WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Ted Potter Jr.'s first PGA Tour victory means a lot more than a big paycheck. The 28-year-old rookie can take a trip to Augusta National off his wish list.
Simply winning, though, had been the top priority for a player who first joined the former Nationwide Tour in 2004 and didn't have much success until last year.
"When you're missing cuts every week, you get down on yourself," Potter said. "I mean, it's hard to pick yourself back up. But the plus side for me is I was still young. I just knew I had plenty of time and just be patient and it will come back around again."
Potter finished second on the Nationwide money list last year to advance to the PGA Tour. He tied for 13th in his first event of the year but had missed five straight cuts entering the week.
"It was just a big relief," Potter said. "All the struggles the last few weeks, knowing that now I've got a couple years to try to improve on my game and win some more tournaments."
The lefthander became the sixth first-time winner on the tour this season. He earned $1,098,000. He also gets a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
Ranked 218th in the world, Potter overcame a four-stroke deficit with four holes to play, finishing with his second straight 6-under-par 64 to match Kelly at 16 under. Kelly closed with a 66. "[I'm] looking forward to kind of getting in that position some more," said Kelly, who had hip-replacement surgery in September 2010 after being diagnosed with arthritis.
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