Wise building on momentum in Mexico

Six months ago, Aaron Wise was a relative unknown on his own college campus. Now the 20-year-old is not only playing on the PGA Tour, but he’s holding his own.

Wise authored a pair of early highlights at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, chasing a hole-in-one from 118 yards with a gap wedge on No. 4 with an eagle on the par-5 fifth. That stretch, which was preceded by his approach to No. 3 hitting the pin but bounding off the green, put Wise onto the early leaderboard and after a 6-under 65 he trails leader Chris Kirk by two.

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“It was kind of crazy,” Wise told reporters. “I got a bad break and then two great holes right after it to keep the momentum, to keep the round going.”

It’s the continuation of a remarkable year for Wise, who burst onto the scene by winning both the individual and team NCAA titles while at Oregon this past spring. He made his pro debut at the U.S. Open at Oakmont, then promptly won on the MacKenzie Tour in his third start as a pro.

Wise doesn’t have any PGA Tour status this season, but he played last week in Las Vegas on a sponsor invite and finished T-10. That result gave him another start this week in Mexico, and he’s well on his way to building upon that momentum as he eyes a more regular schedule against the world’s best in the near future.

“I haven’t had much time to absorb it,” he said. “I just keep moving on to the next event and keep trying to play as good as I can. I played well to get the top-10 last week and I’m just looking forward to taking advantage of that opportunity here.”