Somebody once said:  “If you don’t like the weather…just wait 15 minutes…it will change”!  93 on Wednesday….61 right now!  We were able to verti-cut greens on Tuesday and top-dress them on Wednesday with sand.  This process will not only help with eliminating much of the “grain” in the greens, but will speed them up and create a much truer putting surface.

Upcoming events:

3-Man Scramble Tournament
When: Sunday, June 14
Tee times beginning at 9:00am

Entry Fee: CHGR Members –with cart pass $50
CHGR Members- $65
Non-Members – $85
*Entry fee includes 18 holes with cart and entry into the team prize pool Optional skins game ($30 per team) In the event there are no skins….all proceeds benefit the AH Club of Edinboro

Format: 3-man scramble
Pairings drawn June 13th
Two 3-man teams will play together as a six-some

Handicap rules: Each player must have proof of handicap!
Team handicaps must add up to a minimum of 25!!
PGA professionals welcome (1 per team) and are considered “0”
Maximum 1 player per team under a 5 handicap

Deadline: Thursday, June 11 @ 3:00pm

Prizes: Based on 20 teams: Prize pool will increase with added participation
1st Place: $2000 / team
2nd Place: $1000 / team
Skins: $600 purse

Rules: Must use each player’s drive once per nine holes

Golf Digest
How to give it everything you’ve got.
By Justin Thomas.
When people analyze my swing, they always focus on my footwork. I get it. It’s the most noticeable thing. I’m sure your eyes are drawn to it in these photos. But there are a lot of things I do that contribute to hitting it 300 plus off the tee. And since it’s unlikely you’re going to start jumping off the ground to pick up 10, 15, 20 more yards on your drives, you might want to work on the other things I do. Believe me, I’m not super technical, but I’ll do my best to walk you through the elements of my driver swing and what I work on for consistency. Hopefully this will give you some fresh ideas on how to smash your tee shots. – Ron Kaspriske
With all the reps we get on tour, you’d think setting up to the ball correctly is automatic. It’s not. I’ll often look at my swing on video and notice that my body alignment is out of whack. My feet might not match my shoulders, or something like that. That’s why I make a point to really square myself to the target. You’ll notice here I’ve dropped my right foot back about an inch in relation to my left (below). This is just a suggestion for any of you who might slice the ball, or struggle to swing down on plane from inside the target line. It will help give you a little extra room to improve your swing path and hit the ball solidly instead of swiping across it, which causes that weak slice. Also notice that I’m standing tall. This allows me to swing on as wide an arc as possible. Wider swings mean longer drives. Finally, my weight is roughly centered within each foot. If you feel a lot of pressure in your toes or heels, you’ll have a tough time keeping your balance when you swing. And the faster the club is moving, the more you’ll struggle.
Just like taking your setup for granted, you’d be amazed what can go wrong if you don’t really pay attention to the first part of your backswing. Rhythm, timing, width, path—all keys to smashing the ball—have to be good from the start. I suggest you practice this part of the swing. Get it right, and you’ll really increase your odds of hitting it in the center of the clubface—and that’s where you’ll see your biggest power boost. Take the club back until the shaft is parallel to the ground, then stop and have a look (below). Things to check: Is your left arm extended? Is the shaft pointing parallel left of your target line? Do your wrists feel flat? Are you relaxed and in no hurry? These are all good things. When I won twice in Hawaii in January, I was really paying attention to this part of the swing. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t whipping the club inside the target line. You can get into some weird habits if you don’t routinely check. It also adds a level of confidence that you’re doing everything you can to set up a big tee shot that finds the fairway.
Anytime you’re in a rut hitting slices or hooks, try this drill I use all the time: Tee up a ball and place a ball on both sides of it (below). If you’re slicing, the outside ball should be farther from the target than your tee ball, and the one on the inside should be closer to the target. Notice how this creates a gate for your club to swing on an in-to-out path in relation to the target line. The idea is to hit your tee shot without touching the other golf balls. If you hit the ball outside the one you teed up, you’ll know you’re still swinging on a slicer’s path. For hooks, just reverse the positions of the surrounding balls, and you’ll see a gate that promotes a slightly out-to-in path. I’ll hit 15 to 20 balls with the gate in whatever configuration that helps me feel the sensation for the shot I’m trying to hit. It really straightens me out. If you can reduce the curve to your shots, I guarantee you’ll pick up some real distance.
