Chris Kirk won the Honda Classic tournament last night in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, fending off opponent Eric Cole in a playoff to take home his first PGA Tour win in eight years.
Kirk’s victory was a fitting moment in his long journey to get back to this point.
In 2019, Kirk walked away from golf for a time due to alcoholism and depression, which contributed to marital problems. Fortunately, Kirk did the gut-wrenching work to turn his life around, winning the 42nd and final Honda Classic (the car company is ending its sponsorship deal).
Here’s video of his fairway shot that set up a tap-in putt for the win. It was a doozy.
An absolute dart from Chris Kirk on the first playoff hole to set up a tap-in birdie for the win at The Honda Classic. pic.twitter.com/bShf7phxcd
— Underdog Golf (@Underdog__Golf) February 26, 2023
In a press conference after the win, Kirk took time to thank God and his family for helping him get back to this point.
“I came really close to losing everything that I cared about.”
An honest answer from @Chris_Kirk_ on how sobriety saved his life. pic.twitter.com/nF6rQYomi7
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 27, 2023
“For that to have happened and worked out for me, obviously there were some decisions that I made, but mostly the grace of God and a lot of other people that really helped me along the way,” Kirk said. It’s something that’s constantly on my mind, so it’s pretty easy for me to see that winning The Honda Classic is kind of a bonus, when literally every good thing I have in my life I owe to that (sobriety).”
It’s encouraging to say the least that an athlete took time in perhaps the most meaningful achievement of his career to thank God and other people that helped him get back to this level, and not just make it all about himself.
With the win, Kirk is now eligible to compete in the Masters for the first time in 2016.
It’s safe to say that golf fans around the world will be rooting for his success.