Harman wins, heads to Hoylake

Southpaw Brian Harman claimed his first PGA Tour victory, closing with a 5-under-par 66 to win the John Deere Classic by one  stroke over Zach Johnson at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.

The 27-year-old Harman, who was an All-American at the University of Georgia, holed a six-foot eagle putt on the second hole and then made three consecutive birdies through No. 16 before making a meaningless a bogey on the final hole.

By winning, he earned a spot in the 143rd Open Championship beginning Thursday at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, and even bigger for a native and resident of Georgia, he landed a berth in the Masters next April at Augusta National.

“I brought my passport and I brought a couple of jackets,” said Harman, who took the plane that John Deere charters to take its players to the United Kingdom on Sunday night for the third major of the year. “I can’t wait to get on that plane.”

Johnson, who won the John Deere in 2012 and lost to Jordan Spieth in a playoff last year, closed with a bogey-free 64 and finished in the top three at TPC Deere run for the fifth time in six years.

Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela recorded a bogey-free 65 and was three strokes back in a tie for third with Jerry Kelly, who had a bogey-free 66.

Tim Clark of South Africa closed with a 67 and tied for fifth, four shots behind, with Scott Brown, who came in at 68.

Defending champion Spieth finished with a 66 and wound up in a tie for seventh.

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