Golf Digest
Golf Digest
New documentary about a NYC street golfer nicknamed “Tiger Hood” is surprisingly beautiful
By Alex Myers
What began as an activity to pass the time while trying to sell his photographs has “become a lifestyle” for Patrick Barr. Better known around the streets of New York City as “Tiger Hood,” Barr now spends much of his days and nights hitting empty milk cartons with a golf club. And he’s about to have even bigger galleries watching him in action.
RELATED: Watch NYC street golfer “Tiger Hood” make a hole-in-one
A new documentary titled Neighborhood Golf Association by Nicolas Heller explores Barr’s life, career, and mostly his unusual hobby. Heller, the man behind the popular New York Nico Instagram account, does a nice job of showing the charismatic local legend in his element while also getting across Barr’s beautiful message of inclusivity.
“For the rest of my life, I just want to play golf and I want to take it worldwide, bro. Worldwide. So everybody can play,” Barr says late in the film. “Not just people on the golf course, man.”
Barr hopes to see friendly competitions among the NYC police and fire departments in his version of street golf and he sees it as a great activity for kids as well. On lesser-trafficked streets, of course. The film also includes celebrity cameos from comedians Jeff Garlin and Artie Lange, whom Barr, the owner of a pretty silky golf swing, gives a lesson to.
“I might be out here doing small things,” Barr says, “but I’m a big thinker, baby.”
Watch the full film:
Golf Digest
Golf Digest
How To Stink It Up Gracefully
And 29 other tips for having the most fun you can while playing golf 
By Guy Yocom
The hardest questions in golf are the ones that never seem to get asked. Take that cigar-chomping first-tee starter with a wad of cash in his pocket. You’re wondering, Is he as up for a bribe as he looks? If so, how do I solicit a magic-carpet ride to the first tee? Another one: When your opponent hits a hosel rocket into the trees, are you obligated to express sympathy, or can you obey your first instinct and just laugh? How do you ask that LPGA Tour player out on a date, anyway?
No guts, no glory. Here are 30 issues you might have pondered but haven’t quite had the temerity to query your friends about. You won’t find the advice we’ve assembled here in any golf etiquette guide, but it’ll make you more fun to play and hang with. And the starter you greased won’t be offended, either.
Inside, you’re burning with frustration, despair and self-loathing. On the outside—the only side that matters in a social setting—your friends should see a person blessed with inhuman patience, dogged persistence and self-deprecating humor.
Stand between him and his golf bag so he has to walk around you to get to it. Cough, sniffle and sneeze during his swing, then blame it on allergies. Insinuate yourself into every rules situation involving his ball. Make him move his ball marker on the greens, even when it isn’t exactly on your line. Finally, chip in a lot.
When you hit it close or jar a long putt, imagine throngs of people cheering wildly.
Tip your cap to these invisible fans. Bow your head humbly. Do not, however, light a cigarette unless you smoke. And only hitch your pants if your waist size is 36 or smaller.
You’re dying to explain there’s a beginner in your foursome, you’ve just looked for three lost balls, and the group in front is slow. But just thank him, nod, and play faster.
One day you’ll have an opponent look at his downhill, breaking two-footer for par and ask, “Is the rest of that good?” Your answer, with a smile: “It ain’t bad. That was a beautiful lag.”
Color the air blue without actually swearing. Incorporate the words “suck,” “idiot,” “garbage,” “stink” and “moron.” Don’t yell profanities. Hiss them. Tommy Bolt, the best swearer ever, never screamed.
How do you, a stranger, pull this off without winding up on the receiving end of a restraining order? One way is to write a letter requesting her accompaniment to your prom—it worked for two young fellas who sought respective get-togethers with Lexi Thompson and Belen Mozo. Another way is to be independently wealthy enough to become a regular on the LPGA pro-am circuit. Make trusted friends around the LPGA Tour and the player’s hometown. When you do ask, suggest a multiple-couple group outing at a public venue—a concert, or maybe a bustling restaurant. Good luck, and may Cupid’s arrows find their mark.
