Howell III romps to victory at LIV Mayakoba

Mark McGowan

Charles Howell III of Crushers GC celebrates on stage after the LIV Golf Mayakoba. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/LIV Golf)

Charles Howell III shot an incredible closing, bogey-free, eight-under 63 to cruise to victory at LIV Golf’s season-opening event at El Camaleon Golf Club in Mayakoba Mexico.

Howell III began the day one stroke behind Peter Uihlein and Talor Gooch with Graeme McDowell three further back in a tie for sixth.

McDowell began brightly, birdieing two of his opening four holes to climb to solo fourth, but from there he’d bogey four of his final 14, adding just one more birdie to finish the event tied for 11th at -4.

Often maligned for his ‘journeyman’ stint on the PGA Tour where he’d capture just three victories in a 20-year career, Howell III came out firing in the final group, birdieing six of his opening nine holes to make the turn in 30 strokes.

He’d add two more on the way home, enjoying the luxury of a four-stroke lead at the last as he’d close out the most lucrative week of his career.

Two bogeys on the front nine with no birdies had long ended Gooch’s challenge, but Uihlein was still in with an outside chance until a triple-bogey seven at the 12th hole put paid to his hopes of a first LIV Golf win after losing out in a playoff to Brooks Koepka in last year’s LIV Jeddah event.

Howell’s win earned him a cheque for $4 million, and he’d add another $750,000 for leading his Crushers team, captained by Bryson DeChambeau to the team title, where they’d beat Dustin Johnson’s 4 Aces into second place, with the team captain’s score not counting after he shot an unexpected seven-over in the final round.

“Obviously, I don’t think you ever see a win coming,” said the 43-year-old Howell. “I’ve played in a lot of golf tournaments in my life, and I haven’t won a lot of them, and you have the doubts and the feelings, will you ever win again?

“To do it against this competition with these guys standing up here is more than I could ever dream of. I’m extremely thankful.”

“I knew it would happen,” DeChambeau said of his team winning. “I just didn’t know when it would happen. To start off the year with a crushing victory … How much more can you ask for a statement piece? The 4Aces, OK, yeah, great, they won a lot last year. But it’s a different year. It’s 2023.”

“Not counting the first few days for me, it was pretty rough last night, so I gave myself a kick in the butt and played a little better today,” DeChambeau said.


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