Charles Howell III claimed victory at the RSM Classic with a final-round 67 en route to a four-day total of 19-under par. He then edged Patrick Rodgers in a playoff to secure his third career PGA Tour title, and first since 2007.
Afterwards, Howell III met with the media in the interview room at Sea Island Golf Club. Here’s a few of the best questions and answers from the press conference.
ON CONNECTION TO SEA ISLAND
Q: “To do it in Georgia, specifically at Sea Island, I know makes it even more special to you?”
HOWELL III: “Yeah, so our family, I grew up in Augusta, which is about three hours from here, and my family, we spent quite a bit of time down here growing up.
“My very first experience with Sea Island, albeit a very sad one, is I had a golf lesson scheduled with Jimmy Hodges and it was scheduled for the week after he passed in the plane crash with Davis’ father.
So my lesson got moved to Gale Peterson and I came down here and I worked with her as a kid and our family continued to come down here and vacation, et cetera.
“Yeah, this is a spot that’s been awful special to us, but I never thought it would end this way.”
ON FINALLY BREAKING THROUGH
Q: “What was different this time than the other times?
HOWELL III: “You know, after the way I started (bogey-double bogey), I really don’t know. It’s not that you needed to go out and start hot to make a bunch of birdies, but just a nice, stable start would have been good.
“I don’t know. The man upstairs is all I can say because that’s — you know, I knew my game was good, I knew I was playing well, but when you start off the way I started off, sometimes you wonder, well, maybe you just don’t have it in you. Maybe today is just not the day.
“So let’s start back over, let’s have a nice day today, let’s see what happens. More than likely I won’t be winning the golf tournament, but we can have a nice day out of this and a nice week, and slowly clawed my way back.
“Cameron never could quite get anything going as well, he missed a lot of putts on the edges.
“But I saw Webb pop his name up there, which I knew he would, and just thought, well, these guys are going to get to 20 and it’s going to be a bit insurmountable.
“Yeah, I didn’t know if I had it in me the last four, to be quite honest. I’m glad now that I’ve
seen me do it.”
ON MEANING OF WIN
Q: “You move to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings. Talk a little bit about the journey to get back to this spot?”
CHARLES HOWELL III: “You know, golf is a brutal game and the highs of the high, it comes with a lot of really lows. You know, you work and then you practice and you prepare and you think you’re doing all the right things and the results don’t quite show that. So then you start to question everything really. You know, just — it’s a wonderful lesson to be learned that if you truly believe in what you’re doing, to stay the course.
“If no one else proves it but me today, then it does prove it. It’s been 11 years since I’ve won a golf tournament and quite honestly, I didn’t know if I would ever win one again for the obvious reasons that I had come up short so many times and the fact of how the game is changing.
“I just spent 36 holes with Cameron Champ, who hits a 3-iron 290 yards off almost every tee and it gets your attention how golf’s changing. Every time one of these guys comes out like that, there seems another and another and another.
“Yeah, the fact I’m sitting here with this trophy, it’s still a bit of a dream.”