'You Can Do Any Drug On The Planet But It's Nothing Like Being In Contention'

Harold Varner III speaks to Golf Monthly on the buzz of being in the mix out on Tour

Harold Varner III celebrates
Harold Varner III celebrates his monster winning putt at the 2022 Saudi International
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Harold Varner III has a smile that lights up the room. No wonder Youth on Course tagged him to be their first Player Ambassador last year. He’s relatable, he looks people in the eye, and he loves to laugh and keep things light. Now at 31, his nearly seven years on the PGA Tour have brought both ups and down.

But one things for sure: Varner is hungry for that first PGA Tour win. He’s tasted the thick of a major Sunday in the final group with Brooks Koepka, and has plenty here to share about what he learned from the pivotal moment and much more.

"I was just playing golf, and little did I know that I was playing some of the best golf of my life," Varner told Golf Monthly, weeks before his huge Saudi International victory. "It was nuts, and it went by fast. The greatest year was the one I almost lost my card because so much life happened. My wife lost her brother, it was just super high to low. I won the Australian PGA and came back and we were celebrating. And I found out while we were celebrating and I wasn't a man then. I wasn't capable enough to handle that life isn't fair, it's just not that easy.

Harold Varner III hits a tee shot

Varner III played with Brooks Koepka in the final group of the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"When you're little your parents keep some life stuff away like bills or whatever. You're in your own little cloud, you're with your boys. You might get a butt whopping for not being home on time, or doing something stupid. In reality they put a cloud around you. So I'm at the point now where I just want to see how good I can get. If I sit here and say 'hey, I'm pretty good' how douchebag does that sound? You weren't given this amazing talent to just be like "I'm good."

"Obviously my number one goal is to see if I can win on the PGA Tour. I haven't done it. I'm sure every interview this year will be 'are you ready to win?' and I'll answer that professionally, but deep down inside I'll be like 'no shit I'm ready to win bro' but this is my journey and I'm going to run my race, and I'm super proud of it.

"In 2017, I finished 12th to keep my card in the last event of the season. That meant a lot. It's the greatest thing in the world. You can do any drug on the planet but it's nothing like being in contention or possibly losing your job. It's awesome and it's so addictive. I love it. I just need to get back into contention. I'm ready. Talking with you about it makes me ready."

Garrett Johnston is a golf reporter and presenter who’s covered pro golf for 12 years including over 30 majors. His goal each year is always to “grow with the rookies” on Tour. The idea is to get to know the superstars before they become household names. Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, and Patrick Reed are just some of the players Johnston has covered from their early pro careers for their hometown newspapers. Johnston’s favorite event is always The Open, and he credits his unforgettable experience covering the 2015 Open at St. Andrews where he got to interview Tom Watson (in his final Open) and winner Zach Johnson exclusively throughout the week as his favorite event so far. Johnston has also developed a strong rapport with Tour caddies and regularly contributes to Caddie Network and Golf.com. He also has his own podcast: Beyond The Clubhouse