PGA 2019: Harold Varner shanks ball directly into the woods on way to disastrous 7

May 19, 2019

For a moment on Sunday at the PGA Championship, it looked like Harold Varner III had a shot at ruining Brooks Koepka’s victory parade. But a disastrous 7 on the 4th hole brought his chances crashing down.

Varner put a scare in Koepka when he buried a short birdie putt at 1 to reach six under. Koepka then made bogey, having knocked his tee shot into deep rough. Suddenly, the seven-shot lead was cut down to five, and we had the makings of a dramatic final round.

But things starting going wrong for Varner at the par-3 3rd. He missed the green with his tee shot, then three-putted for a double to drop down to four under. But things truly started going haywire at the 4th.

Most players expect to make birdie at the one reachable par-5 at Bethpage Black. But Varner started the hole by driving his ball wide left into deep rough and heather. When he tried to hack out, grass caught his hosel and sent his ball flying sideways directly into the woods.

A long search followed, with Koepka even chipping in to help after knocking his own second shot onto the green. After the three minutes designated under the new rules expired, Varner gave up. From there, he headed back to where he hit the shot, and dropped another ball.

He was able to reach the green in two with his new ball but failed to convert a 10-footer for what would have been an incredible bogey all things considered.

The double-bogey 7 dropped Varner to two under for the tournament, five shots worse than he had been just two holes before. With Koepka two-putting for birdie at 4, Varner suddenly found himself 10 shots back, and his chances at a come-from-behind major breakthrough all but gone.

To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.