Charles Howell III wins RSM Classic in playoff to break 11-year win drought

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Charles Howell III wins RSM Classic in playoff to break 11-year win drought

PGA Tour

Charles Howell III wins RSM Classic in playoff to break 11-year win drought

Here’s a recap of the final round of the RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.

WINNER: Charles Howell III is a winner again. Oh man did he wait long enough and fittingly Sunday was agonizing before he got it done, but it’s finally here.

Howell, who led outright after each of the first three rounds, closed in 3-under 67 to finish the week at 19 under. Howell had a 22-footer for birdie at the 72nd hole for the win, but his putt curled just right and short. Hence, his 19-under total was only enough to reach a playoff with Patrick Rodgers.

The pair went to the par-4 18th for the first extra playoff hole. After Rodgers missed a 20-footer for birdie, Howell had an 18-footer for birdie from the fringe for the win.

Once again, he hit a good putt. And for the second straight time, it ducked low late. This one came agonizingly close, finishing just inches left and under the cup.

The pair of pars meant the duo returned to the 18th for a second playoff hole.

Once again, Howell had a birdie putt to win. This time, he buried a 12-footer for birdie and the title.

With that, the 39-year-old captured his first PGA Tour title since 2007 and his third overall. In that 11-year win drought, Howell posted six runner-up showings.

Now, though, he’s a winner again.

Yes it was hard. Howell opened the day with a one-shot lead but quickly started bogey-double bogey to fall back. He rebounded with birdies at Nos. 5, 6 and 10. And a finishing kick that included three straight birdies from Nos. 15-17 got him in position for his eventual win.

This was certainly hard-fought and a job well done for Howell. We bet this win made the long wait worth it.

JUST MISSED: Rodgers had a remarkable weekend even in a loss. He made the cut on the number and was 12 shots off the lead with 36 holes to play. He finished 61-62 to reach a playoff for a chance at his first PGA Tour title. Per Golf Channel’s Justin Ray, 123 is the lowest closing 36-hole total score in PGA Tour history. Rodgers will have to settle for his third PGA Tour runner-up, but what a weekend. Webb Simpson also put up a great battle. A closing 65 gave him a chance. He had a 9-footer for birdie at the 18th that would’ve moved him to 19 under (a total that eventually would’ve gotten him into a playoff). But he couldn’t get it to drop and had to settle for solo third at 18 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Rodgers may’ve lost, but this putt was unbelievable…

SHORT SHOTS: Cameron Champ doesn’t quite have it on Sunday, but his closing 1-under 69 still puts him in a respectable sixth at 16 under. Champ’s fall includes a win, another top 10 and finishes in the top 30 in all five starts. Another young star in the making. … Past champion Kevin Kisner finishes in tie for seventh at 15 under. So does Zach Johnson. … Austin Cook, the defending champion, closes in 64 to finish the week in a tie for 11th at 14 under. … Hunter Mahan also posts a Sunday 64 and comes in at 13 under for T-15. … What a week for Jason Gore. Yes, a tough Sunday 72 sees him drop from T-2 to T-15. But that’s his best finish on the PGA Tour since last year. … Ernie Els finishes in a tie for 37th at 10 under. … Host Davis Love III finishes 6 under and in a tie for 65th.

UP NEXT: The PGA Tour takes a bit of a break now. The next official event will be the Sentry Tournament of Champions from Jan. 3-6. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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