Brendon Todd wins Mayakoba Golf Classic for consecutive PGA Tour victories

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Brendon Todd wins Mayakoba Golf Classic for consecutive PGA Tour victories

PGA Tour

Brendon Todd wins Mayakoba Golf Classic for consecutive PGA Tour victories

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Just another manic Monday for Brendon Todd, who clinched the Mayakoba Golf Classic with a gutty par at 18 for a one-stroke victory over a trio of players and his second straight PGA Tour title.

“It’s incredible. I’m just overcome with emotion right now,” said Todd, who had to play the final four holes on Monday. “The whole final round was much more nerve-wracking than Bermuda.”

A year ago, Todd, 34, was considering hanging up his spikes. He had missed 37 of 41 cuts on the PGA Tour and sat down with his financial adviser to consider other career options. The full-swing driver yips will do that to a man.

“All of us as pros who knew him felt so bad for the struggles he went through. He went down to the bottom. He wasn’t just missing cuts. He was struggling to break 80,” said Matt Kuchar, the 2018 Mayokoba champ, who shot 62 with an ace on Sunday and finished T-14. “I think most people would have packed it up and said enough is enough at some point.”

Mayakoba Golf Classic: Leaderboard | Photos | Winner’s bag

But on another Monday, nearly a year ago to the day, this one in Brunswick, Georgia, Todd torched the course in 61 at the Monday Qualifier for the RSM Classic and then posted four rounds in the 60s to make his decision easier. Plans to buy into a pizza franchise were put on hold and Todd spent the next six weeks in his basement rebuilding his golf swing following the tenets of instructor Bradley Hughes.

The Todd comeback story keeps getting better and better. After starting the year ranked No. 2006 in the world, he regained full status on the Tour at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals and then ended a five-year victory drought with his second career title at the Bermuda Championship.

At the Mayakoba Golf Classic, Todd bottled the magic to earn his third career victory after firing four rounds in the 60s at El Camaleon Golf Club for a 20-under total of 264 and a one-stroke victory over Vaughn Taylor, Carlos Ortiz and Adam Long. In doing so, Todd became the first player to win consecutive Tour events since Bryson DeChambeau, who was victorious in the first two events of the 2018 FedEx Cup Playoffs at The Northern Trust and Dell Technologies Championship.

Todd started the final round with a one-stroke lead after shooting 65 in Sunday’s third round. Todd made three birdies on the front nine and tacked on another at No. 12 to lead by two strokes. Just when it looked like he might coast to victory again, Taylor made birdie at 13 and Todd made a bogey at 14, his first of the week on the back nine, and the lead was gone. One hole later, the final threesome ran out of daylight as played was suspended at 6:11 p.m. with 12 of the 82 golfers who made the cut still on the course.

Thursday’s opening round was washed out due to heavy rain and all four rounds of the tournament were played under preferred lies. Five players were separated by just two shots when play resumed on Monday at 7:30 a.m. Todd didn’t waste time regaining the lead, drilling a 20-foot putt birdie putt at 15 to climb to 21 under. He could’ve doubled his lead one hole later after Taylor bogeyed the difficult par-4 16th, but Todd lipped out a 3-foot par putt after splashing out of a greenside bunker.

“I was literally walking around that green thinking I had a two‑shot lead and feeling pretty comfortable and that wasn’t the case,” Todd said.

The miss could’ve dented Todd’s confidence, but he found the fairway with his tee shot at 17 and made par.

“It was hard,” Todd said. “I had to dig deep.”

On the final hole, Todd missed the green left and pitched to 4 feet. Taylor, who was seeking his first win since the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, had a 15-foot birdie putt to tie Todd and left it short in the heart of the hole. He tapped in for 3-under 68 and settled for his first top-10 finish since June.

“I was a little nervous, so usually come up short when I’m nervous,” Taylor said. “Just wasn’t willing to go down there, so oh, well.”

Ortiz had to play one hole on Monday after calling it a day on the 18th hole and opting to wait to finish his round as his fellow playing competitors finished in the dark. Trying to win on home soil, he opened with a double bogey, but bounced back to make seven birdies en route to shooting 66. Ortiz received the Premio Trophy as low Mexican, and his runner-up finish was a career best.

“I was really trying to push the finish yesterday, just it was too hard to see,” said Ortiz, who was bidding for his maiden Tour title and to become the first Mexican-born Tour winner since Victor Regalado in 1978. “I thought I hit a great drive and it barely caught the rough but the wet rough was really hard. I played great. I’m pretty pleased with the way the week went.”

But not as happy as Todd, who sunk his 4-foot par putt and hoisted a trophy for the second straight Tour event. Todd takes home $1,296,000 for the win at Mayakoba, two weeks after winning $540,000 at Bermuda. He also became the first player to win twice in the fall portion of the schedule in a single season since the Tour went to a wraparound schedule in 2013-14.

“It is so surreal,” Todd said. “Harris just said to me in the scoring area, ‘It’s just amazing how fast this game can turn.’ It turned fast in the wrong direction for me in 2015, it turned fast the other direction for me, so I’m enjoying it and I’m just going to keep grinding.”

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