Make the round enjoyable for your friends, and the karma will boomerang. Ask them if they want to walk or ride.
If it’s ride, ask if they want to drive or ride shotgun. Show up with a joke. Be quick with praise and sympathy, slow to complain. Help your buddies. Rake their bunkers, offer yardages, bring over an extra club. They’ll treat you the same, and how fun is that?
Never hint that you actually enjoyed watching him skitter one into the gunch, though enjoy it you surely did. Never feign sympathy, either—it indicates you don’t care who wins, a transparently phony attitude if ever there was one. Best to react like a courtroom judge: attentive, impartial and nonplussed.
Drink the beer down a third of the way before you leave the window. With the hot dog, go very light on the ketchup or mustard, especially if you’re wearing a white shirt. If you can consume the hot dog in three large bites, it’ll be done and out of your way before you reach the 150-yard marker.
When swing advice from this wannabe Butch Harmon doesn’t stop, nod attentively, then hand him your 3-iron, toss a ball into a cuppy lie and say: “Show me.” If he happens to hit that shot 220 yards with a high draw, give up. He might be onto something.
Call us superstitious, but if you make a habit of whining at the golf gods for bad bounces, the deities will conduct a closed-door meeting and conspire to make things worse. If you accept the occasional rotten bounce as the golf gods just doing their job, they’ll be more likely to open the gates of heaven at the right time, and give you a good bounce when you need it.
Have quick retorts ready for when you fail. “I didn’t win the Powerball last night, so I just had to give that shot a go.” They say the best-looking girls don’t get offers because nobody dares ask them out. Same rule applies here: You’ll never get at that tucked flagstick if you aim for the fat of the green.
Address your pal John as if he were a child. Condescend: “Fellas, don’t you think Johnnycakes is improving?” Assign reputations they don’t yet have: “The staff might think you’re a lousy tipper, but I’ll say this: Your swing is looking good.”
The “buy it now” button on eBay can be a portal to used-club heaven or junk-club hell. A list of musts as you proceed through a listing: sharp photos (the more the better), all the specs (shaft flex and length, loft and lie), reasonable shipping, decent seller feedback and a hassle-free return policy. The idea is to remove any possibility of surprise when the club arrives.
You brought this on yourself, so don’t even think of complaining. Chug water like a parched horse. Take one more ibuprofen than usual. Choke down a burger if you can find one: Hall of Famer Tom Weiskopf used to say the combination of bread and grease does a body good.
If you sense your boss expects you to lose on purpose, find another job. If you feel he’ll tolerate your winning but might take it personally, start updating your résumé. If you sense he wants your best effort because it demonstrates moxy and honesty, oblige. Then wrap him in gold, for he is a rare and beautiful creature.
Slip him stuff rather than cash. A sleeve of premium balls, with an innocuous, “Have you tried these?” Or a couple of ball markers from your trip to the U.S. Open. He’ll understand. Don’t make a habit of it—just enough to make him remember you.
Most golf is four-ball match play, so come to the first tee knowing who the best player is, and snag him as your partner. Follow that quickly with the bet you want to make. If you’re answering to the other team’s proposition, you’re already on the defensive. Also, be mindful of the serious edge to be had on side bets—the “junk.” If you and your partner are better ball-strikers than your foes, propose larger payoffs for birdies and greenies.
After you’ve squeezed every morsel of distance you can by normal means—practice, lessons and tweaking your equipment—there’s one trick left. That’s to swing the club faster and a little more recklessly than you’re comfortable doing. Golf is a sport in which physicality and some aggression can pay off.
When you’ve hit a gazillion bad shots and nothing is working, reset. If you’re a teetotaler, summon the beverage cart. If you’re not a music person, kick on the tunes. Ask your buddy if you can try his driver. Go left-hand-low. Play a hole barefoot. Anything to get you to the parking lot with a smile.
