KAPALUA, Hawaii – In 2018 there were 11 players who ended victory droughts of 1,600 days or more, but none of those breakthroughs could compare to Charles Howell III’s victory last fall at the RSM Classic.
Howell ended a title drought that had reached 4,292 days with his playoff victory at Sea Island [Ga.] Resort to earn a return trip to the year-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions. Since the 39-year-old’s last visit, in 2008, to the winners-only event so much has changed in his life.
“Two kids, school schedules, gray hair, couple of equipment changes, couple golf teacher changes, almost everything, really,” Howell said with a laugh. “It feels like it’s been an eternity and then it doesn’t seem like it’s been 10 years. It’s kind of strange.”
Immediately following Howell’s victory at the RSM he said the accomplishment hadn’t sunk in, and even as he prepared to play this week he was still coming to terms with what the triumph meant to his career.
“There were times when I wondered if I might not ever win again. Maybe I’ll have a really nice career and try to be super consistent and maybe winning just isn’t in the cards,” he said. “I don’t know that you’re ever OK with that, but it was tending to be a reality.”
Although Howell has just three PGA Tour victories, he has finished runner-up 16 times and ranks 20th on the career earnings list ($37 million).
By comparison, John Daly won five times on Tour, including two major championships, yet ranks 177th in career earnings. When asked if he would trade careers with Daly, Howell’s answer was a testament to what has been an impressively consistent career.
“I wouldn’t [trade careers with Daly]. As painful as that is to say, because he’s won majors. I am proud of the consistency I’ve had and the finishes I’ve had,” Howell said. “When I went to Oklahoma State I wanted to see how good I could be. But if you’d have said, ‘Charles you’re going to have a 20-year career on the PGA Tour,’ I would have signed up in a heartbeat for that.”