Howell Ends Drought, Wins RSM in Playoff

Charles Howell III’s wait is finally over.

The 39-year-old Howell won for the first time in 11 years on the PGA Tour, sinking a 18-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the second playoff hole turn back Patrick Rodgers and win the RSM Classic on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort in Sea Island, Ga.

“I don’t even know how to feel,” said Howell, who led after each of the first three rounds, but started the final day with bogey-double bogey before playing flawlessly the rest of the way in a 3-under-par 67. “I was just hanging in there and the guys around me were playing well.

“I needed some good fortune and finally got it. I messed up the first two chances (putts to win the tournament) and you just don’t get that many. I just didn’t want to leave that last putt short. … It feels great to finally get it done.”

Howell, whose last victory came in the 2007 Nissan Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades near Los Angeles, claimed his third PGA Tour victory after finishing 72 holes even with Rodgers at 19-under 263.

Rodgers, 26, who tied Tiger Woods’ school record with 11 victories at Stanford, played the weekend in a PGA Tour record 61-62, but still could not earn his first victory on the PGA Tour.

“I’m sorry not to get it done, but Charles was awesome and deserves it,” said Rodgers, who was 12 strokes behind after 36 holes, but sank a seven-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to get into the playoff. “It’s just part of the building process and it’s great to know I can play this way.”

Webb Simpson, who won the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, closed with a 65 but missed a nine-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation that would have putt him in the playoff and finished one stroke back in solo second.

Luke List holed an 18-foot eagle putt at No. 15 in a 65 to finish two down in a tie for fourth with Ryan Blaum, who had a 66, while Cameron Champ was one more behind in a solo sixth after a 69.

Peter Uihlein collected six straight birdies through No. 10 en route to a 63 and finished four back in a tie for seventh with Chase Wright, who had a 64, 2015 RSM champion Kevin Kisner, who finished at 65, and Zach Johnson, who wound up at 66.

Defending champion Austin Cook shot 64 to tie for 11th and tournament host Davis Love III wound up in a tie for 65th after a 68.

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