Byrd Wins John Deere Classic


SILVIS, Illinois Jonathan Byrd overcame a four-shot deficit Sunday to post a one-stroke victory at the 2007 John Deere Classic at the Tournament Players Club Deere Run.

With the victory, Byrd earned a spot in this week's British Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland and will receive an invitation to next spring's Masters. He also earned a winner's check worth $738,000.

"I haven't played in a British yet, and every time I watch it on TV I just can't wait to get over there, " Byrd told the assembled media. "I just love the thought of playing that kind of golf."

The 29-year-old native South Carolinian flew to his home in Georgia to pick up his passport and booked a trans-Atlantic itinerary that will take him to Carnoustie in time for a practice round Tuesday evening. It will be Byrd's first Open Championship.

Byrd birdied three of his last five holes to finish his final round with a 5-under par 66 and 18-under total of 266. Meanwhile, South Africa's Tim Clark, who had taken a four-shot lead after a birdie on No. 13, bogeyed two of his last four holes and narrowly missed a 60-foot putt that would have put him in a playoff. Clark, runner up to Phil Mickelson in the 2006 Masters, shot a final round 3-under 68 and finished at 17-under.

Fifty-four hole co-leader Nathan Green, who played with Clark in the final pairing, shot even par 71 Sunday and finished three back.

For more tournament information go to pgatour.com.

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