Brian Harman holes huge putt at 18 to win Wells Fargo Championship
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 08/05/17 12:49am
Dustin Johnson's bid to extend his PGA Tour winning streak came up one shot short as Brian Harman holed a long-range birdie putt on the final green to win the Wells Fargo Championship.
Johnson, who made the cut with nothing to spare, fired a second successive 67 to claim the clubhouse lead on nine under par, and a play-off looked a certainty when Harman birdied the 17th but then flew the green with his second to the par-five closing hole at Eagle Point.
The left-hander caught his pitch heavy and his ball had barely enough pace to reach the green, but he atoned with a perfect putt from 30 feet which clinched his second career title, and his first since the 2014 John Deere Classic.
Harman needed a big finish after he three-putted the 15th green, but his two late birdies capped a four-under 68 which nudged him ahead of Johnson and Pat Perez, with big-hitting Spaniard Jon Rahm a further stroke adrift as overnight leader Patrick Reed stumbled to a 75 to finish five behind the champion.
"It's surreal," Harman said afterwards. "I three-putted that 15th hole and I knew it was going to be tough to birdie those last couple. But I stuck to my game plan and just did it. I did the best I could."
Johnson was making his first appearance since suffering a freak back injury which forced him to pull out of the Masters just minutes before his first-round tee-time at Augusta National.
The world No 1 also holed a good putt on the final green to post the target for the remaining contenders to chase, and he was happy with his performance heading into next week's "fifth major" at The Players Championship.
"I didn't have a lot of time off, so I didn't really know what to expect this week because I didn't really get to practice leading into this tournament, either," said Johnson, who won in three consecutive starts ahead of the Masters.
"Not much has changed. The first couple days I didn't play that great, but really played nicely on Saturday and Sunday and so I'm happy with where the game is going into next week."
Perez birdied the 16th and 18th to earn a share of second, while Rahm could have forced a play-off with an eagle at the last only to miss the green with his second and his chip never threatened the hole.
Reed was still among the leaders at the turn, but the Ryder Cup star dropped four shots in a wayward six-hole stretch as he laboured home in 40 to close on five under par alongside England's Paul Casey (68).