Monster 92-foot eagle putt to win tournament is ‘No. 1’ moment in golf career, says Harold Varner III

As he himself documented on his Instagram, Varner was ranked 1,510th in the world in 2014.
Since then, the American has seen a steady improvement year by year, rising through the ranks.

But it took a moment of magic that he will never forget to finally crack the top 50 in the world.

At the Saudi International earlier in February, Varner sunk a huge 92-foot eagle putt from off the green to snatch victory from friend Bubba Watson.

Varner admitted to CNN afterwards that while “everyone else thought it was going in,” he “wasn’t sure.”

That dramatic victory catapulted him to 45th in the world rankings and will be a moment he will “talk about it for the rest of my life,” Varner said.

“I still can’t believe it went in,” Varner told CNN’s Sean Coppack. “I knew I had a chance and that’s what you want.

When asked where it ranks in his professional career so far, Varner said: “It’s No. 1 right now.”

He also recognized that his spot in the top 50 golf players in the world will open doors for him.

“I was wanting (to be in the top 50). That is awesome,” he said in a press conference. “That’s the goal, man. That gets you in the things that I haven’t played in. I’ve played in some big events here and there, but yeah, that’s why we play.

“I was on the cusp of it after Hilton Head and didn’t execute, played a lot of golf. Frickin’ A. That’s all I wanted to know when I was sitting out there.”

Varner on the 18th green at the Saudi International.

‘Life happened’

Not only did he shoot up golf’s rankings, Varner also traveled back to the Charlotte, US, having won approximately $1 million.

Since his first professional win in 2016 at the Australian PGA Championship, Varner had undergone somewhat of a barren spell.

Between December 2016 and February 2022, Varner didn’t win a professional golf tournament.

But his belief never wavered during that time. “I’ve never questioned my ability,” he said.

“The only people that question it are the people that sit right in here, and they’re like, ‘Man, he needs to be winning.’ But I don’t march to anyone’s beat in here. I do what I’m supposed to do and things come.

“Life happened. My wife, my girlfriend at the time, her brother died a week after that and we were celebrating. Things that I wasn’t ready to be a man about. I can sit here and tell you like I just didn’t know how to handle it because, I don’t know, I think it’s a hard thing to deal with. Those things get in the way of just focusing on golf.

“When you’re a kid and there’s nothing else to do, it’s only golf. No, I wouldn’t change a thing. How cool is that? It hasn’t happened in a long time, and the way it happened right there, it’s frickin’ awesome.”

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Varner poses for a photo with the trophy after winning the Saudi International.

During that time, Varner explained that he’s grown a lot as both a player and a man.

When asked in his press conference after his victory in Saudi Arabia whether he has become more of a spokesperson for Harold Varner than for different things, he replied: “Amen to that.”

“I am learning that. I think it comes with maturity. I think just learning how to articulate how to say, ‘No,’ like I’ve been struggling saying no to these little kids every time I walk around here today, and it’s going to be okay, but I’m going to get them when I leave.”