LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA | Last November as a hint of winter was blowing a chill across Sea Island with another PGA Tour year coming to a close, 39-year-old Charles Howell III and 23-year-old Cameron Champ found themselves paired together for two days.
There was nothing ceremonial about it, just how it fell together on the weekend at the RSM Classic. But if you went looking for underlying symbolism, it was there in those two players, even though they had not played together until that week.
Nineteen years ago, Howell was what Champ is today – the game’s next big thing.
Howell didn’t have the astonishing power that has defined Champ’s rocket ride to relevance but Howell arrived on the scene as a star, a seemingly sure-fire success. He was on magazine covers and in featured pairings, one of Tiger Woods’ peers.
When Howell and Champ teed it up at Sea Island, Howell was making his 528th start on the PGA Tour with two trophies – and more than $35 million in earnings – in his collection. Champ was making his 12th Tour start as a pro and he already had his first victory.
Howell went on to win the RSM Classic, ending a winless drought that stretched 10 years, nine months. For Howell, the victory brought many things, including an overdue return to the Masters in his hometown of Augusta, Ga., come spring.
Mostly, though, it brought relief and served as a reminder of how difficult winning on the PGA Tour can be.
“I didn’t have the distance (Champ) had even relative to m...
Get access to this article and all the quality, in-depth journalism of Global Golf Post Plus.
or Log In