Har­man’s clutch birdie de­nies John­son fourth straight win

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DOUG FER­GU­SON

Brian Har­man made a 30-foot birdie putt on the fi­nal hole Sun­day to win the Wells Fargo Cham­pi­onship and deny Dustin John­son the chance at a fourth straight vic­tory.

John­son, in his re­turn from a freak back in­jury that knocked the world’s No. 1 player out of the Masters, went from mak­ing the cut on the num­ber to a 67-67 week­end at Ea­gle Point and ap­peared headed for a play­off with Har­man and Pat Perez.

Har­man won it with a birdie-birdie fin­ish, none big­ger than the par-5 18th.

Af­ter go­ing so long on his se­cond shot that he needed re­lief from be­hind a cor­po­rate tent, Har­man hit a heavy chip that barely got onto the green.

From just un­der 30 feet away, the putt dropped into the cen­tre of the cup and set off a wild cel­e­bra­tion, with Har­man re­peat­edly shak­ing his fists and leap­ing to share a hard hug with his cad­die, Scott Tway. Har­man closed with a 4-un­der 68 for his se­cond PGA Tour vic­tory.

“It’s sur­real,” Har­man said. “I three-putted that 15th hole, knew it was go­ing to be tough to birdie those last cou­ple. But I stuck to my game plan and just did it. Did the best I could.”

John­son was play­ing for the first time in six weeks be­cause of his slip down the stairs the day be­fore the Masters that led to him pulling out.

Nick Tay­lor of Ab­bots­ford, B.C., was the top Cana­dian, fin­ish­ing in a tie for eighth place with a 71 in the fi­nal round. Macken­zie Hughes of Dun­das, Ont., tied for 31st place and Ot­tawa’s Brad Fritsch tied for 71st.

Brian Har­man

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