PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Patton Kizzire is the only multiple winner on the PGA Tour this season, but that experience didn’t help calm his nerves before his first tee shot here at the Honda Classic.
Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.
“I was extremely nervous,” Kizzire said. “I didn’t feel like I was actually holding the club.”
The FedExCup leader has never experienced anything like the first two rounds at PGA National. It’s what Woods deals with on a weekly basis, of course, but it was an eye-opener for someone like Kizzire, 31, now in his third season on Tour.
“It’s a little bit of a callus,” he said. “You’ve got to get through it before you can understand what you’re getting into it. It was fun, and I’m better from it.”
Kizzire made only one birdie and shot rounds of 74-78, finishing 11 shots behind Woods.
They talked about sports and fishing. Kizzire mentioned to Woods, a dog lover, that he, too, wanted to get a dog, but he wasn’t home enough. After all, he’s played at least 27 events each of the past two seasons.
“Play less,” Woods said.
“Easy for you to say,” replied Kizzire, who has earned about $105 million less in his Tour career.
Kizzire said he was more nervous – and learned more – in these two rounds than during either of his previous two victories, at the OHL Classic and Sony Open.
“That’s huge,” he said. “I want to be really nervous. I want to be in spots that make me nervous and learn from them, because when I get back to that spot, I’m good.”
Even though the result wasn’t what he wanted, or expected, Kizzire described the experience as “irreplaceable.”
“I got as much out of this week as really any of my weeks so far,” he said. “I’m not down in the dumps or anything. I’m looking forward to next week.”