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Mitchell holds off Koepka and Fowler to claim maiden PGA Tour title in Florida

Mitchell birdied the final hole to seal the win.

Keith Mitchell won the Honda Classic (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Keith Mitchell won the Honda Classic (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

American Keith Mitchell produced a brilliant birdie on the 72nd hole to hold off the challenge of Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler and win his first PGA Tour title in the Honda Classic.

Mitchell birdied four of his last seven holes at PGA National to card a closing 67 and finish nine under par, a shot ahead of three-time major winner Koepka and his Ryder Cup team-mate Fowler.

Koepka, the reigning US Open and US PGA champion, had birdied the 16th and 18th in his closing 66 to set a target matched by Fowler thanks to three birdies in the last four holes.

However, Mitchell held his nerve despite driving into a fairway bunker on the 18th and, after laying up with his second shot, hit his third to 15 feet and calmly rolled in the putt to secure victory.

Mitchell told Sky Sports: “It’s not even close to sinking in. I don’t expect it to, I don’t want it to, this is just awesome. Playing like I did coming down the stretch is unbelievable.

“I have a 9:25am tee-time tomorrow so I might have to take it easy (tonight) but I might just put some sunglasses on or something!”

Ryan Palmer had set the early target after charging through the field with a superb 63 and then faced a lengthy wait to see if he would become the first player to win a PGA Tour event after starting the final round outside the top 30.

Palmer’s seven-under-par total was matched by Lucas Glover and eventually overtaken by Koepka, while Vijay Singh also missed out on creating history after a closing 70 left him in sixth place.

The 56-year-old Fijian had been attempting to become the oldest winner on the PGA Tour, surpassing the record set by the 52-year-old Sam Snead in 1965, but mixed three birdies with three bogeys on the back nine.

PA

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