TOP 30 PLAYERS TO WATCH
No. 25: Charles Howell III
December 06, 2018
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- December 06, 2018
Charles Howell III wins in playoff at The RSM Classic
Charles Howell III was finally rewarded for his hard work. His victory at The RSM Classic was his first win in more than a decade and just his third in more than 500 starts on TOUR.
He will start 2019 as the FedExCup leader. He won at Sea Island and finished fifth in the CIMB Classic. Those finishes alone wouldn’t be enough for him to hold the top spot, though. Proving that every point matters, it’s the four points he earned for his 61st-place finish at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES that prove to be his advantage over Xander Schauffele, who won the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
Howell’s persistence made him a popular winner. He has had a successful career according to multiple metrics – he has never lost his card in nearly two decades as a pro and earned more than $36 million on the course – but he will be the first to admit that his resume is short on victories. Just two players needed more TOUR starts to win for the third time.
Even though Howell’s love for the game is often unrequited, it’s his passion for improvement that keeps the one-time phenom grinding away.
“I always go back to, ‘OK, how do I improve, how do I get better, what do I need to work on?’” he said. “That’s the part I really, really enjoy.”
Howell has an analytical mind, illustrated by the fact that he recently was investigating the discrepancies between his two launch monitors. He says he would work in finance if golf wasn’t his way to make a living.
“I love (golf) because it’s all on you. It’s all on the player,” he said after his win. “What I hate about it is that you can work and work and work and get absolutely no results from that.”
The hard work paid off in the final event of 2018. -- By Sean Martin
BY THE NUMBERS
Current 2018-19 position: 1st
Playoff appearances: 12
TOUR Championship appearances: 2
Best FedExCup result: 18th in 2007, the first year of the FedExCup Playoffs.
SHOTLINK FUN FACT
Current FedExCup points leader Charles Howell III will try to continue the trend of points leaders after the fall events. Since the start of the wraparound season, each of the five previous points leaders after the fall have advanced to the TOUR Championship.
PGATOUR.COM’s Insiders offer their expert views on what to expect from Charles Howell III in 2019.
TOUR INSIDER: Leave it to Howell to have not one, but two, swing coaches. He works with California-based Dana Dahlquist as well as former TOUR winner Grant Waite, who lives closer to Howell’s home in the Orlando area. Playing with Waite at Isleworth has helped Howell focus on his score instead of his swing mechanics. Dahlquist has quieted the transition in Howell’s swing, teaching him to keep his arms passive as his body turns more during the downswing. -- By Sean Martin
FANTASY INSIDER: No doubt Howell was one of the best stories of the first eight events for having ended his drought at The RSM Classic, but he hasn't fallen short of success in our world throughout his career. While the absence of a victory in the mainstream yields questions over time, because of consistently strong performances amid a busy schedule season after season, he's retained cornerstone status in all formats. The win was a bonus, but it's more of a reminder that he's not slowing down as his 40th birthday approaches in June. -- By Rob Bolton
EQUIPMENT INSIDER: Known as a gearhead among gearheads, Howell’s recent win was all-too-fitting. Rumors began swirling about a big switch for CH3 after being spotted using Titleist metalwoods at the CIMB Classic. Then, the former PXG staffer sent the equipment world into a frenzy when he showed up to The 2018 RSM Classic with a bag full of new Titleist equipment -- sans announcement from Titleist or Charles -- and a TaylorMade putter. He won in his first week with the new arsenal. His winning bag consisted of a Titleist TS3 driver (10.5 degrees) with a Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65TX shaft, TS2 fairway woods (15 and 21 degrees), a combo set of 718 T-MB, AP2 and CB irons, Vokey SM7 wedges, a TaylorMade Spider Tour Red putter, and a Titleist Pro V1 prototype golf ball. With a new Titleist staff bag and Titleist hat at the event, it's obvious CH3 will be a Titleist staffer in 2019, we're just awaiting the official announcement. It was a nice start for his new (assumed) deal. -- By Andrew Tursky
STYLE INSIDER: Howell is consistently one of the best dressed players on TOUR. Early in his career, he sported fashion-forward outfits, but recently he settled into timeless kits that turn heads for all the right reasons. The keys to his sartorial success are clean and well-balanced looks. The fit of his clothes falls into that perfect not-too-tight-not-too-loose range. While he doesn’t shy away from adding pops of bright colors, he always keeps them grounded with cool neutrals. -- By Greg Monteforte