Big birdie putt wins it for Harman

American Brian Harman roaring with joy following his victory in the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Eagle Point Golf Club on Sunday. The 30-year-old carded 68 to finish at 10-under 278, one stroke ahead of compatriots world No. 1 Dusti
American Brian Harman roaring with joy following his victory in the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Eagle Point Golf Club on Sunday. The 30-year-old carded 68 to finish at 10-under 278, one stroke ahead of compatriots world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez.PHOTO: REUTERS

He clinches Wells Fargo C'ship by 1 shot over Johnson & Perez for his 2nd PGA Tour win

WILMINGTON (North Carolina) • Diminutive left-hander Brian Harman turned into a giant-killer when he rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the final hole to win the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday and snuff out Dustin Johnson's hopes of winning from a fourth consecutive start.

With Johnson watching on TV in the clubhouse at Eagle Point in Wilmington, North Carolina, Harman stroked a beautiful putt and erupted in delight when it dropped into the cup.

He carded 68 to finish at 10-under 278 for his second PGA Tour victory, one stroke ahead of fellow Americans Johnson (67) and Pat Perez (68).

Spaniard Jon Rahm (71) finished two strokes behind, while overnight leader Patrick Reed (75) of the United States struggled with his driver and faded to end five strokes behind.

World No. 1 Johnson, playing for the first time since falling down the stairs and injuring his back on the eve of the Masters last month, was seeking to become the fifth player in PGA Tour history to win at least four consecutive titles.

Tiger Woods was the last player to achieve that feat in 2008.

NOT A SURPRISE

I could believe it because I've been rolling it so well this week and when that thing was about a foot short, I said, 'That thing's going home'.''

BRIAN HARMAN, on his 30-foot winning putt at the final hole at the Wells Fargo Championship.

After sinking a 15-foot birdie at the par-five 18th, he looked set to be part of a play-off until Harman birdied the final two holes, a five-footer at the 17th setting up his final-hole heroics.

However, Harman said it would be wrong to call his winning putt unbelievable.

"I could believe it because I've been rolling it so well this week and when that thing was about a foot short, I said, 'That thing's going home'," the 30-year-old said in a greenside interview.

"I've been fighting and working really hard, just trusting that I'm pretty good at what I do.

"This feels really good. It's a lot of emotion for sure."

Harman expected his 2014 John Deere Classic victory to open the floodgates, but instead spun his wheels until recently.

"After I won the first one I thought I was going to be there a lot and it didn't work out that way," he said.

"I struggled over the next two years, never really got into the hunt. I started getting into the hunt only at the beginning of this year and started feeling like it was coming around, so I'm glad to get it validated."

Johnson, who matched the day's low round with his second consecutive 67, said he feels fit physically and mentally as he prepares to defend his US Open title next month at Erin Hills.

He will face the world's best players again this week at the Players Championship.

"I'm happy with where the game is going into next week," the 32-year-old said on Sunday.

"Physically I'm really good. Everything is 100 per cent. Feeling really great. I'm swinging it with no problems.

"But I still have a lot of practice to do. I didn't really know what to expect this week. I didn't really get any practice time leading into this week."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2017, with the headline 'Big birdie putt wins it for Harman'. Print Edition | Subscribe