By TOM LaMARRE
Following a one-week break, the PGA Tour is back beginning on Thursday with the opening round of the World Wide Technology Championship at El Cardonal at Diamante in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Although Tiger Woods, still working his way back from injury, is not in the field he was spotted on the property earlier this week because Woods designed the course on the Baja Peninsula, which opened in 2014.
There have been reports that Woods will return for the unofficial Hero World Challenge, of which he is the host, which starts on Nov. 30 at Albany Golf Course in New Providence, The Bahamas, and that he will play alongside his son, Charlie, in the PNC Championship, formerly the Father-Son Challenge at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, beginning Dec. 14.
As for this week, Woods is simply a spectator on the first golf course he designed.
Because El Cardonal is a primarily resort course, it is not expected to be particularly challenging for the PGA Tour players, and low scores are expected on the par-72 layout, which measures 7,452 yards from the back tees. on the scorecard.
However, the is some length to the course, with three of the par-five holes playing longer than 580 yards, and there are six par-four holes that measure more than 460 yards, so this should be a real enjoyment for the big hitters.
But the fairways average 60 yards wide and the greens are massive, averaging 8,300-square-feet, which is 25 percent larger than the average green on the PGA Tour.
So the 17th edition of the World Wide Technology Championship, formerly known the Mayakoba Classic and played in Riviera Maya, Mexico, should be plenty of fun to watch.
Russell Henley will not be going to El Cardonal to defend his title, but previous winners of the tournament in the field this week include Matt Kuchar (2018), Patton Kizzire (2017), Charley Hoffman (2014) and Brian Gay (2008).
1. Ludvig Aberg, Sweden—The rookie from Sweden won the Omega European Masters in September on the DP World Tour in September for his third professional victory and has eight top 25 finishes in the last year, including a playoff loss to Luke List in the Sanderson Farms Championship in October. Aberg makes his debut in the World Wide Technology Championship.
2. Sahith Theegala, United States—The former Pepperdine star from Chino Hills claimed his first PGA Tour victory in the Fortinet Championship at Silverado in September and has 14 results in the top 25 over the last year, including a tie for second in the RSM Classic and two ties fifth. Theegala also will play for the first time this week in the World Wide Technology Championship.
3. Cameron Young, United States—A two-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2021 and a four-time champion as a professional, Young tied for seventh in the Masters and finished in a tie for eighth in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in July among his nine top-25 finishes in the last year. Another player making his debut in the World Wide Technology Championship.
4. Emiliano Grillo, Argentina—Claimed his second PGA Tour victory and fourth as a professional in the Charles Schwab Challenge in May and has 12 top-25 results in the last year, including a tie for sixth in the Open Championship. Grillo is making his seventh start in the World Wide Technology Championship and has four top-10s, including a tie for fifth in 2018.
5. Luke List, United States—Has won on the PGA Tour in each of the last two years, including the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open and the 2023 Sanderson Farms Championship, and has seven top-25 finishes in the last year. List is making his eighth start in the World Wide Technology Championship and his best result was a tie for seventh in 2016 with four rounds in the 60s.
6. Lucas Glover, United States—The 43-year-old Glover has made a comeback in the last year, winning the Wyndham Championship and the FedEx-St. Jude Championship back-to-back in August to give six PGA Tour victories. He has eight top-25 finishes in the last year and his best result in four starts in the World Wide Technology Championship was a tie for fifth in 2020.
7. Stephan Jaeger, Germany—A six-time winner as a pro, Jaeger has yet to break through on the PGA Tour, but he is getting closer with 14 finishes in the top-25 on the big circuit, including solo fifth in the Rocket Mortgage Classic and a tie for sixth in the Wells Fargo Championship. His best result in three World Wide Technology Championships starts was a tie for 16th in 2018.
8. Thomas Detry, Belgium—A two-time winner as a pro, Detry still seeks his first PGA Tour victory, but he came close when he was solo second in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, one of his 10 finishes in the top 25 over the last year. This is his third start in the World Wide Technology Championship, and he tied for 15th last season after tying for 22nd in 2021.
9. Beau Hossler, United States—Hoss still is seeking his first pro victory after losing to Ian Poulter in a playoff at the 2018 Houston Open and tying for second recently in the Zozo Championship. He has 13 finishes in the top 25 over the last year. His best result in five appearances in the World Wide Technology Championship was a tie for 38th last season.
10. J.J. Spaun, United States—Captured his only PGA Tour victory and third as a professional in the 2022 Valero Texas Open and has recorded 10 finishes in the top 25 in the last year, including a tie for sixth recently in the Zozo Championship. Spaun is making his ninth start in the World Wide Technology Championship and tied for third in 2018 and tied for 15th last year.
OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cameron Champ, United States; Adam Svensson, Canada; Akshay Bhatia, United States; Ryo Ishikawa, Japan; Keith Mitchell, United States; Matt Kuchar, United States; Lucas Herbert, Australia; Stewart Cink, United States; Mackenzie Hughes, Canada; Martin Laird, Scotland; Charley Hoffman, United States.
1. Taylor Pendrith, Canada—Won twice on the PGA Tour Canada in 2019 and tied for third recently in the Shriners among six top 20s. Shot 76-68 to miss cut in 2021 WW Technology.
2. Austin Smotherman, United States—Two-time winner as a pro tied for fifth in Mexico Open and finished solo eight in Barracuda. Shot 68-72 to miss the cut in 2021 WW Technology.
3. Carl Yuan, China—Won on the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA Tour China, and recently tied for sixth in the Sanderson Farms and T-14 in Rocket Mortgage. Makes WW Technology debut.
4. C.T. Pan, Taiwan—Claimed only PGA Tour victory and third as a pro in 2019 RBC Heritage. T-3 in Canadian Open and fourth in Byron Nelson this year. T-11 in the 2019 WW Technology.
5. Brandon Wu, United States—Captured the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Championship and this year was T-2 at Pebble Beach, solo third in Mexico. T-32 in WW Technology last season.
For first round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard