November 14, 2016
Pat Perez won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba on Sunday in his third start since returning from shoulder surgery.
Perez closed with a 4-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over third-round leader Gary Woodland on the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course. Perez finished at 21-under 263.
''I had an attitude that I can't really repeat, but I had a lot of thoughts going on,'' Perez said. ''The main one was I wanted to stay aggressive. I knew if I just stayed aggressive I was seeing the line great on the putting green. ... This type of grass and these greens, if you can get it on line you can make them.
''I just saw the line, I thought I could make them all and I just had a confidence. I had an entirely different attitude than I would have had a few years ago. It was definitely a different win than last time. Last time, I was a little more scared coming down the stretch. I didn't really believe and this and that. This time, I really had like this calmness, kind of like a madness to get it done.''
Perez had surgery on his shoulder in February. He returned with a tie for 33rd in Malaysia, and tied for seventh last week in Las Vegas.
''When you hit 40 and then you have surgery, it's like 'Oh, God, you know, what are we going to do?''' Perez said. ''I had sleepless nights, I had a lot of sleepless nights wondering, 'What are we going to do? How are we going to do this? What's going to happen here? What would happen here? Because all you do is sit around and think. That's all you have time is to sit around. You're just sitting in a sling doing nothing and you can't hit balls for five months. I had a lot of time to think about a lot of things.''
Perez shot a 62 on Saturday to pull within a stroke of Woodland. The 40-year-old former Arizona State player birdied five of the first eight holes and had a bogey on the par-4 12th.
''In a lot of ways, when you win you've got to have a lot of things go your way,'' Perez said. ''You've got to make a lot of putts, you need some help from other players. It's everything. It's so hard to win. But I just had this different look about it this week and I'll hopefully carry that through for a while.''
He also won the 2009 Bob Hope Classic.
''I guess I'm just one of those late-maturers,'' Perez said. ''I know I was sort of a punk and all that early on, but I think I learned a lot about myself in the last nine, 10 months and it just paid off this week. I couldn't be more excited about what's going on.''
Woodland birdied the final two holes for a 70.
Russell Knox was third at 18 under after a 66.
''I wasn't all that comfortable out there.'' Knox said. ''This course kind of makes you put the steer on sometimes, but I made seven birdies. A couple mistakes, but overall starting the day I would have taken 66.''
Chez Reavie (67), Kevin Streelman (65) and Scott Piercy (70) were 17 under.
''Great first, third and fourth rounds, just struggled there on Friday, which cost me winning the tournament, but a lot of good stuff,'' Streelman said, pointing to a second-round 73. ''Obviously, it's early in the year and real excited.''
November 13, 2016
Gary Woodland didn't let a double bogey spoil his day as he shot a five-under 66 to maintain his one-shot lead at the PGA Tour's OHL Classic at Mayakoba on Saturday.
The 32-year-old American was bogey free for the tournament before hitting a poor tee shot on the 15th en route to a double bogey five at the El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa de Carmen, Mexico.
Woodland followed the double bogey with three straight pars for a 54-hole total of 18-under 195. He has a one shot lead over Pat Perez.
"I played beautifully all day, just hit the one bad shot," said Woodland. "I was able to control my distance and made a lot of putts. I'm excited about where I am and excited about tomorrow."
Woodland is seeking his third PGA Tour win after victories at the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open and the 2011 Valspar Championship.
Perez missed seven months this year following surgery on his left shoulder and is playing on a medical extension. He recorded eight birdies and an eagle in a superb 62 for one of the best rounds of the year.
After opening with three straight birdies, Perez eagled the fifth hole and added birdies on the seventh and ninth to go out in 29. He carded his only bogey at No. 10, but added three birdies down the stretch.
Scott Piercy birdied five of the first eight holes on his way to a 66 and was two shots back in third. It was a further stroke back to Seamus Power of Ireland, who had a bogey-free 64. Former US Open winner Webb Simpson was in fifth place following a 69.
Chez Reavie eagled the 13th hole and finished in 63 and was five back in a tie for sixth with Russell Knox of Scotland (67), Jason Bohn (66), and Luke List (66).
Defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who opened with a 75 but stormed back to make the cut by one stroke with a 65, shot a second straight 65 and was tied for 32nd.
November 12, 2016
Gary Woodland fired a six-under-par 65 to open up a one-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the US PGA Tour's OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico on Friday.
The 32-year-old from Kansas produced a bogey-free round with six birdies and 12 pars to head into the weekend at Playa del Carmen at 13-under 129.
Woodland, who shot a seven-under-par 64 in his opening round on Thursday, powered into the lead with a superb finish, sinking three birdies over the final four holes.
The highlight of a flawless round came on the par-four 16th, when he hit a superb six-iron from the fairway to three feet for a simple birdie putt.
"Nice to get back into the wing of things, very comfortable with where I'm at right now," said Woodland, who got married last month in a hectic close season.
Woodland leads by one from Webb Simpson, the 2012 US Open champion, who shot a second consecutive six-under-par 65 to be 12-under after 36 holes.
Like Woodland, Simpson finished strongly, recording three consecutive birdies on his closing three holes after teeing off on the 10th at the 6,987-yard layout.
Simpson, who has yet to record a bogey over the opening two rounds, relied on a red-hot putter to do the damage.
The 31-year-old from North Carolina took just 22 putts to compile his round as he chases a fifth career win.
One of his six birdies on Friday came after he narrowly missed out on a hole-in-one at the 155-yard par three 15th, his eight iron tee-shot almost rolling into the cup to leave him with a tap-in.
One behind Simpson and two off the lead on 11-under was Scott Piercy, who shot a five-under-par 66 comprised of six birdies and one bogey.
Ben Martin meanwhile was one of the day's biggest movers, climbing to nine-under overall after his seven-under-par 64.
The 29-year-old from South Carolina might have made climed higher had it not been for two bogeys which spoiled a superb display.
Martin opened with a trio of birdies and bagged three more over the front nine before carding another three after the turn to finish the day four off the lead.
Martin was joined by Chris Kirk, John Huh, Mexico's Abraham Ancer, Canada's Adam Hadwin, Russell Knox of Scotland and Charles Howell.
Defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland meanwhile just scraped into the weekend after making the cut, which came at two-under, with a six-under-par 65 following his opening round 75.
November 11, 2016
Chris Kirk fired an eight-under par 63 on Thursday to grab a one-shot lead in the US PGA Tour's OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Kirk, whose two top-10 finishes in three starts so far this season include a runner-up finish in the Sanderson Farms Championship, fired eight birdies without a bogey on the El Camaleon course designed by Greg Norman.
"I definitely drove the ball well today," he said. "It's definitely intimidating off the tee a little bit, but thankfully I hit a lot of good ones today."
Kirk, who won the most recent of his four US tour titles in 2015, had a one-stroke lead over Colombian Camilo Villegas and Americans Gary Woodland and Ben Crane.
Mexico's Abraham Ancer was in a group on 65 that also included 2012 US Open winner Webb Simpson, Aaron Wise, Scott Piercy, Kevin Streelman and Nicholas Lindheim.
Wise's round included a hole in one on the par-three fourth, which he followed with an eagle at the par-five fifth.
"It was kind of crazy," said Ancer, whose approach shot at the third hole had hit the flagstick and spun off the green. "I got a bad break and then two great holes right after it to keep the momentum, to keep the round going."
His hole in one was with a gap wedge, he said.
“It was 118 yards or so but you have the breeze coming off the ocean there. It landed long left and spun back down. It took a while but it eventually dropped. It was pretty cool.”
Ancer was thrilled to be in the hunt in front of home fans.
"I don't want to get ahead of myself and I obviously want to play well, but it would be awesome to finish up there at the end of the tournament," he said.
Defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland endured a tough four-over 75. He had just one birdie and five bogeys and was already 12 shots off the pace and needing something special on Friday to make the cut.