Wells Fargo Championship: Bogey at the final hole still good enough for J.B. Holmes
J.B. Holmes overcame a late wobble to claim his first win on the PGA Tour since 2008 at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Last Updated: 05/05/14 9:18am
Holding a two-shot lead as he reached the 18th tee at Quail Hollow, Holmes found trouble off the tee to the right and then saw his third into the green roll back down the slope to leave him a long-range two putt for the tournament.
However, he successfully converted the opportunity, sinking a three-footer for bogey at the end of a one-under final round of 71.
It was enough to leave him one shot clear of fellow American Jim Furyk, who had set the clubhouse lead at 13-under over two hours earlier on Sunday with a superb score of 65.
Holmes, whose last success came at the FBR Open, underwent brain surgery in 2011 after being diagnosed with structural defects in the cerebellum.
Complications required a second operation and while he made a successful return to the PGA Tour in 2012, he was sidelined again after breaking an ankle rollerblading in March of 2013. Last season he also had an elbow problem, meaning it was only possible to play in five events.
"It feels great," said Holmes, who is now certain of a place at next week's Players Championship, as well as the US PGA Championship in his home state of Kentucky in August.
"It's been a long journey for me. I've had some ups and downs, so it's a great feeling to be out here to get one done. I'm happy the way the year is going so far."
Furyk had started his round six strokes off the pace but raced up the leaderboard thanks to five birdies and an eagle, which came at the par-five 15th. Still, it only proved enough to see him take second.
Martin Flores was third, one back of Furyk on 12-under after a five at the par-four 18th, with Jason Bohn a further shot adrift after a 70.
Having seemingly surged into contention with a seven-under score of his own the previous day, Rory McIlroy was only able to manage a 70 to finish in a share of eighth place.
"I struggled to get the ball to the hole on the greens," McIlroy, who had managed a closing 62 to win the tournament four years ago, said. "If I hadn't shot 76 on Friday I would have been right there in the mix, but it's getting there."
Justin Rose finished fifth, two shots better off than his Ryder Cup team-mate on 10-under and one ahead of Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge and American Kevin Kisner.
Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, endured a round to forget 24 hours after shooting a 63. He went from the sublime to the ridiculous with a four-over 76 that included a double-bogey, bogey finish, meaning he ended on seven-under.