Golf

JT Poston goes wire-to-wire to win John Deere Classic, seal spot in the Open Championship

JT Poston goes wire-to-wire to win John Deere Classic, seal spot in the Open Championship
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SILVIS, Ill. — JT Poston completed a wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the John Deere Classic for his second PGA Tour title and a spot in the Open Championship.

Three strokes ahead entering the day at TPC Deere Run, Poston closed with a 2-under 69 for a 3-stroke margin over fellow Open qualifiers Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Emiliano Grillo.

« It is hard, » Poston said. « Wire-to-wire, having the lead for so long that it’s just hard not to think about that fine line all week. I tried to stick to the game plan. »

Poston finished at 21-under 263. He opened with rounds of 62, 65 and 67.

Bezuidenhout shot a 66, and Grillo had a 69.

« I just knew I needed a solid week, » Grillo said. « I just needed to play well and go up the rankings and have a job for next year. That was more important for me than going to the Open. Now I get both, so that’s pretty special. »

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Christopher Gotterup, the former Rutgers player in the field on a sponsor exemption, had a 66 to tie for fourth at 17 under with Scott Stallings (70).

« Just more validation that I do belong out here, » Gotterup said. « And honestly, I didn’t have my greatest stuff this week. Hit it amazing, but just putted pretty poorly until coming down the stretch. »

Poston birdied the first three holes, bogeyed Nos. 5 and 6, and parred the next 10. He made a 4-footer for birdie on the par-5 17th and parred the 18th.

« I was just trying to breathe, » Poston said. « I was really. I think there were a lot of nerves, a lot more than the first few days. I was just battling through them. I think after today, after this week, I feel like knowing I can play with those nerves and I can still win, still shoot a solid score considering the pressure and trying to win out here. »

The 29-year-old player from Hickory, North Carolina, won a week after tying for second in Connecticut in the Travelers Championship. He also won the 2019 Wyndham Championship.

The Open is July 14-17 at the Old Course at St. Andrews.

« I can’t wait, » Poston said. « I’ve always wanted to play in one of those at any venue, but first one to be in St. Andrews and the 150th, I can’t wait to get there and see what it’s like. »

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