Ted Potter Jr. shot a six under 64 in the final round to
catch and then pass Troy Kelley - winning on the third hole of a sudden death
playoff. Potter used an eagle on 17 and
a birdie on 18 to come even with Kelly at 16 under for the tournament.
Potter then drilled a 6-foot putt to birdie
the 18th again and pick up his first PGA tour victory. The win marked the end of a long road for
“I mean, when you're missing cuts every week, you get down on
yourself,” Potter said.
“I mean, it's hard to pick yourself back up. But the one thing, plus side for me is I was
still young. I mean, I was only 20 years
old. I knew I had a long road ahead of
me, so it wasn't like I was 35 missing 25 cuts in a row or something like
that. So, I mean, I just knew I had
plenty of time and just be patient and it will come back round again.”
Kelly came into the final round hot as well. Fresh off an 8-under 62 on Saturday, Kelly
fired a 4 under 66 Sunday. Ultimately it
was approach shots that doomed the University of Washington grad. Kelly had two putts of more than 25 feet each
time he came to 18th hole in the playoff. Kelly said he just
couldn’t hit it off the tee right.
“18, you know, I was aiming about 10, 12 feet right of that,
I just kind of kept pulling it,” Kelly
“I was trying to hit it just off the inside of that ridge and have it
kind of kick over to the right. It was a
nice hard solid pitching wedge for me, so, you know, overall -- I almost had
the same putt in the second go round, so it was nice to see that and I had a
good read off the first one, and unfortunately just didn't make it.”
The win gives Potter a more than a million dollar purse and a
tour exemption where he can enter any event he wants to over the next two
years. The purse alone almost double
Potter’s career earnings to this point. Potter said winning is a life changing experience.
“I just like to win.
I've always played junior golf to mini-tour golf,” Potter said. “I just
always enjoyed being -- coming down the stretch and have a chance to win, or if
not win -- it was the thrill of that.”
Because of the tour exemption, Potter now gets to play at the
British Open in two weeks and the Masters at Augusta.
He said it’s the realization of a dream.
“I mean, just finally to win, I mean, I know it's my first
year out here, but just to win, period, I mean, it was just a big relief,” Potter
said. “All the struggles the last few weeks, knowing that now I've got a couple
years to try to improve on my game and win some more tournaments.
Charlie Beljan and Charlie Wi finished behind Potter and
Kelly for a tied for third at 14 under.