Patton Kizzire is playing his best rounds of golf on arguably the biggest stage in the world. He recorded a 2-under par Friday to stay within striking distance of the lead at the 2019 Masters, rubbing elbows with the likes of Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.
He has never made the cut at Augusta National, and has never finished higher than 49th at a major championship (49th at the 2016 PGA Championship). As he’s transitioned from the Web.com Tour over the last few years, his wife Kari Elizabeth Hodgdon has been with him every step of the way. That includes two PGA Tour wins in 2018 (Sony Open in Hawaii and OHL Classic at Mayakoba).
Here’s what you need to know about Hodgdon.
1. Fellow PGA Tour Players Hudson Swafford & Harris English Introduced the Two
According to Ian Thompson of the Tuscaloosa News, Patton and Kari were introduced to each other in 2015 by a pair of PGA Tour players.
It is also through friends and PGA Tour players Hudson Swafford and Harris English, who also live there, that a few years ago Kizzire met his now wife, Sea Island resident Hodgdon, who recently got her doctorate in Physical Therapy. The couple will live in Sea Island.
Sea Island is a privately owned, unincorporated area of Glynn County, Georgia, and is home to several top PGA golfers including Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson and Davis Love III.
“Playing with them, just watching them and emulating them … most of the stuff I have learned is by seeing their work ethic,” Patton told PGA Tour.com back in 2015. “They just lead by example. They’re really encouraging to me and to other players down there; everyone is pulling for each other. … Not to discount who those guys are, but I kind of feel like I belong a little bit more now, and it’s cool to look back and see that progression.”
2. Kari and Patton Both Attended SEC Schools, and She is Now a Physical Therapist
Kari returned to Glynn County after going to high school at Glynn Academy. According to the couple’s wedding announcement in the Brunswick News, her educational background is all Peach State.
She is a 2006 graduate of Glynn Academy, a 2010 graduate of the University of Georgia where she received a bachelor’s degree in education, exercises and sport sciences; and a 2015 graduate of Armstrong State University where she received a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
Armstrong State has been incorporated into Georgia Southern University in Savannah. Meanwhile, Patton earned a degree in Business Administration from Auburn in 2008, where he also starred for the Tigers golf team.
It’s not clear whether or not Kari is currently practicing as a licensed physical therapist at the moment, but her MyLife page lists her as making six figures.
3. She Practiced Putting With Her Husband at the 2018 Masters
Before the Masters, there’s a Par 3 Contest that involves several of the golfer’s family members. Per Masters.com:
Of all the traditions at the Masters, none is more endearing than the annual Par 3 Contest. This beloved event, held on Wednesday of Tournament week and now televised around the world, is above all a family affair. Wives and girlfriends, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews-all happily serve as caddies. The sight of toddlers, outfitted in miniature Augusta National jumpsuits, toting a light bag or tending a flagstick more than twice their height brings smiles to onlookers near and far.
Prior to the 2018 Masters, Kari dressed as a caddie for Patton and took a turn putting. The picture is captured here on Zimbio with the following description.
Patton Kizzire of the United States watches his wife Kari Elizabeth Hodgdon putt during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia.
4. The Couple Are French Bulldog Lovers
On Kari’s Twitter account, which hasn’t been used since 2014, she posts several pictures of French Bulldogs. The one above came after Auburn’s dramatic last-second win over rival Alabama in 2013.
One of her last posts is of a black Frenchie making a frowny face. The couple haven’t publicly announced the names of the pooches.
5. They Don’t Have Children at the Moment
According to My Life, the information under children is listed as “Info Pending.” However, the couple’s family is a big part of their lives, as the listed neighbors are Maxie Kizzire, Ryan Hodgdon, Teresa Hodgdon, Matthew Hodgdon.
The Brunswick News wedding announcement lists Maxie as Patton’s father, Teresa and Matthew Hodgdon as Kari’s parents. While not confirmed, Ryan Hodgdon could be her brother, as a “Ryan Hodgdon” on LinkedIn looks to be in that age-range.
That Ryan is also based in nearby Atlanta as the senior vice president of Bank OZN, so the location makes sense, as well.