After winning 2023 Honda Classic, Chris Kirk loved that Paul Azinger called him ‘an emotionless robot’
Chris Kirk took a winding road between PGA Tour wins No. 5 and 6. It sounds like he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Asked to describe this moment, he said he said he couldn’t. Rather, he took the time on live television to make sure he acknowledged those closest to him.
“I just have so much to be thankful for. I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful for my sobriety. I’m so grateful for my family. I’m so grateful for everyone that’s supported me throughout the past three or four years especially. Thank you so much,” he said at the conclusion of NBC’s telecast on the 18th green after holding off Eric Cole in a playoff to win the 2023 Honda Classic.
“My wife Tahnee, I have not been the easiest person to be married to always, and my boys, Sawyer, Foster, Wilder, love you guys so much. Can’t wait to see you.”
Here’s everything else Kirk said after his win at PGA National.
Q: You’ve spoken about your form this season, two top 3 finishes already at the Sony and the American Express. How much did you draw on those performances this week?
CHRIS KIRK: I definitely did. I mean, I was obviously very, very nervous today having not won in so long. Coming down the stretch, I felt good. Obviously that putt on 16 was huge and was in a great position on 18, just made a bad swing at the wrong time. I was trying to stay aggressive and hit it in the middle of the green, but in hindsight probably would have been better to hit it over there left somewhere. But thank God it worked out.
GOLF SHOT.@Chris_Kirk_ nearly holes out for eagle and will have a tap-in birdie @TheHondaClassic.
Eric Cole will have to get up-and-down from a green side bunker to force another playoff hole. pic.twitter.com/46OSaUhL9M
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 26, 2023
Q: The last two days has been dramatic for you. Talk to me about tapping in that putt and what it means to you and all you’ve been through.
CK: Well, I mean, what an unbelievable feeling. I obviously knew that wedge shot was good when I hit it. I felt great about it. But I’ve obviously got to get a little luck for it to end up six inches like that. I just fought really, really hard today. I didn’t play my absolute best, but I never gave up. I heard Paul Azinger say I watched a highlight of me yesterday, and he said I looked like an emotionless robot, and I loved that. I absolutely loved it. I said today, I’m going to be an emotionless robot and I’m going to go stick to my guns and play aggressive and try to do the best I can. I was obviously a little closer than I would have liked, but like I said, thank God it worked out.
Q: The robot worked on the 72nd hole, you were a couple feet away from clearing the penalty area there, but you composed yourself. You had a very good shot on the 4th.
CK: I did, yeah, and a pretty good putt, too. The putt just broke a little bit more than I’ve remembered. I’ve had that one before and hit a nice putt. Yeah, I was very determined no matter how high or low anything got at any moment today that I was just going to not react and just go about my business.
Q: The emotion came out when the putt went in. It’s been since 2015. You know you believed in yourself, but at some point is it going to happen. Today it happened for you again. Has it sunk in yet that you’re a winner again on the PGA Tour?
CK: Definitely not. I mean, I think more than the time, just how much my life has changed in that time, getting close to four years of sobriety, and that is the reason why I’m able to play. It’s the reason why I have such a great relationship with my family. Everything that I have is because of that. I have to remember that first and foremost, and it’ll sink in eventually, but it certainly hasn’t right now.