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By : BGA Proshop
Keith Mitchell won his first PGA Tour tournament, Honda Classic and did it in style with a 15 foot birdie putt on the last hole to beat Brooks Koepka and Rickie Folwer but one stroke.
What was more impressive with Mitchell’s win was that he started the day with back to back bogeys but then roared back into contention and the win with 4 birdies in his last 7 holes.
“I’ve been close before and let my emotions take over me” Mitchell said after the round. “I bogeyed the first couple of holes and I said, ‘Not again.’”
He finished the day with six birdies, three bogeys and a final round 67 to finish at nine under.
“I was trying hard to focus on what was going on,” Mitchell said. “My mind started wandering there a little bit at the end ... and then I hit a great putt.”
It was a thrilling finish to the tournament as many as six players on the final nine holes were tied for the lead at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
But in the end it came down to Mitchell, Koepka and Folwer.
Koepka birdied two of his last three holes and Folwer closed with four birdies in eight holes.
Mitchell knew he had to make the clutch birdie putt on 18 as he didn’t want to end up in a three man playoff.
“If I make par here, I got a playoff with two of the best players in the world and potentially Hall of Fame of all time” Mitchell said, “That’s a big thought for a guy that’s on his second year of Tour that’s never won. So I was able to execute and that’s something I haven’t been able to do in the past.”
Two days earlier, Mitchell had finished 36 holes as the co-leader with Sungjae Im. A headline in the local newspaper called them “no-names” and someone else in the media made the suggestion that neither one would be in contention on Sunday when the tournament was decided.
“I don’t expect to have any great stuff to be written about me because I’ve only been out here for a year,” Mitchell said. “So I’m not saying that in a negative light. I just used that as a little kind of emotion that everyone gets their start somewhere, everyone gets their first win somewhere, and I wanted this to be mine.”