Contributed by GlobalGolfPost
With the U.S. Open champion in the final group with the contenders not too far removed from the Web.com Tour, you’d think that the result would be all too predictable.
At the Greenbrier Classic, it was anything but. While Webb Simpson faltered down the stretch, PGA Tour rookie Ted Potter Jr., came away with the title on the third hole of a playoff.
Potter won his first Tour event over fellow Web.com Tour traveler Troy Kelly and, in the bargain, both Potter and Kelly made it into the Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes next week.
Potter finished regulation with his second-consecutive 64, including an eagle-birdie finish to come from nowhere into the playoff with Kelly, who took the lead on the back nine on Sunday over Simpson. Both players finished 72 holes at 16-under 264 on the par-70 Old White Course at the Greenbrier Resort.
Potter had a chance to win the playoff on the par-5 17th, the second hole of the playoff when he missed a five-footer for birdie while Kelly made a 22-footer for par. Then on the par-3 18th, the third playoff hole, Potter hit his tee shot to four feet and made it for the victory.
Potter had missed six of his previous seven cuts, including his last five in a row. Potter, who won twice on the Web.com Tour last year and finished second on the money list, tied for 13th at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January but had made only five other cuts in 15 starts prior to the Greenbrier.
Kelly, who finished 11th on the Web.com Tour last year, had only made six cuts in 14 previous starts and his best finish was a tie for 37th at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico in February. Kelly shot an 8-under 62 in the third round to get into the final pairing with Simpson, who led after 54 holes at 14 under.
But it was Simpson who faltered down the stretch, making four bogeys on the final nine to fall from the lead to a tie for seventh at 11 under. The Greenbrier is the personal graveyard for Simpson, who shot 73 on Sunday. Simpson stumbled on the final nine on the final day last year to lose to Scott Stallings.
Another unheralded Tour rookie, Charlie Beljan, shot 62 in the second round and finished tied for third at 14 under with Charlie Wi, who fired 65 in the final round, while Beljan posted 67. Daniel Summerhays posted 64 on Sunday to finish fifth at 13 under.