The first round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba didn’t do a lot to separate the players from each other. They’re playing it on the Greg Norman-designed, El Cameleon Golf Club at the Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, just down the coast from Cancun.
132 players began the week all even on Thursday morning and by Thursday evening the leaderboard was jammed up worse than LA traffic:
T1 – 6 players at 6-under, notably: Will MacKenzie, Robert Garrigus, Hudson Swafford and Tony Finau
T7 – 14 players at 5-under, notably: Davis Love III, Pat Perez, Brian Harmon, Charley Hoffman, Aaron Baddeley
T21 – 8 players at 4-under, notably: Billy Hurley III, Robert Streb, Harris English,
T29 – 16 players a 3-under, notably: Jhonattan Vegas, Jason Gore, Retief Goosen
T45 – 20 players at 2-under, notably: Freddie Jacobson, Jerry Kelly, John Huh, Ken Duke, Scott Langley
T65 – 12 players at 1-under, notably: Carl Pettersson, William McGirt
T77 – 22 players at even par, notably: Andrew Svoboda, Erik Compton, Justin Leonard, Nick Taylor, Alvaro Quiros
That’s 98 players within 6 shots of the lead which is nothing given that 6 guys shot 6-under. With the cut being low 70 players and ties, the players at T77 have to get some work done on Friday just to make the cut.
Other notable players further outside the cut line include: Scott Verplank, Camilo Villegas, Mark Wilson, Mike Weir, Rory Sabbatini, Charles Howell III, Lucas Glover, Padraig Harrington, Angel Cabrera, Robert Allenby and Nick Watney
So all of that can be a recipe for a scoring powder keg. You have all these great players looking to tuck up behind the leaders to position themselves for Sunday’s “Run for the Roses,” and since that seems so attainable given the first round scores, there could a bunch of guys moving up in leaps and bounds.
So it appears that the hook in the Mayakoba Classic this year is watch what happens when great players find their backs against the wall.
Hopefully we’ll have some player transcripts that will give us insight into how they were affected by and dealt with those circumstances.