SILVIS, Ill. — Brian Harman used three straight birdies down the stretch to hold off Zach Johnson by one stroke and win the John Deere Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title.
Harman had a 5-under 66 in the final round for a 22-under-262 total. The 27-year-old Georgian in his third full season on the PGA Tour earned $846,000 and the last exemption for next week’s British Open.
Harman withstood Johnson’s challenge by making three birdies beginning at No. 14 to get to 23 under with two holes to play. Johnson, playing four pairs ahead of Harman, birdied the 17th to get within a stroke, but ran out of holes.
Jhonattan Vegas had a 65 to finished tied for third with Jerry Kelly (66) at 265. Scott Brown (68) and Tim Clark (67) tied for fifth another shot back.
Three-time winner Steve Stricker fell off the pace set by Harman on the front nine, then fell off the leader board with a double-bogey on the par-3 12th. His approach ended up in high brush behind and below the green, and he couldn’t recover, finishing with a 72.
Brown was tied with Johnson and Clark briefly midway through the round, but played the back nine in par 36.
Clark, the lone contender with a long putter, bogeyed No. 9 to fall out of the joint lead.
Harman, whose best previous finishes were ties for third place, also earned his first invitations to the Masters and the Tournament of Champions.
He got his third eagle in 19 holes when he eagled the par-5 second for the second straight day.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth finished in a tie for seventh after a closing 66 for 268. He was joined by Bo Van Pelt, Ryan Moore and Johnson Wagner.
Women’s British Open
EAGLE ON 18TH LIFTS Martin TO TITLE: In Southport, England, Mo Martin hit the best shot of her life, and it made her a major champion Sunday in the Women’s British Open.
Martin hit a 3-wood that hit the pin on the par-5 closing hole at Royal Birkdale, settling 6 feet for an eagle. An hour later, that turned out to be the winner when Inbee Park and Shanshan Feng both couldn’t stay under par.
Martin closed with an even-par 72 on such a windy afternoon that no one managed to break par in the final round. The 31-year-old American was the only player to finish under par.
Rose wins Scottish Open BY TWO: In Aberdeen, Scotland, Justin Rose won the Scottish Open by two shots after a final round of 6-under 65, sealing back-to-back victories either side of the Atlantic and bolstering his confidence ahead of next week’s British Open.
The 2013 U.S. Open champion turned the last day into a procession, rolling in six birdies and going bogey-free on a windless Royal Aberdeen links.
Unheralded Swede Kristoffer Broberg finished second at 14 under after a 66. That secured him a place at the British Open at Hoylake, along with other top-10 finishers Tyrrell Hatton and Scott Jamieson.
Rose, who started the day tied for the lead with Marc Warren, eased to a first win in Europe since 2007 and backed up his win at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional.