Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Notable Quotes: The Honda Classic, Sunday’s Final Round – Mitchell Wins by 1 Over Koepka and Fowler

NBC Sports Notable Quotes

The Honda Classic

Final Round

PGA National Resort & Spa, Champion Course

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Sunday, March 3, 2019


Honda Classic Final Round Leaderboard

Keith Mitchell           -9

Brooks Koepka         -8

Rickie Fowler            -8

Ryan Palmer             -7

Lucas Glover             -7

Vijay Singh                -6

Wyndham Clark       -5

Kyoung-Hoon Lee    -5


On Keith Mitchell, 2019 Honda Classic Champion at 9-under par (3-under 67 on Sunday)

Paul Azinger – “You got to earn respect out here. You don’t just get it, you’ve got to earn it, and Keith Mitchell earned it today.”

Azinger – “He has got a lot of moxie. A lot of heart.”

Azinger – “The magnitude of the situation doesn’t seem to be affecting him too much. He made a couple of clutch putts when he needed to today. He just keeps hitting one good shot after another.”


Keith Mitchell speaking with NBC’s Steve Sands following his victory

Keith Mitchell – “I was just trying to focus what was going on. My mind started to wander a little bit towards the end. You’re going to have bad thoughts. That is just the reality of it. I just tried to focus on actually what the putt was doing and the read and my speed, and I was able to do that and hit a great putt.”

Mitchell – “I’ve been close before and let my emotions take over. Today I bogeyed the first two holes and I thought, ‘I’m not going to let this happen again. I’m going to stick it out and use what I’ve learned the past couple of years,’ and I was able to do it and play great coming down the stretch.”

Mitchell – “These guys are awesome. I know Rickie is young and Brooks is young but they have been out here so much longer than me. I’ve been watching them since college and junior golf. Having my name next to theirs is an honor in the first place.”


On Rickie Fowler, T2 at 8-under par (3-under 67 on Sunday)

Azinger – “Have you seen anybody do any better than Rickie Fowler the last couple of months.”


On Brooks Koepka, T2 at 8-under par (4-under 66 on Sunday)

Azinger – “He is not the kind of guy that goes to see the sports psychologist. He is going to end up being the guy that sports psychologists come to see him.”

Azinger – “He has got the ice water running through those veins. It just seems like he is the most unflappable player out here right now. He can deal with the pressure as well as anybody. Brooks Koepka is the man right now.”

Dan Hicks – “Man does he have some confidence rolling. It is just like another stroll in the park.”


Brooks Koepka speaking with NBC’s Steve Sands following his round

Brooks Koepka – ‘It was extremely difficult. This wind is pumping up to 20-25 miles per hour at times. It is quite difficult. You never feel easy over any shot. You just got to put it to the center of the green and take your two-putt on a lot of these holes and be aggressive when you can.”

Koepka – “I’m just focused on what I’ve got to do. I’m pumped inside and raring to go. Just need to keep doing what I’m doing and luckily I was able to get a few putts to drop and then sometimes you’ve got to hold back your emotions a little bit too because you can get so excited and caught up in the moment, you just need to keep thinking about the next shot.”


On Ryan Palmer, T4 at 7-under par (7-under 63 on Sunday)

Ryan Palmer speaking with GOLF Channel’s Chantel McCabe following his round

Ryan Palmer – “It was tough because the way the wind was blowing, you’ve got to hit good shots. The first few holes were pretty gettable. I got the holes that were gettable which is what you need to do which allowed me to shoot 29 on the front. It is so hard to back up a low round like that on the front to the back. You can kind of feel a little tension creeping in. I was able to have some great par saves and to finish the way I did, very memorable.”


Ryan Palmer speaking with NBC’s Steve Sands following his round

Ryan Palmer – “The only mindset I really had was if I can shoot 4 or 5-under and I can just salvage a week. I fought my back all week. Some lower right issues, and today it was the best I felt on the range. I felt like it was finally clearing up. The idea was to shoot 3,4,5-under par and maybe get a top-15 out of it. Knowing that if I somehow squeaked an 8 or 9-under par in there, which I know I’m capable of doing, then you never know. The first four holes were gettable. I took advantage of that. I was able to shoot a 29 on the front, but it is always hard to take that to the back nine. That back nine is no cupcake.”

Palmer – “The greens were pure. I was so fortunate to have a lot of straight putts. I hit a lot of great putts today but they were never outside of the hole. Randy Smith told me before the round, ‘Just putt like you are sitting in Church.’ It worked. Just keep yourself quiet.”


On Vijay Singh, 6th place at 5-under par (even-par 70 on Sunday)

Roger Maltbie – “I told Vijay on the 1st tee it has been a while since I’ve followed the last group that included a player I competed with and against.”

Jack Nicklaus – “I think it is fantastic. Vijay has been a great player for a long time. He has struggled with his putting the last few years, but his ball striking has never left him.”

Azinger – “Vijay can be moody, but I tell you, when he is on the golf course he is always composed.”

On Sunday’s final round at PGA National

Azinger – “I don’t know why I get up here and my palms start sweating watching these guys. It is easier to be out there playing than it is to watch.”

Jim “Bones” Mackay – “The wind is really starting to pick up out here. I’m not sure if that is mother nature responsible for that or if Ryan Palmer is dialing it up from the clubhouse.” 

-NBC Sports Group-