SILVIS, Ill, (AP) — JT Poston picked up a wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the John Deere Classic for his second PGA Tour title and a berth at the British Open.
Three strokes before the start of the day at the TPC Deere Run, Poston closed with a 2-under 69 for a three stroke margin over fellow British Open qualifiers Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Emiliano Grillo.
“It’s tough,” Poston said. “Wire to wire, having the lead for so long it’s 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 a 69.
“I just knew I needed a good week,” Grillo said. “I just needed to play well, move up the rankings and have a job for next year. It was more important to me than going to the Open. Now I have both , so it’s pretty special.
Christopher Gotterup, the former Rutgers player on the field on a sponsor exemption, had a 66 tied for fourth at 17 under with Scott Stallings (70).
“Just more validation that I belong here,” Gotterup said. “And honestly, I haven’t had my best stuff this week. Hit it amazing, but just put in pretty bad until the end of the stretch.
Poston birdied the first three holes, bogeyed the numbers 5 and 6 and parried the next 10. He made a 4-footer for a birdie at the par-5 17 and parried the 18.
“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 fighting through them. I think after today, after this week, I feel like knowing that I can play with those nerves and I can still win, still shoot a solid score given the pressure and try to win here.
The 29-year-old from Hickory, North Carolina won a week after finishing tied for second to Connecticut in the Travelers Championship. He also won the 2019 Wyndham Championship.
The British Open will take place July 14-17 at the Old Course in St. Andrews.
“I can’t wait,” Poston said. “I’ve always wanted to play one of these at any venue, but first to be at St. Andrews and 150th, can’t wait to get there and see what it’s like .”