2023 World Wide Technology Championship Preview, Picks & Analysis
The World Wide Technology Championship, formerly known as the Mayakoba Classic, will be held at El Cardonal in Mexico, which has been designed by Tiger Woods.
And the big surprise is that two-time winner Viktor Hovland and defending champion Russell Henley have both opted to give the tournament a miss.
So all eyes will be on Ludvig Aberg, who has arrived on the professional scene like a whirlwind, being chosen for the European Ryder Cup team without having played in a major.
The young Swede made his debut as a professional in June at the Canadian Open, making the cut and finishing in a tie for 25th place.
In July, at the John Deere Classic, he recorded his first top-10 on the tour; a final-round 63 put him in a tie for fourth place, three strokes behind winner Sepp Straka.
Towards the end of August, Aberg travelled to Europe to compete on the DP World Tour at the Czech Masters where he finished in a tie for fourth place after a final-round 66.
The following week at the European Masters he recorded his first win as a professional. He birdied four of the closing five holes in his final round of 64 to finish two strokes ahead of fellow countryman Alexander Bjork. Two weeks later, at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, he held a two-stroke lead after 54 holes before a final round 76 saw him finish in a tie for 10th place.
The week after the Ryder Cup, Aberg returned to the PGA Tour and finished as joint runner-up in the Sanderson Farms Championship, losing to Luke List in a five-man playoff.
Sahith Theegala has been knocking on the door for around two years and finally broke through at the Fortinet Championship in September. Many pundits believe it is going to be the first of many for the American, and this is a course that should suit his game. Don’t be surprised to see him in contention for another title.
Twelve months ago, Henley survived an early scare to win as Scottie Scheffler narrowly failed to return to the top of the world rankings.
Henley's six-shot overnight lead was down to four when Scheffler birdied the 18th to complete a flawless closing 62 and the gap was three when Henley dropped his first shot of the week on the fifth.
However, the 33-year-old American birdied the next three holes and cruised to a fourth PGA Tour title, his first since the 2017 Houston Open.
Henley, who had failed to convert any of his last five 54-hole leads into a victory, said: "I just tried to learn from my past and my screw-ups. All of those events I didn't close, they hurt and you don't know if you'll ever get to win another one, it's so hard out here.
"To come down 18 with a four-shot lead it was really cool.”
A closing 70 saw Henley equal the tournament record with a total of 23 under par, four shots clear of fellow American Brian Harman.
It was won in 2015 by Graeme McDowell, in 2016 by Pat Perez, in 2017 Patton Kizzire, in 2018 by Matt Kuchar, in 2019 by Brendon Todd, in 2020 and 2021 by Viktor Hovland and last year by Russell Henley.
Designed by Tiger Woods, El Cardona offer dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean. The fairways are pretty generous but if you miss them you can forget about making pars. There are plenty of trees and deep, well-placed bunkers to be avoided. It is a par 72 measuring 7,233 yards.
It is surely only a matter of time before Ludvig Aberg wins for the first time on the PGA Tour - and he is loving every second of it. He will be there or thereabouts. And with a maiden PGA Tour title to his name, Sahith Theegala will be keen to add another on a course that is made for his game.
Ludvig Aberg. Just so impressive
Sahith Theegala. Fabulous temperament
Akshay Bhatia. Many moving parts but most of them go in the right direction!
Five to Follow:
Ludvig Aberg. Not a single weakness
Sahith Theegala. Now knows he can win
Akshay Bhatia. Great putter
Lucas Glover. Having a dream run
Cameron Champ. Looks to be on the way back
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