There would be no three-peat this weekend at El Camaleon Golf Club, where Viktor Hovland came in as the 2X defending winner of the World Wide Technology Championship.
Instead, it was Russell Henley picking up his first win since 2017, cruising to a four-stroke win over Brian Harman.
Henley Back in the Winner’s Circle
It was a long road back for Henley, who won his first tournament since the Houston Open five years ago. He deserved this victory, setting (or tying) the record for scoring (-23) and margin of victory (-4) at this event. Henley went into Sunday with a six-stroke lead and never relinquished.
Although Henley seemed like a sure thing heading into Sunday, in his career, he was 0-5 when having at least a share of the 54-hole lead. That happened at the Sony Open in Hawaii this past January when Hideki Matsuyama snuck past him to win in a playoff despite a Sunday 65 from Henley.
Henley had just two bogeys this weekend, both on Sunday while nursing the lead. After firing his first of the tournament on the fifth hole, it looked like a meltdown was imminent, but Henley responded with three straight birdies to put this one in the can.
Henley was an under-the-radar +5000 winner this weekend, as there was nothing in his recent form that suggested a play in this spot. His best finish in Mayakoba was 29th in 2018, and his previous three trips to this course resulted in a MC, MC, and 56th.
He had started off the Fall leg of the Tour missing the cut at the Sanderson Farms Championship and coming in 45th at the CJ Cup, so hats off to any bettors who saw through that and had Henley on their ticket.
Where Was Hovland?
It’s hard enough to win the same tournament twice in a row as Rory McIlroy just did at the CJ Cup two weekends ago, but Hovland was going for the incredibly rare feat of taking home his third straight win in Mayakoba.
He would not prevail despite shooting all four rounds in the 60s, ultimately finishing T10, seven strokes off the pace.
Not a Bad Field In Mexico
Hovland had +1000 odds which didn’t seem too bad for a 2X defending champion, but it was actually Scottie Scheffler at +900 that was the tournament favorite.
The pre-tournament advice was to fade Scheffler after his horrible 0-3-1 performance at the Presidents Cup and coming in 45th at the CJ Cup in his first event of the Fall at the CJ Cup. It’s safe to say Scheffler is back after a 62 on Sunday, but Henley was just otherworldly, and Scheffler only finished in third.
Tony Finau was in the field at the World Wide Technology Championship, making his fall debut +1400 on the odds, but he looked rusty in missing the cut.
Collin Morikawa (+1600) has gotten better in all three tournaments he’s played so far this season, coming in 45th at the ZOZO Championship, 29th at the CJ Cup, and then 15th this past weekend at El Camaleon Golf Club.
Seamus Power (+3700) had another strong showing at T3 a week after winning the Bermuda Championship, and rookie Taylor Montgomery (+2600) put together his fifth straight top-15 appearance to start the year, coming in 10th.