Matthew Wolff thrashes 61 to grab first round lead in the World Wide Technology Championship

The American holds an early two shot advantage over course specialist Aaron Wise on the El Camaleon course at Mayakoba.

Any observer being underwhelmed by brilliance is never not funny.

After Matthew Wolff opened the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba with a bogey-free 10-under-par 61 to claim a two shot first round lead over the tournament's finest-ever field you might have expected gushing words from the man with the best seat in the house.

Instead, his caddie said: "You know, I've been caddying for you for quite a few rounds and that was not the one that I thought was going to be the lowest."

Wolff was far from disheartened by the downbeat analysis. In fact, he perfectly understood the assessment.

"It was just very steady," he said. "The birdies kind of came evenly throughout the day and I didn't really make any mistakes."

If that made the round - his low-score on the PGA Tour - sound simple, it was, in reality, the consequence of discipline and hard work.

The first of those factors was revealed in his game plan. "I only hit one driver all day and that was on 13," he said.

"Even the two front nine par-5s I hit 3-wood. Out here the biggest thing is just keeping the ball in play and that's exactly what I did. When you start taking clubs that you're trying to push it up or, you know, get a little farther up there, that's when stuff narrows in."

The hard work refers to the graft that has enabled him to overcome messy form and arrive in Mexico fresh off second place in his last appearance (albeit at the start of last month in Las Vegas).

"The putts definitely dropped and I had a lot of short make-able putts that I think when you shoot 10 under, you kind of have to make and I did.

"But the reason I had them was that I was hitting the ball really good all day. When I was over every shot, I was committed and confident in the club that I had.

"Every single shot I was comfortable over and I've proven over time when stuff goes well, and I am confident, I can kind of carry it over.

"Right now my swing feels really good, my head's in a good spot and I'm just happy to be out here regardless of the result."

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Wolff leads course specialist Aaron Wise after his blistering start. The 25-year-old has two top 10s, including second last year, in his last three course starts and unsurprisingly feels right at home.

"Just good vibes here," he said. "I've played well here more years than just last year. Obviously, last year was great and I feel like my game's in a good spot. Overall, just a lot of positive energy."

Wise is one shot clear of a pack of four sharing third. It includes Billy Horschel, Sergio Garcia, Talor Gooch and Chris Kirk, who got his day off to the perfect start after an early start.

His 6-iron tee shot at his opening hole, the 204-yard par-3 tenth, found the bottom of the cup.

"Made me feel a little better about my 4.30 wake-up call," he laughed.

"We were first group out, so it was still kind of overcast and dark, and walking up, as we got close to the green, it was like there's not a ball there, there's not a ball there.

"Justin, my caddie, was like, 'I swear I saw it rolling on the green,' so I was like, 'It's either in the hole or just over in the rough.'

"Sure enough, Danny (Lee) and Jonas (Blixt) actually got up there before I did and started celebrating early."

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Pre-tournament favourite Justin Thomas opened with a 68 for T36th alongside the home hero Abraham Ancer. Defending champion Viktor Hovland went one better with a 67 that left him T20th.

Patrick Reed was a notable struggler, getting caught in the mangroves that line the fairways on his way to a 73 that leaves him in a fight to make the cut.

Stats

It's the first time Wolff has landed a first round lead in any professional event. His previous best was second which he has done twice, on his way to ended the week second at the 2020 US Open and when T17th in this year's WGC St Jude Invitational.

Wolff has the opportunity to become the fourth wire-to-wire winner at El Camaleon after Fred Funk in the first event, Patton Kizzire in 2017 and Matt Kuchar a year later.

Solo first round leaders at the course are 2-for-8 at converting, all leaders are 3-for-27.

Every winner at the course (there have been 14) was inside the top 25 after 18 holes, but strikingly 12-of-14 was within three shots of the lead (all 14 within five).

If you throw in that every winner here since 2014 ranked top 11 for Greens in Regulation, and that five of the last seven winners led the par-4 scoring, that looks good news for Horschel.

He's three back, ranks second for GIR (best of the top six) and fifth on the par-4s.

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