Make a couple of practice swings with drowsy slowness, then tee your ball a shade higher than usual. Swing at 75 percent of your power, concentrating only on making the center of the clubface meet the ball. Regardless of where the shot goes, keep in mind that you aren’t warmed up for your second shot, either: Stretch everything out as you walk to your ball.
Serve pimento-cheese sandwiches. (Recipes are all over the Internet.) During commercials, challenge your guests to say, “Hello, friends” in the manner of Jim Nantz. Conduct an eagle pool—$10 to enter, players chosen by blind draw. Have two TV rooms: one for people who yack through the telecast, the other for serious viewers.
Ever see Ryder Cup partners roll their eyes at each other or give the silent treatment? Of course not, except for Tiger and Phil in 2004. The lesson: Never admonish, scold or cold-shoulder your partner. When he’s hitting it wild, a squeeze on the shoulder or pat on the butt might get him striping it again.
Here’s the outline of a first-person golf story. Read and learn.
Stan got bit by a rattlesnake during our golf trip in Arizona. It was on the fourth hole at Screaming Cactus Country Club. He snaps one into the desert and goes after it. Doesn’t even scream. He just runs back to the fairway, takes a drop and hits. The bites are pinholes. One of the snake’s broken fangs is sticking out of one of them. But Stan wants to finish the hole. Another guy in our foursome calls 911. The paramedics meet us at the clubhouse—after we finish the round. Stan didn’t play any more that trip, but he’s fine. Still has the fang and keeps it in his bag for good luck.
See what we did? The story was told backward, punch line first, and kept in the present tense, as though it’s happening now. And blessedly, it was over in less than two minutes.
You’re going to need an open course, a good set of lungs and people as up for this as you are. Tee to green, ditch the range finder, don’t take practice swings, and remember that when you’re not hitting, you should be walking. On the greens, if you crouch to read a putt, you’re too slow. Don’t mark your ball, and be generous with concessions.
You know those “no chipping” signs by the practice green? How they were allegedly put there to protect the turf? The course operators are playing you. They want to prevent 16-handicappers from trying Phil Mickelson’s greenside flop shot and blading one into the shin of the guy practicing four-footers. Use common sense. Never try to carry the ball more than two feet or aim at a target farther than 10 feet away. And for all that’s holy, don’t try to be like Phil and see if you can hit one left-handed.
Check out recent form and how the player has fared at a venue. Near home, he’ll have extra fans—and extra incentive. Nothing beats being comfortable.
Start with: “You guys look easy—want to play for a hundred each?” Just kidding. Be polite and deferential, like a party guest. Keep the conversation light, at least at first. Three keepers: Will Tiger play in the Masters? Ever been to one? When did you get that new driver? It’s gorgeous.
The real trick is pulling it off Saturday and Sunday, but because we’re starting small, here’s a primer: 1. Arrive home 30 minutes earlier than you promised, and never be late; 2. When you walk through the door, head to the kitchen and start doing the dishes; 3. Press the $40 you won into her hand and say, “I won this because you make me a happy golfer.”
Originally Published on Golf Digest
Golf Digest
A Wounded Veteran Finds Salvation on the Golf Course
By Alan P. Pittman
June 22, 2018
Learning to play golf with two good hands is hard enough. Imagine trying it for the first time with only one hand. This was former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ramon Padilla’s introduction, and, amazingly, it took just a handful of swings before he flushed a 5-iron 150 yards and was awestruck. “I thought golf was a sissy sport,” says Padilla, a football and baseball standout in high school whose nickname was Ramon Chingon (Badass Ramon). “But when I hit that shot, the flight of the ball was one of the most gorgeous things I’d ever seen in my life. From that moment on, I was hooked. All I wanted to do was get better.”
Padilla’s journey from Mexico to Los Angeles to Afghanistan to Washington, D.C., where he now works at the Pentagon helping wounded veterans, is a classic American success story. Padilla came to the United States in 1976 as an undocumented immigrant. He was just 2 years old when his parents carried him and his 1-year-old brother across the border in search of a better life. The family settled in El Monte, a residential area of Los Angeles, and eventually became naturalized citizens. Even as a kid, Padilla felt enormous gratitude toward his adopted country. He avoided the gang life so prevalent in his neighborhood by immersing himself in organized sports. Padilla also volunteered at the El Monte police department, where he got to know the chief of police, Ken Weldon. “He took care of me while I was growing up. He mentored me,” Padilla says.
