Dylan Frittelli of South Africa had won before, but never on the PGA Tour.
The 29-year-old Frittelli posted a bogey-free, 7-under-par 64 to capture the 49th John Deere Classic by two strokes over Russell Henley at TPC Deere Run https://tpc.com/deererun in Silvis, Ill.
With his fifth professional victory, Frittelli earned a spot in the 148th Open Championship beginning Thursday at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
“It’s still sinking in,” said Frittelli, who made the winning putt as the University of Texas captured the 2012 NCAA Championship. “My focus this week was just to get some FedEx Cup points and moved up in the standings. By winning, it changes things big-time. I’ll jump on that plane over to the Open Championship and hopefully be calm when I get there.
“I’ve won around the world, but this is really helpful for my immediate future. I was planning on playing seven weeks in a row, but not I can take some time off and squeeze in a break somewhere soon. It’s amazing for job security and I’m super excited.”
Frittelli birdied the first three holes, added three more in a span of four holes through No. 11 and made one more for good measure at No. 17 en route to a winning score of 21-under 163.
Henley, who has three PGA Tour victories, birdied seven of his last 10 holes to shoot 61, while Andrew Landry sank a 17-foot birdie putt on the last hole to cap a 69 that left him three strokes back in solo third.
Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal eagled the second and 17th holes to earn his PGA Tour card for next season with a 66 that put him four down in a tie for fourth with Chris Stroud, who collected four birdies on the back nine in a 67.
Charles Howell III shot a second straight 65 to wind up five strokes behind in a tie for sixth with Nick Watney of Davis and Fresno State, who had a 69, Vaughn Taylor, who also wound up at 69, and Adam Schenk, who finished at 70.
Joaquin Niemann of Chile recorded a 65 and was six shots back in a tie for 10th with 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover (69), Sam Saunders (65), 2011 FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas (71), Wes Roach (67) and Roger Sloan (69) of Canada.
Ryan Moore, the 2016 John Deere champion, tied for 18th after a 72, 2014 John Deere winner Brian Harman shot 67 to tie for 26th, and 2012 John Deere champ Zach Johnson closed with a 66 to finish in a tie for 37th that included rookie Matthew Wolff of Agoura Hills, winner of the 3M Open last week, who came in at 69.
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