Celebrating 15 Years of PGA TOUR Golf in Mexico
This article originally appeared in Global Golf Post.
As the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba gets ready to celebrate its 15th edition this Nov. 4-7 at El Camaleón Golf Club in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, the tournament is ready for an exciting future.
World Wide Technology, a technology solutions provider and systems integrator, is starting a seven-year partnership as title sponsor of the tournament. This year's purse of $7.2 million brings the total amount of prize money in the event's history to $75.6 million, which is the largest sum of any golf tournament in history in Latin America, a signal of the event's significance and continued excellence. Since its inception, the tournament has contributed nearly $3 million to a variety of philanthropic causes in an effort to positively affect the communities of Quintana Roo.
With the new partnership, the impact of the tournament will only expand.
"This tournament has for years been a pioneer in bringing the sport of golf to Mexico and the broader Latin American community," said Matt Horner, the Senior Vice President of Global Enterprise Sales for World Wide Technology. "At WWT, our ambition is to create a brighter future for all -- and that includes our people and communities as much as it does our partners and customers across the globe. So really, WWT and Mayakoba was a natural fit from the get-go and we're proud to support the event and continue its tradition of making a positive impact."
As the tournament continues to excel, Latin American golf is hitting its prime. Mexico's Abraham Ancer won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational this past August while his countryman Carlos Ortiz won the Vivint Houston Open last year, marking the first victories for Mexican players on the TOUR since 1978. Joaquin Niemann of Chile and Sebastian Munoz of Colombia are two of the most entertaining young players on the PGA TOUR. They have become role models for the many children who come to watch at El Camaleón and learn to play the game themselves through programs like Mayakoba's Golf PARA Todos (Golf FORE Everyone).
Back in 2007, the tournament made history by being the first full-field PGA TOUR event outside of the U.S. and Canada. Now with the security of a new title sponsor through 2027, the smiles will stay around the sun-splashed Greg Norman-designed golf course for years to come.
"Transformational change doesn't happen overnight," Horner said. "It takes dedication, resources and strong partnerships to make it work. Those things take time. A seven-year deal illustrates not just our commitment to the PGA TOUR, but our excitement in partnering with the PGA TOUR to bring positive change to all who engage and interact with this tournament. As a global company, creating pathways to opportunity for others -- particularly the youth and underserved communities -- has and always will be a priority of ours.
"As we support the growth of golf in Latin America, we are equally committed to fostering diversity and leadership in other areas around the world. In fact, WWT has also committed to being the title sponsor of the Advocates Pro Golf Association (APGA) Player Development Program (APGA), a non-profit organization with the mission to prepare Black and other minority golfers to compete and win at the highest level. As one of the largest minority owned companies in the United States, engaging and providing opportunities for minorities -- in this instance, through the sport of golf -- is foundational to WWT's culture and identity."
All four rounds of the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba will be broadcast on Golf Channel in the U.S. and Mexico. The tournament will be showcased to a national and international audience. The broadcast and scenes from Mayakoba will be available to over 1 billion potential households in 32 languages, across 225 countries and territories outside of Mexico via international TV partners. HD coverage of PGA TOUR events, such as the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, will be available internationally on 35 channels across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australasia, Latin America and Canada.
Norwegian star Viktor Hovland won the tournament with a birdie on the final hole last year to edge Aaron Wise by one stroke and earn his second PGA TOUR victory. Hovland is the first Norwegian to win on both the PGA TOUR and European Tour.
There is much anticipation for continued drama and historical moments to unfold again this year.