Matthew Wolff

Matthew Wolff fires career-low 61 at Mayakoba

epa09316377 Matthew Wolff of the US hits his tee shot on the eleventh hole during the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan, USA, 01 July 2021. EPA-EFE/TANNEN MAURY

Matthew Wolff shot an opening round 10-under 61 to open up a two-stroke lead after Thursday's action at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, Mexico. The 61 tied his career-best round.

Wolff, a 22-year-old with just one PGA Tour win on his resume (3M Open, 2019), came out firing with a birdie on his first hole, No. 10, and carded 10 birdies for the day. His success on drives (an average of 310.5 yards, good for sixth in the field) and lack of mistakes (no bogeys) aided his round.

“I felt like all day I was just really steady and made sure to kind of like stick to the game plan, and I think the biggest thing out here is just being comfortable,” Wolff said. “As soon as you start taking clubs that you’re not comfortable with, that’s when it starts getting a little errant and you can get in trouble. It was a good game plan and happy with the round I played.

“Every single shot I was comfortable over, I was committed to. Yeah, just ended up that, at the end of the day, last putt dropped. I didn’t know it was a course record; it’s really cool to hear.”

He’ll be pursued Friday by second-place Aaron Wise, who shot a similarly impressive 8-under 63. Wise’s start was blistering, with five birdies and an eagle on the front nine, before he cooled off some on the back nine (two birdies, one bogey).

Wise finished second on this course a year ago.

“I feel like I’ve played well here more years than just last year,” Wise said. “Obviously last year was great and I feel like my game’s in a good spot. Overall, just a lot of really good vibes and a lot of positive energy and hope for a good week here again.

“Every now and again you find those courses where you just come and you’re comfortable the moment you’re on the grounds and this is one of those for me. I feel like I make my fair share of putts around here, I hit good iron shots and I get a lot of wedge opportunities, which is really good. At the end of the day you’ve still got to play good golf, but just coming here, I just feel happy, I feel good vibes and I feel like that translates into the golf.”

Four players are tied for third at 7-under 64.

Chris Kirk started on the back nine, recording two eagles and a birdie on his first four holes. He would cool off with three bogeys.

Billy Horschel finished with four birdies and an eagles on his back nine to join the cluster at 7 under.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia had a more consistent round, with seven birdies and no bogeys sprinkled throughout his day.

And Talor Gooch knocked in four birdies and an eagle over his first seven holes to parlay his strong start into a good round.

Joel Dahmen, J.J. Spaun, Russell Henley and Bill Haas are tied for seventh, four shots behind the leader.

Viktor Hovland, who birdied the 72nd hole to claim a dramatic one-stroke victory over Wise in last year’s tournament, is tied for 20th after shooting a 4-under 67.

–Field Level Media


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