Poston (62) claims first pro title in Wyndham

North Carolina natives J.T. Poston and Webb Simpson finished 1-2 in the Wyndham Championship, but to the surprise of most it was Poston who came out on top.

The 26-year-old Poston, from Hickory, N.C., tied his career-low with a bogey-free 8-under-par 62 to claim his first professional victory by one stroke over Simpson in the 80th Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

“Any victory on the PGA Tour is special, but to win an hour and a half from where I grew up, is amazing,” said Poston, who played college golf at Western Carolina. “To win in front of so many family and friends, I never could imagine it.

“I hit a bunch of wedges close for kick-in birdies, but the shot of the day was the one that set up my (13-foot) eagle at No. 5. That was awesome. I had a lot of perfect numbers and took advantage of them. I had to knock in several three- and four-footers for par on the last few holes and there definitely were some nerves.

“But to win this tournament is just a dream come true.”

Poston, who did not make a bogey in 72 holes, had three birdies on each nine in the final round and posted a winning score of 22-under 258 in becoming the 14th first-time winner on PGA Tour in 2018-19 in the last event of the regular season.

The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings qualify the playoffs, starting with the Northern Trust on Thursday at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., with 70 moving on to the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago the following week, and only 30 reaching the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta on Aug. 22.

By winning, Poston moved up 56 spots to No. 27 and will have a chance to play in the Tour Championship for the first time.

Simpson, who won this tournament in 2011 and also tied for second last year, sank 14-foot birdie putt on the final hole to cap a third straight 65.

Byeong Hun An of South Korea, who led after each of the first three rounds in search of his first PGA Tour victory, hit wild drives that led to two late bogeys and wound up two shots back in third after a 67, while rookie Viktor Hovland of Norway was one more behind in fourth following a 65, and Si Woo Kim of South Korea shot 64 and was five shots back in fifth.

Simpson rose four spots to ninth in the FedEx Cup standings, An moved up 25 positions to 57th and Kim climbed eight to 45th. Hovland needed to win the title to make the playoffs.

Billy Horschel, the 2014 FedEx Cup champion, closed with a 64 and moved up three spots to 44th after he tied for sixth with Josh Teater, who also had a 64, but will miss the playoffs at No. 146.

Also finishing in the tie for sixth, six strokes behind, were Sungjae Im of South Korea (65, No. 23), Brian Harman (66, No. 86), Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia (67, No. 36), Jason Kokrak (66, No. 42) and Brice Garnett (70, No. 95).

Paul Casey, the highest placed player in the field at No. 8 in the FedEx Cup standings, finished with a 69 and remained right where he was, while defending champion Brandt Snedeker closed with a 68 and dropped one spot to No. 32 by tying for 39th.

Only two players climbed into the top 130 and qualified for the playoffs.

Patton Kizzire closed with a 67 to tie for 13th and moved up 11 spots to No. 118, while Andrew Landry shot 68 and rose nine positions to No. 123.

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