The PGA Tour will be just seven tournaments deep after this week, but it’s bounced around the globe in a short time. It’s hitting its fourth country for the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.
The 2021-22 PGA Tour season continues on with another international event.
We’re at El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, for the World Wide Technology Championship.
The event was established in 2007 and has been held annually at El Camaleon, Greg Norman design. I wonder if the Shark will be present to see one of his courses in action? Surely, I jest.
The course is a 7,037-yard par-71. It’s very short by PGA Tour standards.
Accuracy off the tee is at a premium at Mayakoba.
Trees and thick rough are ready to snatch up loose drives.
Low scores are very attainable if you’re playing from the fairway. Lost balls are common, too.
The green complexes are fairly large, soft, and composed of paspalum grass, a once uncommon surface that is starting to become more popular in warm weather climes. Kiawah Island for the 2021 PGA Championship is a notable venue that featured it.
The World Wide Technology Championship, long known as the Mayakoba Golf Classic, was an alternate field event until 2013 when it upgraded to a standard event with a larger purse, full FedEx Cup points, etc.
The winning score has nestled between 18- and 23-under-par every year since 2013. Viktor Hovland set the record of 23-under 261 last year.
The weather forecast shows chances for rain and storms early in the week before drying out on the weekend. Temperatures are in the 70s-80s Fahrenheit all week with wind perhaps being a small factor.
There are 132 players teeing it up this week. I took on the task of narrowing it down to 10 with the best chance to win.
Let’s get into it:
Taylor Montgomery is just one of two players in my power rankings this week who’s making his tournament debut. He’s in good company, as you’ll see on a later slide.
After earning the reputation as Mr. Bubble Boy after ending up as the first man out of earning a PGA Tour card via both the Korn Ferry Tour regular season standings and KFT Finals standings in 2021, Montgomery had no such hassle in 2022.
He finished seventh in The 25 in 2022, and only improved his PGA Tour status by racking up three straight top-10s at KFT Finals.
That allowed him to hit the ground running when he made it to the big leagues. Montgomery opened the 2022-23 PGA Tour campaign with a solo third-place finish at the Fortinet Championship.
Mix in T-9th at the Sanderson Farms Championship, T-15th at the Shriners Children’s Open in his native Las Vegas, and T-13th amongst the world’s best at the CJ Cup, and it’s easy to see why the hype is growing around Montgomery.
He’s no spring chicken at age 27, but there’s obviously plenty of time for him to carve out a nice career if he can keep the momentum going.
Montgomery open qualified for the U.S. Open each of the last two years. He finished T-57th in 2021.
While he didn’t win last year on the KFT, his nine top-10s and two runner-ups were nothing to sneeze at.
Statistics this early in the season are to be taken with a grain of salt. Shotlink is not available at every tournament, nor are the fields bringing out the best players consistently.
With that disclaimer aside, it’s still notable to point out that Montgomery is 12th in total strokes gained per round (1.972) through 16 measured rounds. The putter has been hot, checking at third in SG (1.689). Montgomery was also third in putting average (1.704) on the KFT in 2022.
Not to mention, he was first in birdie average (4.88) on the KFT. They don’t go as crazy low on the PGA Tour, but at Mayakoba, a lot of birdies are still needed.