Potter grabs Greenbrier glory
Left-hander claims first US Tour title in battle of underdogs
Last Updated: 09/07/12 12:17pm
Ted Potter Jr: Closed it out with a birdie on the third extra hole
Rookie Ted Potter Jr. held his nerve to win the Greenbrier Classic from fellow-American Troy Kelly in a tense play-off.
The 28-year-old, ranked 218 in the world, claimed victory with a four-foot birdie putt at the third extra hole following an exquisite tee shot.
Kelly, whose previous best finish on the PGA Tour was tied-37th, looked to be heading for victory in regulation play at the $1m tournament at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
But Potter, who was four shots behind with five holes to play, finished eagle-birdie for a 64 and a four-round total of 264, which Kelly (66) could only match.
Both men made par at the first extra hole, the 18th, before Potter looked all set to wrap it up at the second, the 17th. But Kelly holed from 25 feet and Potter missed from five to send them back to 18 again.
(US unless stated)
-16 T Potter Jr*
(*Won at third extra hole)
-16 T Kelly
-14 C Wi (Kor)
-14 C Beljan
-13 D SummerhaysClick here for collated scores
However, this time Potter got it done and spoke of his relief at finally making the breakthrough on the circuit.
"When you're missing cuts every week, you get down on yourself," Potter said. "I mean, it's hard to pick yourself back up.
"But the plus side for me is I was still young. I just knew I had plenty of time and just be patient and it will come back around again."
"It was just a big relief. All the struggles the last few weeks, knowing that now I've got a couple years to try to improve on my game and win some more tournaments."
Charlie Wi and rookie Charlie Beljan were tied for third a further two shots back, while US Open champion Webb Simpson had a disastrous back nine, hitting three straight bogeys to surrender a one-shot lead and slip to joint-seventh.
Earlier in the week, both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson had missed the cut, leaving the stage clear for two virtual unknowns to battle it out for glory.