Keith Mitchell’s first and until now only win as a professional was three years ago, on something called the G Pro Tour.
As is the case with minitour life, few watched and few noticed. He earned $5,600.
Those days are long gone. After 97 tries on the PGA Tour, the Web.com Tour and even the Latinoamerica Tour, Mitchell is finally a winner — and had to outlast two of the game’s best players for that long-awaited victory. A birdie on the par-5 18th on Sunday capped Mitchell’s win at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., over Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler.
“It was awesome,” Mitchell said. “I wish that I could come up with a better word than that, but just having a chance to come down the stretch against Rickie Fowler and Brooks, those guys are the best in the world and they’ve been out here proving themselves.”
Mitchell birdied four of his final seven holes, including a 15-footer on the last for a 3-under-par 67 and a 9-under 271 total. Koepka (66) and Fowler (67) made big charges as well on a wild and windy day at PGA National, yet settled for a tie for second at 8-under, one shot behind Mitchell.
Fowler gave Mitchell a warm hug when they crossed paths after the final putt.
“Awesome guy,” Fowler said. “Obviously, a good enough player to win.”
LPGA: Sung Hyun Park birdied five of her opening seven holes and closed with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot victory in the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore. Ariya Jutanugarn, the No. 1-ranked player, led Park by four strokes entering the final round but closed with a 75. Minjee Lee shot 69 to finish second, her second straight runner-up finish.
Champions: In Tucson, Mark O’Meara seized control with five birdies on the front nine and closed with a 7-under 66 for a four-shot victory in the Cologuard Classic, his first victory on the PGA Tour Champions in more than eight years. At 62 years, 1 month, 17 days, he’s the fourth-oldest winner in the history of the 50-and-over tour. O’Meara finished at 17-under 202 on Omni Tucson National’s Catalina Course.
European: Kurt Kitayama had six birdies and an eagle to salvage a 1-under 71 in the weather-delayed third round in the morning, then birdied two of the last three holes in the afternoon for a 70 and a one-shot victory in the Oman Open. The 26-year-old Chico native had to play 33 holes Sunday to cap off the win over Jorge Campillo (69), Clement Sordet (70), Fabrizio Zanotti (74) and Maximillian Kieffer (72).
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/golf/article/Keith-Mitchell-gets-his-first-PGA-Tour-win-13660172.php.