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Posted November 19, 2018 in "Watts" In The Bag by Trevor Cigich
Article by Staff and Wire Reports of Global Golf Post
When golf pundits talk about players who have been consistent but unable to win as much as they should, Charles Howell III’s name is always in the conversation. He arrived at the RSM Classic having earned more than $35 million in his PGA Tour career, but the 39-year-old Georgia native had won just twice – the 2002 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill and the 2007 Nissan Open. The paucity of wins has made Howell’s résumé feel somewhat incomplete given his stellar ball-striking and the 89 top-10s he has posted in the past 20 years. His last victory had come 333 starts and 4,292 days ago.
The RSM Classic seemed as if it might be in another long line of near misses for Howell. The former Oklahoma State golfer opened with a pair of 64s but slowed on Saturday with a 68, putting him one stroke ahead of Cameron Champ and Jason Gore through 54 holes. Howell then proceeded to open the final round bogey-double bogey to drop to 13 under, four shots back of Champ.
While nobody else could breakaway, Howell fought back with birdies on Nos. 5, 6 and 10 to get back into the thick of a jammed leaderboard that included not just Champ but Patrick Rodgers, Webb Simpson, Ryan Blaum, and Luke List among others. After a birdie on the par-5 15th, Howell came back with another birdie at the par-4 16th and then hit what may have been the shot of the tournament on the par-3 17th as he drew an 8-iron to within a few feet to set up a birdie and reach 19 under.
A lot was going on while Howell made his run. Rodgers came home in 5-under 30, capping his rally with a stellar birdie on the 72nd hole to tie Howell. Simpson hit a brilliant shot into the final hole and also had a chance to reach 19 under, but his birdie attempt narrowly missed. Meanwhile, Champ couldn’t build momentum and fell to sixth place at 16 under.
Howell missed a birdie putt on 18 to win the tournament in regulation before going to a playoff with Rodgers, the highly touted player from Stanford who has yet to win on the PGA Tour. The two played the 18th hole again and Howell barely missed another attempt to win. The same scenario played out on 18 during the second playoff hole, only this time Howell had an uphill putt that he aggressively poured into the center of the cup.
“I thought just don’t leave this one short,” Howell said. “I would have rather putted it off the green than left it short.”
Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65
Fairway woods: Titleist TS2 (15, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 8X, Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 9X
Wedges: Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align
Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (proto)
Republished with permission from Global Golf Post