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After the 11th hole on Sunday, Harold Varner III found himself in a share of the lead at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Seven holes later, the 31-year-old finished back in a tie for 27th, with Varner shooting 10-over-par for his back nine.
Not only was it a costly mistake regarding FedEx Cup and World Ranking points, but also tournament prize money, with the American losing out on a potential $1.5 million paycheque and instead settling for a $56,000 one instead.
It was a heart-breaking way to end the tournament for Varner, who was spotted signing autographs with his fans despite his capitulation around Colonial Country Club.
The stuff you don’t see, but says all you need to know about @HV3_Golf pic.twitter.com/1WsgFa1CO7May 29, 2022
Producing three birdies and one bogey over the front nine, Varner was well in contention going into the back. However, as he came to the 12th, the American was left with a lengthy wait as his playing partner, Scott Stallings, received a ruling on one of his shots.
After splashing out from the bunker, Varner was faced with a 12-foot putt for par that would have kept him in a share of the lead. What followed, was a four putt triple bogey that the 31-year-old never recovered from.
Following the triple, Varner found the water on the 13th as he racked up a double bogey, with yet another triple bogey being followed on the 14th as he moved to two-under-par for the tournament.
A birdie at the 15th seemed to be just a consolation, as Varner finished double bogey-bogey for a 10-over-par back nine and a level-par tournament total, something that just an hour or so earlier no-one would have even dreamed of!
Eventually, the 31-year-old finished nine shots back of eventual winner, Sam Burns, with Varner still yet to capture his first PGA Tour title. What's more, at the PGA Championship, he became just the 11th golfer in the Tour's history to make $10 million during his career without a PGA Tour win.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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