In his early 20s, Padilla began looking for a way to repay his good fortune. “I wanted to do something for this great country that I live in,” he says. “I grew up here; I’m taking, I’m taking, I’m taking. I’m not giving back.” Padilla decided the military was the best way he could serve, so about a year before 9-11, he joined the U.S. Army. It was here that Padilla felt a sense of purpose and belonging. He developed a bond with the other soldiers who came from every corner of the United States and included many first-generation immigrants like himself.
Padilla signed up for the U.S. Army out of a feeling of obligation to the country where he made his home.
It was during Padilla’s second tour of duty, in 2007, that he found himself in a harrowing firefight in Kandahar, Afghanistan. An RPG exploded, severing his left arm and fracturing his skull. It took a dramatic rescue by the soldiers in his unit to save his life. While recovering at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center near Washington, D.C., Padilla was filled with self-doubt. What kind of future did he have? Would he even be able to play catch with his son? His therapist introduced him to Jim Estes, the director of instruction at Olney Golf Park in Maryland. Estes wanted Padilla to try golf. He laughed at the idea at first but eventually agreed. “Besides my kids being born, it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Padilla says. In addition to using golf to overcome his physical limitations, Ramon found that the game helped him manage post-traumatic symptoms from his brain injury. It was another important step toward a normal life.
“Besides my kids being born, it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Padilla says of golf.
Early on, Padilla hit way more grounders than solid shots, so he set out to design a prosthesis that attaches to his clubs. This offered relief to his good hand and became a turning point in his development. Soon he was competing in tournaments with other wounded veterans and even winning a few. “I’m traveling, meeting people, hanging out with other veterans, getting my family involved in the game. After losing my arm in battle, dealing with my post-traumatic brain injury, I can honestly say golf saved my life.”
Today Padilla lives in Maryland with his wife and his three youngest children. He’s about a 14-handicap, with a smooth and powerful swing that can launch drives 250 yards. His veteran status, connections and love of golf has presented some unique opportunities, like hitting balls on the range with Tiger Woods and playing rounds with former president George W. Bush, who painted a portrait of Padilla for his 2017 book Portraits of Courage. In the accompanying short documentary, Padilla relives the fateful moment in Afghanistan that changed his life, and how golf helped him heal from the trauma of war.
Originally published on Golf Digest
Squat For Power
Golf Digest
By Sean FoleyPhotos by J.D. Cuban
Tiger’s dip can add distance to your game
Nod of approval: Tiger’s head dips as a result of squatting. Then he pushes up to create power.
Nod of approval: Tiger’s head dips as a result of squatting. Then he pushes up to create power.
One of golf’s oldest clichés is “maintain your posture” throughout the swing. The in-tent of the message is good: To help amateurs avoid rising out of the address position–either from a lack of hip flexibility or because they’re trying to help the ball into the air. But keeping your head level might be robbing you of some distance.
What you want to do is squat as you swing into the ball. This move is similar to what any athlete would do before leaping. Many long-ball hitters drop several inches as they start the downswing. Tiger Woods has been doing it throughout his career, and it has served him well.
Essentially you’re creating an explosive action by lowering and then pushing off the ground. It helps you swing into the ball with considerable force. If you were to maintain your posture, it would be impossible to get to the ideal low point of your swing, four or five inches in front of the ball.
If you want to understand the science behind squatting, here it is: Bending your knees lengthens your quadriceps (thigh muscles), and hip flexion lengthens your glutes (buttocks). You’re now in a position to contract these muscles in an upward thrust and deliver a lot of energy into the shot.
