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story.lead_photo.caption Dylan Frittelli

SILVIS, Ill. -- While the rest of the leaders faltered, Dylan Frittelli excelled for his first PGA Tour title.

Frittelli won the John Deere Classic on Sunday, closing with a 7-under 64 for a two-stroke victory over Russell Henley. The South African earned a spot next week in the British Open, finishing at 21-under 263 after the bogey-free final round at TPC Deere Run.

Andrew Landry (Arkansas Razorbacks) entered the day tied for the lead at 16 under but never got rolling Sunday, shooting a 2-under-par 69. His 18-under total was good for third place.

A two-time winner on the European Tour, Frittelli birdied the par-5 17th after blasting out of a greenside bunker to 11 feet, and closed with a par on the par-4 18th.

Frittelli had tied for 46th in each of his past two starts.

"I don't want to say it was easy out there. It just felt a whole lot easier than it has been the last few weeks," Frittelli said. "I calmed my nerves down."

Henley shot a tournament-best 61. Rookie Collin Morikawa (66), the runner-up last week in Minnesota, and Chris Stroud (67) followed at 17 under. Morikawa hit all 18 greens in regulation.

Henley's career-low effort included six birdies on the back nine, capped by one on No. 18 -- the same hole he double-bogeyed Friday. Henley made six putts of at least 7 feet, including 26- and 46-footers.

"If you would have told me at the start of the day, 'We'll give you 66,' I'd have said, 'That's pretty good.' So to get five better than that is really awesome," Henley said.

But Henley, who finished well before Fritteli hit the turn, could only watch from the clubhouse as Frittelli surpassed him and everyone else in the field.

Frittelli, who opened with rounds of 66, 68 and 65, started the final round with three consecutive birdies. He matched Henley with a chip-in on No. 10 and took the lead for good with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole.

Landry birdied No. 14 to pull within two shots, but he went with his putter 30 feet from the pin while off the green on the par-4 15th hole, leaving his try short on his way to his third bogey of the day.

Moments later, Frittelli got out of a bunker by using the green's downward slope to his advantage, where he made a birdie putt that effectively ended the drama in the Quad Cities.

"You can't give up shots to the rest of the field," Frittelli said. "When I saw the leaderboard, putting downhill, I thought, if I make this [I'll get] a little bit of breathing room with Russell in the clubhouse already."

Frittelli, who made the winning putt for the University of Texas in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, became the second player from that Longhorns team to win at TPC Deere Run. Jordan Spieth won in 2013 and 2015.

Photo by AP
Andrew Landry
Photo by AP/CHARLIE NEIBERGALL
Dylan Frittelli closed with a 7-under 64 for a two-stroke victory over Russell Henley at the John Deere Classic on Sunday in Silvis, Ill.

Sports on 07/15/2019

Print Headline: First-time winner surpasses Landry

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