PGA Championship: Harold Varner III in uncharted territory playing with Koepka

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

PGA Championship: Harold Varner III in uncharted territory playing with Koepka

PGA

PGA Championship: Harold Varner III in uncharted territory playing with Koepka

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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Harold Varner III is in uncharted territory.

After turning in a clean card following Saturday’s third round of the PGA Championship – he shot the only bogey-free round of the day and signed for a 67, tied for the lowest round of the day – Varner learned he would be paired in the final group on Sunday with Brooks Koepka, the bash brother who is bludgeoning Bethpage Black.

Varner, 28, whose only professional victory came in the 2016 Australian PGA Championship, is playing in just his fifth major. He’s made just one cut in a major – he tied for 66th in the 2016 British Open.

While he faces a 7-shot deficit against the No. 3 player in the world, Varner, who is ranked 174th, isn’t about to back down.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Varner, whose rounds of 71-67-67 include just four bogeys, the fewest among any player this week. “It’s going to be a great day no matter what happens. This is what you practice for, and obviously I’m super excited.”

Varner, who has missed four of his last six cuts and finished no better than a tie for 23rd this year, will soak in as much as he can as he walks in step with Koepka. He’s inspired by Koepka and how the winner of three majors has devoured Bethpage Black and demoralized the field.

And Varner knows that the top 4 and ties this week get an invite to the Masters, a tournament he’s never played.

“If you don’t go to sleep and think, ‘This makes me want to work harder (to) be that good,’ then I don’t know why you’re playing,” he said. “You can’t sit there and just weep and be like, ‘He’s so much better.’ I think that’s going to push you. It almost pisses me off. That’s what I think.”

 

 

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