The 2024 Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches Recap

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – After a weather delay pushed the tournament into a Monday finish, Austin Eckroat captures his first professional win as the 2024 Cognizant Classic Champion.  The 2020 Oklahoma State graduate earned his PGA Tour card in 2023 but never finished better than a runner up position at the 2023 AT&T Byron Nelson.  This victory will grant the second year PGA Tour player exemptions into all the majors, including next month’s Masters Invitational.

Formerly known as the Honda Classic, the Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches saw some well received course changes for the 2024 version of the tournament.  The 10th hole for example was extended by 20 yards to convert it from a long par four to a scoreable par five.  In addition, the grounds crew lowered the height of the entire course rough by almost an inch.  Players even mentioned how much they enjoyed the changes.  Statistically though, it still played quite difficult as the Bear Trap, made up of holes 15 through 17, wreaked havoc on players.

Nonetheless, there were plenty of highlights to watch this weekend.  2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry had a fantastic week posting a pair of 67s to begin his week and following it up with a 66 on Saturday.  A double bogey water ball in his final round on the par three 15th sealed any fate of winning in the Palm Beaches.  Last week’s winner in Mexico Jake Knapp also played well but the weather seemed to wipe out any momentum he had to go back to back.

Fan favorite Min Woo Lee also made a run in his final round posting an eagle on the par five 10th as well as a birdie at the par four 12th hole to get it to 14 under par.  Unfortunately, his round stalled out there and was unable to chase down Eckroat.  Finally, there was Erik Van Rooyen who did his best to chase down the leaders by birdieing seven of his first nine holes in his final round.  He finished with a one under back nine but he was the leader in the clubhouse when he finished his round Sunday evening.   Monday morning came and it was pretty much all Austin Eckroat.  Austin birdied back to back holes on 12 and 13 and solidified a three shot lead by sinking a birdie on the par three 16th.  From there, Austin played conservatively, laying up on the par five 18th hole to make a stress free par.

This is Austin’s first professional win on any tour and will vault him up the leaderboard in FedEx Cup points as well.   Next week, the PGA Tour heads North to Orlando for the 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard which will again be hosted by the famed Bay Hill.

Austin Eckroat’s What’s In The Bag:

Driver: Ping G430 LST 10.5 degrees (Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 6.5 70 X)

Fairway Wood: Ping G430 Max 15 degrees (Graphite Design DI-8 X)

Irons: Ping Blueprint S (3), Blueprint T (4-PW), (Project X 6.5)

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro (50, 54, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Putter: Ping Redwood D66

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Zack Buechner
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