It took an extra day but Brendon Todd didn’t mind the wait. For the second time in as many starts, he is a PGA Tour winner after a Monday finish at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Todd shared the lead with Vaughn Taylor when play was suspended because of darkness on Sunday evening at the El Cameleon course in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. When Todd returned a day later, he pulled ahead with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole, then held on for a one-shot victory over Taylor, Carlos Ortiz and Adam Long.
“It’s incredible,” Todd said.
Just over a year ago, Todd thought about giving up the game after a long battle with the full-swing yips, during which he missed 37 of 40 cuts and plummeted outside the top 2,000 in the world. He eventually worked his way back, and two weeks ago in Bermuda won for the second time in his PGA Tour career and first since 2014.
Now he’s the first player to win two straight starts since Bryson DeChambeau captured the first two FedEx Cup Playoff events in 2018.
“I think I've been playing well for a while,” Todd said. “The confidence that gave me, winning in Bermuda and putting up four rounds in the 60s, it’s natural to take that confidence to the next event. I was able to do that, and I'm really happy about it.”
For a moment it looked like it might not happen.
Todd lipped out a short par putt on the 16th and was clinging to a one-shot lead when he drove into the rough then missed the green on the 18th. But a good chip from the rough left him within a few feet of the hole. When Taylor's 15-foot birdie try came up an inch short, Todd closed out the victory by knocking in his three-footer.
With the victory, Todd is exempt into the Masters for the first time since 2015.
“It was hard,” Todd said. “I had to really dig deep and just trust the feelings I had in my game all week.
“It’s incredible. I’m just overcome with emotion right now. The whole final round was much more nerve-wracking than Bermuda. ... This one’s really special.”
Ortiz, trying to become the first Mexican player to win on tour since 1978, had only one hole to play when the final round resumed and parred the difficult 18th after missing the fairway to finish at 19 under overall, closing out a final-round 66.
Long, who had three holes to play on Monday, birded the 17th to get within one, but that was as close as he would get. The runner-up was his best finish since his maiden victory in Palm Springs in January.