Keith Mitchell Walkoff Putt Defeats Koepka & Fowler at Honda Classic PDF Print E-mail



Keith Mitchell hoists the crystal trophy after winning the Honda Classic


Palm Beach Gardens, Fl - So the Florida Swing is officially underway.

Coming down the 72nd hole at PGA National's Champion course on

Sunday, Keith Mitchell found a calmness in knowing that a birdie would

be good enough to notch his first win on the big stage at the Honda

Classic, but as he looked up at the leaderboard, he had seen that the

cream had risen to the top. Local residents Brooks Koepka and Rickie

Fowler (the two highest ranked players in the field) were tied with him

atop the leaderboard at 8 under par and were waiting in the clubhouse.

Mitchell pulled his tee shot on the par 5 eighteenth into the left fairway

bunker, and with no chance of reaching the green in two, it was looking

like a playoff with two of game's best was inevitable, but the former

University of Georgia standout settled himself. After a safe lay up,

Mitchell hit his approach to 15 feet below the hole, perhaps the best

location to make a bold putt to win. He didn't take long, and confidently

poured the putt into the cup for his 1st PGA Tour victory, in grand Walk-

off style.


Afterward, in his press conference Keith Mitchell discussed what it was

like to have that experience and the thought process leading up to the

clutch stroke, "I've dreamed of having a putt like that to win a big

tournament, and I had that today. Fortunately, I was able to capitalize

on it," Mitchell said. "Thankfully, I knew what I was doing before I even

got there (to the ball), all of the grain on that green goes left to right,

and it was a little uphill. I didn't have much of a question in my read

and speed, so I was able to be confident in what I was doing - which

is huge. I did a great job from the fairway leaving myself below the

hole. I think I might have early looked that putt (in), it looked so good

so early. It was the best putt I've ever hit under the circumstances,

hands down. To have it fall is too cool."


Keith Mitchell finished with rounds of 68-66-70-67 to finish at -9 (271



Mitchell's prior career achievements will give hope and inspiration to

thousands striving to make it - his last win prior to the Honda Classic

was a 2016 mini-tour event in North Carolina. He lost in a playoff on

the Latin American Tour, and never won on the Tour. In his

winning press conference, Mitchell discussed working diligently on

controlling his emotions and managing himself to be calmer when

it mattered. The reward - $1,224,000 and a chance to play in his first

major championship, a trip down Magnolia Lane in his home state

come April.


Brooks Koepka fired a final round 66 including birdies on 2 of his last 3

holes to tie for second with Rickie Fowler who birdied 3 of his last 4 to

shoot 67 and finish at 8 under par. Lucas Glover shot a final round 66

and Ryan Palmer had the round of the day shooting 63 to tie for fourth.