As much as 92-feet from the hole, off the front of the green and a shot behind leader Bubba Watson, it looked like Harold Varner III’s opportunity to win had slipped away.
A par would mean Watson wins. A birdie would take it to a playoff. An eagle, while improbable, would give Varner the win.
With his trusty putter in hand, Varner went to work as if he was a magician.
The US golfer’s winding, weaving putt traversed the immaculate green, before slowly dropping into the hole and sparking scenes of jubilant celebration.
“Awesome. Still – it’s been pretty crazy since it happened,” Varner said after the victory, winning approximately $1 million.
“I’m just trying to take it in. Winning just never gets old. I just know that there’s been times where it just didn’t go my way and today it did. I’m super thrilled not just for myself, but everyone that’s either on my team or in my corner.
“They know who they are so I don’t have to thank them. They know who they are. My mom’s already called. Yeah, I’m pumped.”
While it meant Watson missed out on victory, seeing Varner – a friend of his – the manner of his competitor’s win was nonetheless a special moment.
After Varner sunk the massive putt, Watson ran down the 18th green to congratulate him.
“A guy I truly love,” Watson said of Varner, describing him as a “dear friend.”
“A guy that I want to help,” continued Watson. “He’s new – when I say new, we know Harold, but it took me – it was five years until I won my first.
“So, this is a guy that’s just starting to play better and better each year. We see his name a little bit more. He’s getting comfortable.”
The two-time Masters winner added: “I’m not mad at him for beating me. I’m happy for him … I applaud him. I love seeing that. I cheer for him.”