Varner III eyes repeat Down Under
Unlikely Australian PGA Championship specialist Harold Varner III is thrilled at the chance to maintain his recent stranglehold on the event at the RACV Royal Pines Resort this week.
The American journeyman accepted an invitation to the tournament in 2015 and in brutal conditions was one of only three players to end the week level-par, good enough for a play-off in which Nathan Holman eventually triumphed.
I feel like something good is going to happen.Harold Varner III
Twelve months later the 27-year-old returned to discover entirely different course conditions, undeterred, he totalled 19-under-par 269 and duly lifted his first professional title.
He also knows that securing the victory two years ago has had consequences he could never have anticipated.
"I was thinking about the first time I came here and how I didn't know anyone, didn't know where to hit it," he said ahead of this year's first round in Queensland. "Now I feel like I have an idea what to do and I'm just very excited for the challenge and just ready to compete.
"I think everyone needs confirmation that they can do it, because everyone can win but doing it's a different thing. It's helped me the last couple weeks just knowing that I can win when I need to."
This year he will again face the a strong home contingent, led by Marc Leishman and Adam Scott, but must also overcome Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who is making his tournament debut.
"I know I need to play well," Varner added. "It doesn't matter what course I play, I feel like something good is going to happen. I played well the last day in Hong Kong and drove it better, found some stuff."
Varner III is 23.00 to win the tournament outright, while Leishman is available at 7.00, Scott 8.50 and Garcia 7.50.
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