wWorldwide by name, worldwide by nature. With the PGA Tour in Mexico for the World Wide Technology Championships in Mayakoba, it is the fourth country the tour has visited in its seven fall tournaments this season after playing in the United States, Japan and Bermuda.
Korn Ferry Tour alumnus Will Gordon leads 9-under par after 62, which was one out of the record at El Camaleon Golf Course. Veterans Russell Henley (63), Scott Piercy (64) and Francesco Molinari (64) also put their names in, while Swede David Lingmirth, defending champion Victor Hovland and Scotsman Martin Laird (65) are among a group of players in the sixth. under.
The international flavor is just one of the takeaways from Mayakoba’s first round. Here are some other notes:
The number 1 watch in the world
The golf world welcomed Rory McIlroy back to the world number one for the first time in more than two years when he won the CJ Cup in South Carolina last month. But McIlroy’s ninth stint as Top Dog is threatened by the man who raped him, Scotty Scheffler. The PGA Tour’s reigning Masters champion could reclaim the top spot with a win or runner-up on his own this week. Scheffler shot a well-balanced 65 on Thursday with three birdies on both nines and no bogeys. The Texan attributed his flawless run to his solid playing style.
“Today I had several shots that were very, very close to the hole,” he said. “[The birdie on] No. 4 was very close, No. 5 was logging. Number 9 was probably the longest birdie kick I made today and it was like seven feet. I hit it about 2 feet in the 11. I had a mountable birdie at level 5 [13th]And, at 16, I beat him for admiring a bird’s foot.”
The clicking of birdseed certainly wouldn’t hurt Scheffler’s quest to return to first place.
Defending hero in the mix
Scheffler has played alongside Hofland, who has won the past two years in Mayakoba. While there are still three rounds left, Hovland has given himself a shot at winning three rounds in Mexico with a score of 65. [Sidenote: The last player to win a PGA Tour event three years in a row was Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic from 2009-2011].
Hovland got off to a fast start on Thursday with four birdies and an eagle leading nine of 30 before easing off with an even nine back.
“I think I started the last two years [with a] four and five under [opening rounds]So I improved on that, Hofland said. You did a lot of good things today. But at the same time, I felt like I hit some really bad shots, too. So I feel there are still opportunities for improvement.”
when in Rome
Molinari, who only played fall on the DP World Tour prior to this week, secured his PGA Tour season in a flyer on Thursday with eight birdies and a bogey for a top-ranked 64. The 2018 Open Championship winner hopes to qualify for the European squad at next year’s Ryder Cup in his native Italy, and won’t have to rely on captain Luke Donald to choose from when the Cup heads to Rome in September.
2018 Ryder Cup Champion in Paris, Molinari to take a hiatus; He’s far out of the rank for Europe given that the recent T-9 at the BMW PGA held at DP World Tour Wentworth was his first all-around top 10 car since the T-6 at the PGA Tour’s American Express in January.
With Roma on his mind, Molinari is hoping to make a statement over the next three days in Mayakoba.
“I suspect [El Camaleón] It’s a course that should suit my game well,” said Molinari. “I was happy to be back and I hope to improve from the performance [a missed cut at the event] last year.”
Lingmerth finding model
After regaining his PGA Tour card from the Korn Ferry Tour last season, the 35-year-old Lingmerth has suffered missed cuts in his first three main tour events. But Lingmerth, who won the Jack Nicklaus Memorial Tournament in 2015 after winning his only outing, started to turn things around with a T-11 in the Bermuda tournament last week before 65 on day one in Mayakoba.
“I feel like I hit the ball fairly well and I didn’t get anything out of it [because] “I didn’t put on very well,” said Lingmerth after his tour. “Last week in Bermuda I hit the ball really well and [for the] Last round I feel like I started hitting a lot of good shots and they were falling. I was hoping I could carry some of that into this week. So far, so good.”
Lingmerth, who is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, owns two random facts on the PGA Tour website when it comes to player bios. The first is his uncle, Goran Lingmerth, who was a player for the Cleveland Browns in 1987. The second gem? “Not many people know that he can play the drums.” – Golf Digest