Congratulations to Ted Potter, Jr., who defeated Troy Kelly on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday to win the Greenbrier Classic and record his first PGA Tour victory.
The 28-year-old left-hander from Ocala, Fla. made a four-foot birdie putt on par 3 18th hole on Greenbrier's Old White TPC course to seal the victory, the culmination of many years of toiling on the mini-tour circuits since he turned pro at 19. Potter earned a first-prize check of $1,098,000, two-year playing privileges on the PGA Tour, and a spot in the 2013 Masters Tournament.
"Just a relief," Potter told media members later. "Finally to win, I mean. I know it's my first year out here [on the PGA Tour], but just to win, period, I mean, it was just a big relief."
Both Potter and Kelly are in the field at the John Deere Classic. And because their respective performances Sunday earned them berths into this year's British Open, it's likely both will hop the John Deere Classic charter direct to Manchester from Quad Cities International Airport next Sunday night.
"We welcome Ted and Troy to the John Deere Classic," said tournament director Clair Peterson. "Their results again prove the depth and quality of the talent on the PGA Tour. It also shows that in the end performance ultimately is what counts."
Potter started the day four shots behind 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson. But Simpson shot 40 on the back nine to fall out of contention while Potter finished birdie, par, eagle, birdie on his final four holes to shoot 64 and set up the playoff. Kelly could have won it outright but he missed a couple of birdie putts late in his round. Both players finished at 16-under par.
"I had a lot of fun," said Kelly, 33, who underwent hip replacement surgery in 2010, but bounced back to earn a spot on the regular Tour this year. He won $658,800 for his second-place finish, likely enough to solidify his playing privileges for next season.