Golf isn’t exactly a game that lends itself to characters. But there are definitely some guys with eclectic personalities on the PGA Tour. One player at the John Deere Classic who combines some on-course swag with old-fashioned humbleness is Harold Varner III.
Whether it’s wearing the Jumpman logo from head-to-toe — “That makes it easier to play, I think” — or making sure he still cuts his parents grass — “Just like being outside… I just always like mowing the grass, I don’t know why, especially when it’s a riding mower” — Varner is one of the most unique personalities on the Tour.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the hype out here and all the nice things that go with it, but I think his family keeps him pretty grounded and pretty level,” Varner’s caddie, Ray Farnell, said. “That’s just who he is.”
“That’s the only thing we can control is our attitude,” Varnner said. “And I think if you have a good attitude you can do a lot of good things.”
Varner has been a Jordan Brand athlete since the beginning of 2018, when a mutual friend of Michael Jordan helped foster the deal.
“You know he’s helped me out,” Varner said. “I’ve texted him. After the PGA, I called him and talked to him for about 10 minutes. The relationship has been about more than the shoes and the cool stuff. Just being able to learn from him is pretty awesome.”
Varner then caught the eye of John Deere last summer — showing up with a red lawnmower to cut his parents’ grass the morning after finishing fifth in the Greenbrier.
“I was just doing what I thought was the right thing to do,” Varner said. “I was just helping my parents out when I can.”
The red lawnmower was soon replaced with a Deere-branded machine — one that’s since been upgraded.
“It’s the biggest grass-cutting mower they have,” Varner said. “I’m looking forward to getting on it. It’s massive.”
The 28-year-old is also looking forward to the good vibes of TPC Deere Run.
Farnell says Varner’s connection with the tournament only adds to the motivation to win.
“Coming back here he’d obviously like to finish off a little better than he did last year,” Farnell said. “But he’s excited to be back here and obviously, John Deere, he loves the company, the area and the people.”
“You know you just wanna have a chance,” Varner said. “You can’t guarantee a win. It’s hard to win, but… I just want to be there on Sunday. It’s so much fun.”
Varner has just two top 10s since his sixth-place finish here at the JDC last year. He’ll tee off at Noon on Thursday to begin another quest for his first victory on tour.