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BC-GLF--Honda Classic

March 3, 2019
AP Sports Writer

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Keith Mitchell made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday to win The Honda Classic for his first PGA Tour victory.

Mitchell closed with a 3-under 67 to finish at 9-under 271 at PGA National, a stroke ahead of Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler.

Mitchell was tied for the lead after 36 holes, and was tied for second going into Sunday. He birdied four of his final seven holes for his first win as a pro — including stints on the Web.com and Latinoamerica tours.

All he had to do for that victory was hold off two of the game’s best in Koepka and Fowler. Koepka shot a 66, and Fowler a 67. They both made birdied the 18th, and Fowler had a huge charge late to get to 8 under — with three birdies in his final four holes, including a 45-footer on the 17th.

But Mitchell didn’t waver in the wind.

He was on the upslope of a fairway bunker about 205 yards from the pin for his second shot at the par-5 18th. All he could do from there was hit a pop-up, leaving him with a wedge in for his third.

That checked up about 15 feet below the hole, giving him a putt to win. He made it, pumped his fist and waited for the final group of Wyndham Clark and Vijay Singh to finish about five minutes later.

Mitchell earned $1,224,000 for the victory.

“I was trying 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.”