Howell III holds on for wire-to-wire RSM Classic win

US Tour

An emotional Charles Howell III overcame a disastrous start to his final round to defeat Patrick Rodgers in a playoff and win his first PGA Tour tournament in nearly 12 years at the RSM Classic in Georgia on Sunday.

After a bad start to Sunday that saw Howell drop three shots in the first three holes, the American recovered to shoot a three-under-par-67 to get to 19-under for the event.

That was enough for a play-off with Rodgers who fired a sparkling eight-under-par-62.

At the second time of replaying the 18th, Howell holed a 20-foot birdie putt to edge out his countryman.

The triumph ends Howell’s 4,291-day wait for a PGA Tour win.

“Quite honestly, I didn’t know if I would ever win one again,” Howell said afterwards.

“I had come up short so many times.

“The things that I’ve been working on and practicing held up. In the playoff, I was able to hit nice drives off that tee in a left-to-right crosswind.

“I was able to hit a nice eight-iron on 17 in regulation to make birdie.

“That bit means more to me than beating somebody.”

Howell has now started 529 PGA Tour events.

Only two men needed more starts before winning for the third time.

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