2023 LIV Golf Mayakoba: Charles Howell III, who won three times in 23 years on the PGA Tour, came into the El Camaleon course at the Mayakoba Resort in Mexico with some of the most experience on the course.
He played in the PGA Tour stop at Playa del Carmen 13 times from 2007-21 and made the most of his time around here in LIV Golf’s debut on the course, winning the tournament by four strokes over Peter Uihlein to take home a $4 million payday.
“I’ve played here many times, so I had an idea what to expect,” Howell said. “Around this place, there’s double bogeys everywhere, so you never know.”
Triple bogeys too, apparently. Uihlein, who came into Sunday’s final round as the co-leader with Talor Gooch, was keeping up with Howell until he needed to hit three shots off the tee on the 12th hole. It led to a 7 on the par-4 hole, but he birdied four of the next five holes to finish runner-up for the second time in his LIV career.
Uihlein was asked what he would’ve done differently in the round, and his answer was simple: “Skip the 12th.”
“I’m proud of the way I battled,” he added. “Other than that hole, it was a pretty good day. The reality was other than those three tee shots, it was a pretty solid week off the tee.”
Howell escaped trouble all day, finishing with a bogey-free 63, which was the lowest score by any golfer all tournament.
“I’ve played in a lot of golf tournaments in my life, and I haven’t won a lot of them, and you have the doubts and the feelings, will you ever win again? To do it against this competition with these guys standing up here is more than I could ever dream of. I’m extremely thankful,” Howell said.
His performance also led to his Crushers team, captained by Bryson DeChambeau, to win the team portion of the event. Paul Casey’s fourth-place finish helped, as did DeChambeau’s 3-under 68 on Sunday to finish at even par. Anirban Lahiri, the team’s fourth member, finished 33rd at +3.
Branden Grace, who won LIV’s second event in 2022, finished third, followed by Casey and Brendan Steele, who came in fifth in his LIV debut.
Cameron Smith was sixth, Pat Perez—a former winner at Mayakoba on the PGA Tour—came in seventh. Carlos Ortiz was the highest-finishing Mexican-born golfer, coming in ninth.
It was a tough 54 holes for some of LIV’s biggest names. Dustin Johnson, who dominated the circuit last year in winning over $35 million, was 37th. Patrick Reed was 38th, and Bubba Watson was 40th in his LIV debut.
After starting the day at +5 after the first 36 holes, Phil Mickelson shot a 4-under 67 on Sunday to finish 27th.
LIV Golf returns in three weeks for its debut at The Gallery Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona, from March 17-19. It will be the circuit’s first trip to the southwestern United States.
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