Many golfers dream of having a prolific start at their first Pga Tour event but many end up missing the cut or playing in the middle of the pack. This was not the case for 25-year old Keith Mitchell, however.
It was a whirlwind week for Mitchell, a Web.com Tour pro, who was able to squeeze into the field at the Valspar Championship at the last second. After attending a funeral in Baltimore, Mitchell arrived in Florida on Monday with just the clothes he was wearing and his clubs. After playing in a qualifier on Monday and a five-way playoff on Tuesday, Mitchell was able to qualify for his first PGA TOUR event with the lowest round by a player at a qualifier this season.
He then carried that momentum into the Valspar Championship itself, beginning his first hole of the tournament with an eagle. And he ended his tournament just as dramatic as it started, draining a 47-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to finish at six-under par. This was good enough for a T-11 finish in his first PGA TOUR event.
Unfortunately for Mitchell, he finished one spot away from qualifying for the PGA’s next event, the Puerto Rico Open, in two weeks but he did receive a consolation of $144,900. That payday is the same amount as the purses he has won in 24 Web.com Tour starts and 14 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica combined.
For Mitchell, the best part was just being able to show that he can compete on the biggest of stages. “It’s going to help me a lot the rest of the year knowing if I can compete out here, I can definitely compete on the Web (Web.com Tour) and just try to earn playing out here next year,” Mitchell said. “That’s the goal this year. And after my good play this week it will really help me with that comfort level and confidence.”
For now, Mitchell will return to the Web.com Tour but if he continues his high caliber of play, it is likely that his name will appear on the PGA TOUR again sooner rather than later.
Cover Image via YouTube