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WWT Championship in Mayakoba: Will Gordon leads one time after round nine under | Golf news

Will Gordon got off to a great start to the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba with a round of nine under par; he leads Russell Henley by one shot into day two; Franciso Molinari and Scottie Scheffler are among the pursuers

Last updated: 04/11/22 12:04am

Will Gordon has a one-time lead after the first day of the WWT Championship in Mayakoba

Will Gordon has a one-time lead after the first day of the WWT Championship in Mayakoba

Will Gordon finished with a nine-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Russell Henley in the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.

Gordon had to go back to the Korn Ferry Tour last year to get his PGA Tour card back and thought he’d gotten off to a decent start into the new season by making every cut, then he was five shots behind to reach the final round. Going into Bermuda last week.

Still, he played the last four holes in four-over-par, finishing 35th in the event. However, making four consecutive birdies to start the back nine on the El Camaleon course put him in the lead after the first day in Mexico.

“I’ve just had a week of ups and downs in Bermuda,” Gordon said. “I played golf very well for probably 68 holes and had a rough finish.

“I didn’t have a lot of expectations this week. It’s just about managing my expectations and my emotions, so I feel like I did a good job today.”

Harris English took another step back in his recovery from hip surgery and at age 64 was part of a group that also included former Open champion Francesco Molinari. Masters champion Scottie Scheffler also saw positive signs.

Without the No. 1 ranking next to his name for the first time since March, Scheffler hit many iron shots at close range and converted them to a 65. Also at 65 was two-time defending champion Viktor Hovland, who played alongside Scheffler in a sultry and occasional windy day at this Mexican resort.

The field is strong for this time of year on the PGA Tour, especially with the addition of Scheffler and two-time Grand Champion Collin Morikawa (71), along with Hovland, who are going for his third straight win over Mayakoba.

English closed a year with two wins in 2021 by making a solid Ryder Cup debut. But then he had surgery on his hip, which he had been nagging about for years. After being gone for five months, he returned to the Memorial and things were slow.

“It’s definitely getting better,” said Engels. “I’ve had a lot of rehab. But your expectations to come back are so much higher than they should be.

“I’m so competitive and I so want to be the mix. You have to give yourself time to heal and time to get your game back, but I love it here. I love the atmosphere; I’m excited for the next one few days.”

Scottie Scheffler was delighted to play a bogey-free round at Mayakoba

Scottie Scheffler was delighted to play a bogey-free round at Mayakoba

Scheffler rose to No. 1 in the world when he won four times in six starts, culminating in the Masters. He lost in a playoff at the Colonial and had a good shot at winning the FedEx Cup until he failed to convert on the final hole.

But his game still feels a long way from April, with Scheffler playing three of the four weeks in the fall to try and build some momentum. Thursday’s biggest take-away was carding a round without bogeys.

“A clean card is nice,” Scheffler said. “I kept the ball in play for the most part today. Solid golf is fun – stress free.”

Work continues for Morikawa, who has won six times, including two majors in his three years on tour. However, he is running out of time to win in 2022.

Tony Finau went in that direction. He took a triple bogey on his second hole by hitting the fence twice. He made a bogey on the par-5 in fifth. But he turned it around with six birdies the rest of the way and saved a 68.

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