Mayer Wins PGA Stroke Play Championship

By CRAIG DOLCH
Special to PGA of America

PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida – Jon Mayer relies on routine. Tuesday, it started with a solid breakfast, followed by him feasting on the Ryder Course to win the PGA Stroke Play Championship.

Mayer, a 25-year-old PGA Assistant Professional from Hyannis, Mass., fired a 7-under-64 to finish at 8-under-206, two shots ahead of defending champion Dylan Newman of Stamford, Conn.

“The key is having a good routine and sticking with it,” Mayer said. “It starts in the morning with a good breakfast. That way, I don’t have to think much when I’m on the course. I just keep doing what I’m doing.”

Mayer played the first 11 holes Tuesday in six-under to take a three-shot lead over Newman. But when Newman birdied the 12th and Mayer made bogey, Mayer’s lead was reduced to one.

Things became more interesting when Newman reached the par-5 13th in two shots with Mayer next to hit. 

“I just thought, ‘I’m a competitor, I can do better than that,’” Mayer said.

And he did, hitting a 6-iron from 213 yards inside Newman’s approach and made the putt for eagle that extended his lead to two when Newman two-putted for birdie.

“That was a big moment because I never lost the lead,” Mayer said. “I’ve done this enough now where I know how to get it done when I have the lead.”

Said Newman: “He made the putt (on 13) and I didn’t. That was kind of the difference.”

Newman three-putted the 14th hole to fall three behind. Newman still shot an impressive 5-under-66 to finish runner-up. If you don’t defend the title, finishing second is the next best thing.

“I made a couple of scoring mistakes, but it’s good to be close,” Newman said. “It’s always fun to be in contention.”

It was going to be difficult to catch Mayer and his routine, which includes keeping the flag in the hole on every putt, even tap-ins.

“I’m a math guy,” said Mayer, who won a pair of tournaments last year in the Carolinas Section. “I see the hypotenuse as my line. The pin is my access.”

Four players tied for third place at 3-under: Rod Perry (66) of Port Orange, Fla., Mitchell Moore (66) of Hopkinsville, Ky., Timothy Wiseman (67) of Corydon, Ind., and Casey Pyne (70) of Greenwich, Conn.

Scott Ford of Manhasset, N.Y., and Jeff Sorenson of Blaine, Minn., each shot 69s on Tuesday to finish tied for seventh and earn spots in the PGA Professional Championship later this year in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.

The PGA Winter Championships are presented by GolfPass, On Location. The Winter Championship’s final event, the PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship, starts Sunday and concludes Tuesday.

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