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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 the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

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19th Hole

The DailyWRX (10/22/2020): A pot of gearhead gold | Slo-mo Tiger goodness

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For Gearheads this is a pot of gold…

He’s back….

I can…..

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Who can relate? Via: @golfersdoingthings

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My back hurts….

He would know…..

DM @johnny_wunder

 

 

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19th Hole

The DailyWRX (10/21/2020): Golf dad jokes | How to make the Match 3 better

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Yes he will….God willing….

Dad Jokes……

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This fucking guy ????

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I have some thoughts…..3 on 1….Phil Gross vs Threesome Net, Stroke Play….Threesome gets to call “no driver” on 3 holes….”no wedges” on 3 holes and no “putter” on 3 holes…Make it interesting. Everyone plays from White tees. LFG

I thought his mask was a beard he grew just to work out….

Yah but it doesn’t make me a bad person….

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What golf ball do you use?

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DM @johnny_wunder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19th Hole

Tiger weighs in on the distance debate: ‘They should have been worried a long time ago, but the genie’s out of the bag now’

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The distance debate in golf continues to rumble on, and this week, the greatest player of his generation had his say claiming that the game’s governing bodies should have been worried a long time ago about the surge in distance amongst Tour pros.

Asked before this week’s Zozo about the recent urge players have to find more distance, Woods spoke about the importance of length in the game and how it’s more accessible than ever for players to find an extra gear or two off the tee.

“Distance has always been an advantage. Now that we have the tools, that being the launch monitor, the fitting of the golf clubs, the adjustability. I think all that plays into the fact that you’re able to maximize the capabilities of a driver.

There’s no reason why you can’t pick up more yardage, and guys have done that. They’ve changed shafts, they’ve changed lofts, they’ve changed weights on their heads and length of clubs. Driving is such a huge part of the game and it’s so advantageous if you’re able to get the ball out there. It just makes the game so much easier.”

When asked by media if the game’s authorities should be worried about the recent surge in the added distance in the game, Woods claimed that though he would like to be able to see a complete rollback, he doesn’t see it happening.

“They should have been worried a long time ago, but the genie’s out of the bag now. It’s about what do we do going forward, and how soon can they do it. I don’t know if they’re going—you’re not going to stop the guys who are there right now. Guys are figuring out how to carry the ball 320-plus yards, and it’s not just a few of them. There’s a lot of guys can do it. That’s where the game’s going.

There’s only going to be a small amount of property that we can do, we can alter golf courses. I just don’t see how they can roll everything back. I would like to be able to see that, as far as our game, but then we go back down the road of what do you bifurcate, at what level? So that’s a long discussion we’ve had for a number of years, for 20-plus years now, and I think it’s only going to continue.” 

Tiger will tee off for his first round at the Zozo Championship this Thursday at 1.45 PM ET.

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