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 until rapping in a 3-foot bogey putt for a 1-under 71 and a one-shot victory over Jim Furyk in the Wells Fargo Championship at Charlotte, North Carolina. 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-3 17th, making double bogey. Phil Mickelson never had a chance, missing four putts from the 4-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.
After six runner-up finishes in her previous 16 tournaments, Stacy Lewis took control in the final round of the North Texas LPGA Shootout in Irving, shooting a 7-under 64 for a six-stroke victory over Meena Lee.
Bernhard Langer won the Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational for the third time, closing with a 1-under 71 for a one-stroke victory over Fred Couples.
Langer finished at 11-under 205 at The Woodlands in Texas to become the 10th 20-time winner on the 50-and-over tour.
Couples finished with a 67.