The 2012 Mayakoba Golf Classic begins Thursday, February 23rd, at El Camaleon - Riviera Maya, Mexico. While attention is given to the Accenture Match Play Championships, many people may forget that Mayakoba is also a PGA Tour event, with $666,000 and 250 FedEx Cup points for the winner. The eventual tournament champion may be starting play at 11:30 a.m. from the 10th tee, in a group that includes Greg Norman, Johnson Wagner, and Spencer Levin.
The "Great White Shark", Greg Norman, dominated professional golf for over a decade in the 1980's and 1990's. A two-time British Open Champion, with 20 PGA Tour wins, he held the #1 position in the world golf rankings for a total of 331 weeks (second all-time to Tiger Woods). Norman has amassed a total of 91 professional wins world-wide in his career. Now, at age 57, The Shark may be a long-shot to win at El Camaleon, but his presence may very well help his playing partners reach the top of the leaderboard.
Johnson Wagner already has one victory on the PGA Tour in 2012, the Sony Open in Hawaii. He is currently #2 in the FedEx Cup points and is the defending champion of the 2011 Mayakoba Golf Classic. In five previous starts this season, Wagner has three top 10 finishes, a win and a second. Among the players in the field at El Camaleon, he has finished in the top 3 in four out of five events this season. Johnson Wagner is seeking to become the Mayakoba Classic's first back-to-back winner.
With 12 top 10 finishes in 105 previous events played, Spencer Levin is chasing his first career PGA Tour win. He could taste victory at the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open, leading by 8 shots in the final round, before falling to Kyle Stanley (Stanley had had a similar collapse the prior week, before claiming his first-ever PGA win at Phoenix). Levin has made the cut in all six PGA events played in 2012, finishing in the top 10 twice. Spencer Levin is the highest ranked player in the field at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, currently #69 in the official world golf rankings. Sunday, February 26, 2012, may be the day he joins the ranks of PGA Tour Champions.
Harold Andrews has played golf for nearly 50 years (competitively and recreationally) and considers Jack Nicklaus the greatest golfer of all time.sources:
- Greg Norman
- Johnson Wagner
- PGA Tour
- Spencer Levin