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Rally ends in first title

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Ted Potter's first PGA Tour victory means a lot more than a big paycheck. The 28-year-old rookie can take a trip to Augusta National off his wish list.

With a 4-foot birdie on the third hole of a playoff Sunday to beat Troy Kelly in the Greenbrier Classic, Potter earned a spot in the Masters.

Potter, who joined the former Nationwide Tour in 2004, had little success until last year.

"When you're missing cuts every week, you get down on yourself," he said. "I mean, it's hard to pick yourself back up. But the plus side for me is I was still young."

Potter, ranked 218th, erased a four-stroke deficit with four holes left, ending with 6-under 64 to match Kelly at 16-under 264. Kelly closed with 66.

Potter also gets a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and earned his way into this month's British Open. He was second in money last year on the second-tier tour (recently renamed the Tour).

Webb Simpson lost a one-stroke lead on the back nine for the second straight year. The U.S. Open champion made three straight bogeys, shot 73 and tied for seventh at 11 under.

Potter made long putts to birdie No. 15 and eagle 17, and his 5-footer for birdie at No. 18 forced the playoff.

CHAMPIONS: Kirk Triplett won the First Tee Open in Pebble Beach, Calif., for his first win on the tour in his eighth start since turning 50 in March. He shot 66 to finish at 10-under 206, beating Mark McNulty by two shots.

EUROPEAN: Marcel Siem shot 4-under 67 to win the French Open at 8-under 276, edging Francesco Molinari by one shot in Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines for his first win since 2004.

Rally ends in first title 07/08/12 [Last modified: Sunday, July 8, 2012 10:17pm]
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