So the next time you swing, pretend there’s a banana lying lengthwise under your front foot. Your goal is to squash it as you swing down. Do this, and you’ll really compress the ball.
Most golfers tighten their grip as an unconscious response to fear and doubt. In a heightened state of tension, blood leaves the capillaries in your hands and supports your vital organs and their functions. When this happens, you lose some feeling in your hands, and the natural reaction is to grip the club tighter to try to regain it. My advice is to constantly check your grip pressure because it changes all the time. The more aware you are of gripping the club too tightly, the better chance you’ll have of making a good swing and releasing the club at a consistent point.
Originally published on Golf Digest
Pull yourself out of that rut and hole more putts
By Cameron McCormick
Was your performance in 2016 slightly less than satisfying? I know it’s not enough to hear it happens to everyone from time to time. You want to shake off the year of stubs, lip-outs and three-jacks before golf season rolls back around and you’re racking up missed putts again like a kid catching Pokémon. Well, if you really want to fix this flat-stick fiasco, you’re going to need a bit more than a 30-minute session rolling balls into those tiny golf cups. I recommend a full reboot. Here I’m going to give you four ways to pull yourself out of that putting rut. Sometimes only one of these will do the trick, but be prepared for the reality that you might need all four. Best get started. —With Ron Kaspriske
If you’re the kind of golfer who talks to a putter, gives it a good spanking when it isn’t performing, and even threatens to back the pickup truck over it in the parking lot, it’s time for the “we need to take a break from each other” conversation. Bench your putt-er for something different. Use a blade? Switch to a mallet. Always preferred heel-shafted putters? Try a centershaft. Everything from club length to grip circumference is up for consideration. Go get fitted (View: Your Ultimate Guide To Finding A Better Game). The big switch works for two reasons. First, there are no bad memories with a new putter. It’s a new day. Second, assuming the old one isn’t now residing in a scrap-metal yard, you’ll make it just jealous enough that it will perform its best when you rekindle your relationship.
“It’s not you, it’s me” won’t fly as a break-up excuse after the second Tinder date, but it’s probably true of your relationship with the putter. It showed up ready to bury every five-footer—but sometimes you didn’t. You need a refresher on mechanics. So I suggest you practice putting with your sand wedge. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. A good stroke is propelled by the shoulders and requires minimal hand or wrist action. To get the ball rolling with a wedge, you have to make that kind of stroke hitting the ball at its equator with the leading edge (above). This type of practice elicits precision and is good for the ol’ ego. You’re more apt to forgive yourself for a miss, which helps reduce those anxious feelings that turn you into a puddle of goo when the putts actually count.
You’ve held your putter the same way for so long the grip is starting to look like one of those training clubs that has grooved channels for your fingers. It’s time to switch it up, because what you’re doing, as they say here in Texas, is as pitiful as a three-legged dog. The easiest switch would be to flip hand positions so the higher one is lower. But I think you should take it a step further. Get crazy with it. Try the saw, the claw, the paintbrush, the non-anchored belly grip. Sometimes all you need is a dramatically different way of holding the club to reset your brain and start rolling the ball the way you used to.
On the putting green you need to be more Picasso than Pythagoras. In other words, knowing the math behind a putt is important (speed, slope, etc.), but don’t let it squelch your right-brain artistry. You probably aren’t crunching numbers when you ball up a piece of paper and try tossing it into the garbage. You just use your feel. My suggestion? Go deep. Find the longest, craziest putts on a green and try to make them. Even putting from well off the green will help you get your feel back. You know you have to hit the ball hard, and you know it’s going to break, but when you try these long-distance putts, you become less concerned with the mechanics and tap back into the hand-eye coordination you thought you lost. Another benefit? It will free up your stroke. No more trying to steer them in. You’ll putt without fear of missing. Reboot complete.
Cameron McCormick is Jordan Spieth’s instructor and teaches at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas.

