White Sulphur Springs, WV – After missing a potential winning putt on the second playoff hole, Ted Potter Jr. birdied the third extra hole to defeat Troy Kelly and win the Greenbrier Classic.
Potter, who earned his first PGA Tour title, fired a 6-under 64 to reach 16- under-par 264 after 72 holes. He was joined at that score after Kelly carded a 66, finishing his round with a short par putt, and the two went to a playoff.
They headed to the 18th hole on the Old White TPC Course at The Greenbrier, a par-3, and both made par. The par-5 17th was used for the second playoff hole, and Kelly found himself in a greenside bunker.
Potter hit a nice chip with his third to leave himself with four feet for birdie, while Kelly managed to blast out from a tough lie in the sand into the rough. He pitched his fourth to 22 feet and drained the par putt, though needed Potter to miss to extend the playoff. Potter's try ran around the edge of the cup, and he made the short par effort.
The two went back to the 18th, where Kelly's tee shot didn't get over a ridge in the green. Potter hit a great shot, getting a nice roll off that ridge to set up another four-footer for birdie. He didn't miss a second time, holing the putt to secure the win.
"Just amazing feeling right now. Didn't know what was going to happen coming down the stretch there, bogey on No. 11 and not birdieing 12, the short par 5. So I was a few back there," Potter stated. "And then making a bomb on 15, that turned my hopes around there making that putt there for birdie. Then some magic came in on 17 and 18 to get me to where I am, so I'm just happy to be here."
Charlie Wi (65) and Charlie Beljan (67) shared third place at minus-14, while Daniel Summerhays (64) was fifth at 13-under.
U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson carried the lead into Sunday, but struggled to a 3-over 73 and finished in a tie for seventh at minus-11.
Simpson was actually in the lead going into the back nine. He had carded eight pars and a single birdie on the front side to move to minus-15.
However, he fell apart down the stretch, starting at the par-5 12th. Simpson sent a pitch shot 41 feet beyond the hole, then three-putted for bogey. At the next hole, a par-4, he drove his tee shot into a hazard and two-putted for another bogey.
Almost every one of Simpson's shots at No. 14 was off the mark, leading to a third bogey in a row. He then bogeyed the 16th to drop to minus-11.
"It's a funny game. I mean, you go from not making any mistakes all week to making them all on the back nine," said Simpson. "I felt good out there, I felt in control of my game, and I don't know."
As Simpson was on his freefall, Potter shot up the leaderboard with a strong close to his round. He had carded three birdies on the front nine to get to minus-13, then gave one of those strokes back with a bogey at 11.
But at the 15th, he drained a 49-footer for birdie. Two holes later, Potter knocked his approach within 29 feet and made that lengthy putt for eagle. He reached minus-16 with a birdie at the last, where he stuck his tee shot within five feet.
That putt tied him with Kelly, who made the turn at 14-under after carding three birdies and a bogey on the front nine. He then birdied 11 and 14 to move to the top of the leaderboard.
At the 17th, Kelly -- who has never won on tour -- had a chance to move into first place by himself, but missed an 11-footer for birdie.
Martin Flores (67) took sixth at minus-12, while Roberto Castro (63), Kevin Na (65), Sean O'Hair (66) and Ken Duke (70) joined Simpson in seventh.
John Daly (65) was part of a five-way tie for 12th at minus-10.
NOTES: Potter collected $1.098 million for the victory...Hall of Famer Tom Watson, The Greenbrier's golf professional emeritus, shot a 5-over 75 to fall into a tie for 73rd at plus-4...Next week, the PGA Tour heads to Silvis, Illinois for the John Deere Classic. Steve Stricker is the three-time defending champion.