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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press photos Wesley Bryan, warning spectators of an errant shot, earned his first PGA Tour win Sunday at the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

  • Bryan, right, and Ian Poulter shake hands after finishing the tournament. Bryan rallied to win.

Monday, April 17, 2017 1:00 am

Golf

S. Carolinian wins 1st PGA Tour title

Associated Press

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Wesley Bryan remembers pestering players with a lot of crazy questions at Harbour Town Golf Links as he followed father George's only appearance at the RBC Heritage in 2004.

“I was probably the most annoying 14-year-old there was,” Bryan said.

Once a pesky teen, Bryan's now a PGA Tour winner.

Bryan rallied from four-shots down Sunday to win his home state tournament, closing with a 4-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Luke Donald.

Bryan, a South Carolina native who played college golf for the Gamecocks, moved into contention with four consecutive birdies on the front nine. He took the lead with a birdie on the 15th hole and finished at 13-under 271.

Bryan earned $1.17 million, a tour exemption through the 2018-19 season and a spot in the 2018 Masters.

“At the end of the day, it doesn't really change anything other than I now have one PGA Tour victory,” he said. “There are a lot of guys that have just one PGA Tour victory. My one goal is to get No. 2 at this point.”

Donald shot 68 in his latest close call at Harbour Town Golf Links – it was his fifth second-place finish here since 2009.

Bryan, 27, tapped in for par on the closing, 18th lighthouse hole to become the first South Carolinian to win the state's lone PGA Tour event.

Ollie Schniederjans, Patrick Cantlay and William McGirt tied for third, two strokes behind Bryan.

Schniederjans shot 68, Cantlay 67 and McGirt 69.

Donald appeared done after driving out of bounds on the second hole and leaving the birdie-able par-5 with a double-bogey seven. Then Donald made five birdies in a 10-hole stretch to tie for the top before Bryan moved in front.

“Obviously, it's a place I feel comfortable and I like and I've had a lot of success,” he said. “I've got to just keep pounding away. And, hopefully, I'll get there.”

PGA CHAMPIONS: In Duluth, Geogia, Stephen Ames won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic for his first PGA Tour Champions victory, easily holding off Bernhard Langer at TPC Sugarloaf.

Ames, 52, a naturalized Canadian citizen from Trinidad, closed with a 6-under 66 for a four-stroke victory over Langer. Ames opened with rounds of 67 and 68 to take a one-stroke lead over five players into the final round.

Making his 49th senior start, Ames had six birdies in his bogey-free round to finish at 15-under 201. He won for the first time since taking the 2009 Children's Miracle Network Classic for the last of his four PGA Tour titles.

Langer had a 65 to jump from a tie for 21st.

EUROPEAN: In Rabat, Morocco, Edoardo Molinari won the Trophee Hassan II, beating Paul Dunne on the first hole of a playoff for his first European Tour title in seven years.

Molinari sank a two-foot par putt after Dunne had missed his putt for par, securing victory for the Italian after a 5-under 68 saw him join Dunne at the top of the leader board.

Molinari, a former Ryder Cup player, last won on the tour at the Johnnie Walker Championship in 2010.

Dunne was seeking his maiden title as a professional. He closed with a 1-under 72.