Danny Lee of New Zealand finished second in the Mayakoba Golf Classic last year and has made a good start toward another high finish.
The 29-year-old Lee collected eight birdies and an eagle in the first 13 holes and settled for a 9-under-par 62 to take a one-stroke lead over Brendon Todd and Adam Long after the first round, which was completely rained out the day before at El Camaleon Golf Club https://mayakobagolf.com › camaleon at Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
“Definitely, it was in my head, 59 or 58,” said Lee, who finished one stroke behind winner Matt Kuchar at Mayakoba last year. “’I never shot that score out on the PGA Tour before, so I really wanted to make that happen.
“ … This course really fits my eye, I can see the breaks on the greens and I made a lot of putts today. Just one of those days I felt like I can make anything. I played very nicely out there and 9-under is a great start.”
Lee, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2015 Greenbrier Classic, had five birdies and an eagle at the fifth hole on the front nine, and made three straight birdies through No. 13 before making his lone bogey on the next hole. He finished with four straight pars.
Todd, who claimed his second PGA Tour victory two weeks ago in the Bermuda Championship, carded four birdies on each nine in a bogey-free 63, while Long, whose only victory on the circuit came early this year in Desert Classic, matched that score by closing with two straight birdies after making six on the front side.
Chris Baker was tied for the lead with Lee before making two birdies on the last three holes to shoot 64 and is tied for fourth with two-time major champion Zach Johnson, Vaughn Taylor and Mark Hubbard, while Billy Horschel totaled 65 to tie for sixth with Harris English.
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland finished at 67 and is in a huge tie for 10th with Luke Donald of England, Abraham Ancer of Mexico, Brian Gay, Dylan Frittelli of South Africa, Sam Ryder, Scottie Scheffler, Robby Shelton, Russell Henley, Chez Reavie, Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico, Bronson Burgoon, Chris Stroud and Bo Hoag.
Defending champ Kuchar opened with a 69 and is tied for 44th, while two other tournament favorites, Jason Day of Australia and Tony Finau, are in a tie for 62nd at 70.
Other than Lee’s 62, the highlight of the day came when Cameron Tringale and Chase Seiffert made holes in one on consecutive wedge shots at the 112-yard third hole while playing in back-to-back threesomes.
The second round will be played on Saturday and tournament organizers hope to get in the last two rounds on Sunday, but a Monday finish is possible.
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