Shark sighting: Norman playing in Mayakoba

All told, the 132-man field has combined for 177 victories and 13 majors, compared to 148 wins and nine majors for a 144-man field last year.

The course remains in good shape, perhaps even better than last year thanks to maturation of the greens. There's also the natural intrigue of the "Devil's Mouth," an opening to an underground, cave-like passageway known as a "cenote." Anyone willing to venture in it from the first fairway will come out behind the second hole.

Mostly, though, there's natural beauty that stuns players who are accustomed to playing in beautiful places.

"This is probably top-5 that I've played, if not higher. Probably top-3," Watson said. "There's not that many better than this."

The seventh and 15th holes are played alongside the Caribbean Sea. Many more are lined by mangroves, tropical trees that are densely bunched and help promote all sorts of ecosystems. The thicket provides a perfect haven for iguanas and the course's namesake creature, chameleons.

And, of course, there's one looming Shark, even if he did turn 53 a few weeks ago.

"Greg Norman — old man," Funk said, laughing and adding, "I can say that because I'm an old man, too.

"I'm going to pay for that comment. I guarantee it."

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