After a holiday week off, the PGA TOUR returned to action Thursday at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
132 players teed off at El Camaleón Golf Club at Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
With a 6-under 65, Scotland’s Russell Knox looks to become the third 18-hole leader/co-leader of the Mayakoba Golf Classic in the last four years to convert for the win. Beginning on No. 10, made five birdies in a six-hole stretch to open with a 6-under 65.
One of three players just one shot back, and seeking a fourth top-20 finish in his five most recent PGA TOUR starts, Joaquin Niemann posts his lowest opening-round score since January.
Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo reels off four consecutive birdies to extend his streak of par-or-better rounds at this event to a perfect 17-for-17 and too finished 5-under with a 66.
Tom Hoge (66/T5) offset a lone bogey with six birdies to post his lowest score in 17 rounds at El Camelon Golf Club; in five previous starts at the Mayakoba Golf Classic presented by UNIFIN, has not finished higher than T44 (2014).
Morning tee times were delayed 10 minutes because of inclement weather with Wind E 8-16 mph,
and gusts to 20 mph made play difficult on most holes. The PGA TOUR allowed preferred lies, (lift, clean, and place).
In his first start since claiming his maiden PGA TOUR title at the Vivint Houston Open, Guadalajara native Carlos Ortiz (67/T5) posted his 16th consecutive round of par-or-better on TOUR this season; comes off a T2 finish at last year’s Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Monday Qualifier Akshay Bhatia (67/T5) is making his third start of the season; T9/Safeway Open, MC/Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship; this week marks the California native’s 10th TOUR start.
Following a bogey at No. 12, Brendan Steele holed his second shot on the par-5 13th with a fairway wood from 235 yards en route to an even-par 71 (T56).
FedExCup champions Justin Thomas (72/T70) and Brooks Koepka (71/T56) are both making their second start in the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Rickie Fowler, who finished second in his first start at the Mayakoba Golf Classic presented by UNIFIN in 2017, offset a quadruple-bogey eight and double-bogey six with eight birdies to open with a 1-under 70 (T36); in his most recent start, he finished T16 in 2018; Since 2009, has the third-most total rounds par or better after making a double bogey or worse of any player on TOUR (115).
Making his first PGA TOUR start as a professional, 2019 U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree is T20 after a 2-under 69
The field will be cut to low 60 and ties after 36 holes Friday.
Ron Mintz @MintzGolf