Much like he did last summer, Francesco Molinari snuck up on everybody on Sunday at Bay Hill. Trailing by five strokes entering the final round, the reigning Open Champion shot an eight-under 64 to capture the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his third career PGA Tour title, all of which have come in his last 12 starts.

Molinari, who teed off 10 groups ahead of the leaders, got off to a hot start, making three birdies and no bogeys on his first seven holes. Just as it looked like he’d cool off at the par-4 eighth, where he badly missed the green with his approach, Molinari played a deft chip that found the bottom of the cup for another birdie. He made four more on the back nine, including a 43-foot bomb at the 72nd hole that wound up ultimately giving him a two-stroke win over Matthew Fitzpatrick, who shot a final-round 71.

“I don’t know, I’m just super glad,” said a shocked Molinari, who just put new clubs in the bag this week. “First week as a Callaway player, so happy to see that the switch I made wasn’t as crazy as some people thought. The clubs are good for me and I showed it this week.

“It’s great, to do it here, to get it done here at this place knowing that my wife and the kids were watching back home, it’s just a special, special one.”

By far the best club in the bag was Molinari’s putter, which he used to hole 146 feet of putts on Sunday, the most in his career. The 36-year-old from Italy called it his “best putting round ever,” a bold statement with the way putted on Sunday at Carnoustie to win his first major. While Arnie’s event isn’t a major, it felt just as good as one for Molinari.

“Incredible, it’s high up there with the best wins I’ve had. He [Arnold Palmer] was a special player but most of all a special person and a global icon for the game. For someone like me coming from Italy, he and Jack [Nicklaus] were up there as gods, so to win here is truly special.”

Fitzpatrick wasn’t able to close out his first PGA Tour victory, but he did finish alone in second. Sungjae Im, Tommy Fleetwood and Rafa Cabrera Bello tied for third. As for Rory McIlroy, it was another final-round dud. The Northern Irishman shot an even-par 72 to finish in a tied for sixth.


Golf fans and media alike had a lot to say about the early leader board this week at the Honda Classic. Most of the complaints were because of the lack of star power, which was to be expected with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and others skipping the event with Bay Hill and the Players lurking on the schedule. Naturally, the final round of the Honda proved to be the most exciting Sunday of the year.

Most of the excitement was due to Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka getting into a tie at eight under in the clubhouse, with Vijay Singh and Wyndham Clark still in reach out on the course. But it was Keith Mitchell, a 27-year-old playing in just his second full season on the PGA Tour, who wound up claiming his first career victory. The University of Georgia alum carded a three-under 67 that featured birdies on four of his final seven holes, including a 15-foot conversion at the 72nd hole, yielding a fiery fist pump.

“Everybody dreams about having that putt on the 18th hole to win a tournament,” Mitchell said afterwards, adding, “and I had it today, and fortunately I was able to capitalize, and it feels awesome.”

Had Mitchell’s putt not dropped, he would have been in a three-way playoff with Koepka and Fowler, two players with their fair share of victories. But Mitchell spoiled the party, impressively bouncing back after a poor drive at the par-5 18th that found a fairway bunker. He was forced to lay up, and then hit a 129-yard wedge shot 15 feet below the hole and buried the putt.

“It was awesome. I wish I could come up with a better word than that,” said Mitchell. “But just having a chance to play — coming down the stretch against Rickie Fowler and Brooks, those guys are the best in the world, and they’ve been out here proving themselves. I’m just pleased that I could prove myself against guys like that in such a great field and a great tournament, the Honda Classic.”

Prior to this week Mitchell had four career top 10s (all coming last year), including a solo second at the 2018 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. He showed plenty of potential as a rookie, reaching the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but has struggled a bit in his sophomore season. Safe to say he’s had a successful year now, as this victory will give him nearly $1.5 million in total earnings in just 10 starts, almost eclipsing his total earnings all of last season.

Singh’s effort in pulling off the unthinkable was a valiant one, and on the 17th tee he still had a legitimate chance to win the golf tournament. But the 56-year-old badly hit his tee shot left and short of the green, and it bounced back into the water. He finished with an even-par 70, which earned him a solo sixth finish. Ryan Palmer and Lucas Glover finished one stroke ahead of Singh, tying for fourth.