81-78. Won four times as a UNLV senior before turning pro in 2018. 22-year-old played in 101 rounds for UNLV with a career scoring average of 72.28 (sixth in program history). Played in last week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children
- Armando Favela – 32-year-old from Tijuana attended Loyola University. Owns one win (2014 Stella Artois Open) in 74 starts on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica. Recorded one top-25 in 12 starts on Web.com Tour this season. Posted T33 in JHSF Brazil tournament, his best result in three starts on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica this season. Missed cut with 75-73 in 2012 Mayakoba Golf Classic, his only previous appearance
- Oscar Fraustro – Mexico City native makes his seventh consecutive start at Mayakoba Golf Classic, where he has collected two top-15 finishes (T13/2016, T9/2014). Made 17 Web.com Tour starts this year with two top-10s to finish 85 on the money list. Posted T49 in JHSF Brazil tournament, his best result in three starts this season on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, where he is a two-time winner
- Bill Haas – Six-time TOUR winner and 2011 FedExCup champion missed making the FedExCup Playoffs for the first time in his career last season, finishing 152. Makes third start at Mayakoba Golf Classic (5th/2007, T38/2009)
- Viktor Hovland – Won 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship, earning invitations to 2019 Masters Tournament, U.S. Open and The Open Championship. 21-year-old Norwegian plays at Oklahoma State University
- Sebastian Vazquez – Two-time Mexican Amateur champion (2011, 2012) was individual champion at 2012 Eisenhower Trophy while team finished runner-up to the United States. Mexico City native was T28 at 2018 San Luis Championship on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, where he’s had two wins in 45 starts. Missed cut with 69-74 in 2016 Mayakoba Golf Classic, his only previous appearance. Celebrates 28th birthday Wednesda