More than two years after going through brain surgery, J.B. Holmes is a winner again on the PGA Tour.
Holmes made it harder than he needed to on the final hole at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., until rapping in a three-foot bogey putt for a one-under-par 71 and a one-shot victory over Jim Furyk in the Wells Fargo Championship. Furyk finished his Sunday-best 65 some two hours earlier.
Jason Bohn had the best chance to catch Holmes. He was one shot behind when he pulled a 4-iron into the water on the par-three 17th, making double bogey. Phil Mickelson never had a chance, missing four putts from the four-foot range and closing with a 76 to finish out of the top 10.
The victory capped a remarkable turnaround for Holmes, who won for the third time in his career.
He was diagnosed in 2011 with structural defects in the cerebellum known as Chiara malformations, and he had surgery twice — once to remove a piece of his skull that he still keeps at home, another because of an allergic reaction to the adhesive on the titanium plate at the base of his skull.
Then, he injured his elbow by hitting too many balls in an attempt to return from the brain surgery. He didn't bother having surgery on his elbow until last year, when he was sidelined by a broken ankle and couldn't play, anyway.
Only last week, Holmes earned enough money to keep his card for the rest of the year from a medical extension. Now, he's headed to The Players Championship next week for the richest prize in golf, and more importantly, secured a spot in the PGA Championship this summer in his native Kentucky.
“It's been a long journey for me,” Holmes said. “I've had some ups and downs. It's a great feeling to be out there and to get one done.”
His only other victories were in the Phoenix Open in 2006 and 2008.
Stacy Lewis shot a seven-under 64 on Sunday to win the North Texas LPGA Shootout in Irving, finally getting another victory after six runner-up finishes in her previous 16 tournaments.
Lewis finished at 16-under 268, six strokes ahead of Meena Lee. That is the largest margin of victory on the LPGA Tour since Jiyai Shin won the 2012 Women's British Open by nine. Lee shot 70. Michelle Wie had a 67 to finish third at 9 under.
It was the ninth career LPGA Tour victory for Lewis, and will boost the Texan from No. 3 to No. 2 in the world ranking.
Lewis made a putt from about 25 feet off the fringe at the 540-yard seventh for an eagle. She followed that with consecutive birdies to make the turn at 14 under and up by three strokes.
Chile's Felipe Aguilar won The Championship at Laguna National in Singapore, holing out for eagle from 142 yards on the par-4 18th hole for a 10-under 62 and a one-stroke victory.
Aguilar played the back nine in eight-under 28 and finished at 22-under 266. He birdied the par-five 15th and holed a 10-foot putt for another birdie on the par-three 17th.
Aguilar also won a European Tour event in Indonesia in 2008. American David Lipsky, who had a final-round 65, and Denmark's Anders Hansen (67) tied for second.
Blayne Barber won the South Georgia Classic in Valdosta for his first Web.com Tour title, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory.
The 24-year-old former Auburn player had a 15-under 273 total at Kinderlou Forest. He earned $117,000 to jump from 29th to sixth on the money list with $155,257. Alex Prugh was second after a 67.
Third-round leader Carlos Ortiz, trying to earn an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour as a three-time winner this season, had a 72 to finish third at 12 under. The Mexican player earned $44,200 to push his tour-leading total to $363,058.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun