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How two PGA Tour pros’ initial “Call of Duty” relationship with a gamer came full circle at last week’s Mayakoba Classic

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A special (and very modern) relationship between professional golfers and a 22-year-old college student from Mexico connected in video games came full circle last week at the Mayakoba Classic, as the men met in person for the first time.

As PGA Tour’s Cameron Morfit first reported, Harold Varner III and Carlos Ortiz are the two golfers in question, who first started playing the game “Call of Duty” with Arturo earlier this year.

Initially, Varner joined the network game, where gamers play in squads of four, alongside childhood friend and agent Preston Lyon, and Jake Buchanan, a professional baseball player and another friend.

In need of a fourth player, the 22-year-old college student Arturo happened to enter the game. While Varner and Lyon were on the brink of exiting due to Buchanan losing his connection, they happened to stay when they soon realized that Arturo was, well, much better than them at the game.

The men began to play regularly, and Ortiz soon joined in on the fun. With himself and Varner becoming closer to the student (playing and talking for upto five hours a day), they sensed Arturo’s financial difficulties and sent their new friend new gaming equipment as a gift.

Their relationship strengthened after Arturo’s father suffered a heart attack where he then spent five days in intensive care before dying. An error on the death certificate, which had his relationship status listed as single, led to Arturo’s mother being unable to access much-needed pension money.

Needing money, Arturo asked Lyon for permission to sell the gaming equipment he had been sent in order to fund the funeral costs. On hearing the news, Lyon instantly sent $800 to the college student despite having never met in person.

Speaking to the PGA Tour, Lyon said

“It became the thing to do right now; who cares if we’ve never seen him? That’s the way Harold is; it’s easy to do things like this and impact people. That’s how we grew up. It became a little bit bigger than ourselves; bigger than a video game. It circled back to humanity.”

The relationship circled back to the Mayakoba Golf Classic last week, where Varner and Ortiz met Arturo for the first time in person and hugged on the practice green. Arturo then caddied for Varner during Wednesday’s pro-am, and the golfer hosted the student for the rest of the week.

“It’s hard to believe this. Because from one match playing with Harold, I am here. I’m a guy who was playing ‘Call of Duty.’ Now I’m here. I love Harold.” Arturo on meeting Varner.

Varner, Ortiz and Lyon continue to offer support to Arturo, paying his gaming fees and Ortiz working on securing his fellow Mexican a job once he graduates. For Varner, he hopes that giving back will inspire a cycle.

“What’s cool is whenever he makes it, he’s gonna help someone else.”

Check out the sweet moment the three friends met in the embedded video below courtesy of the PGA Tour.

 

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (12.13.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

“Rose of Tralee”

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Rose of Tralee

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Some beautiful work from Olson.

Colorful finish from LowTide Putters.

Sweet giveaway from Corey Paul.

Lefty love from Cushman Custom Golf.

Phil Carlson showcasing Pinehurst No. 4.

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Tuesday: Played @pinehurstresort number 4. This course is phenomenal. Gil Hanse’s redesign of this course is outstanding. Definitely not as punishing as course 2 but just as good in terms of layout. Greens are fast and large but will not punish you as much with imprecise shots. Much more fun to play if you want to score well. Still difficult but it will not frustrate you like Course 2. We had a beautiful 70 degree day and couldn’t of had a better time playing this course. We had the first tee time off in the morning and finished just under 4 hours which left us enough time to go play another track which I will post about shortly. Enjoy the pics! #pinehurst4 #whyilovethisgame #pinehurstgolf #golfislife #instagolf #golfdigesttop100 #ncgolf #golfwrx #golfcoursepics

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Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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Thorbjorn Olesen pleads not guilty to sexual assault; will stand trial in May

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European Tour professional Thorbjorn Olesen has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault, being drunk on an aircraft and assault by beating.

The Dane appeared at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday morning where he issued his not guilty plea to the three charges. Olesen will now stand trial on May 11, 2020, which is the week of the PGA Championship.

Olesen was arrested at Heathrow Airport on his return to London from Memphis on 29 July, where he is alleged to have abused passengers, molested a woman and urinated in the first-class aisle of the plane.

The 29-year-old remains suspended from the European Tour pending the outcome of his trial.

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The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (12.12.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Channing Benjamin showcasing PGA West – Stadium Course.

Dropping today from American Flatsticks.

Pocket Pair Cover Sets arriving today from Swag.

Slick looking blade from Norcal Putters.

Sweet look at Cushman Custom Golf busy at work.

Our own Ryan Barath giving us an up-close look at Mizuno’s Pure Steel MP37s.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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