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Bryan edges out Luke Donald


PGA Tour rookie Wesley Bryan, the second-grade Tour's No 1 last year, has already captured his first big-time Tour victory.

The 27-year-old American shot a closing 4-under 67 for a 13-under 271 total at the picturesque, par-71 Harbour Town Links on Hilton Head Island on Sunday to beat seasoned Brit Luke Donald (68), a former World No 1, by a shot in the RBC Heritage.

Bryan, a resident of Augusta, had to watch last week's Masters from outside of the ropes, but this maiden PGA Tour victory has ensured that he'll be bidding for a green jacket at home-town Augusta National next year.

"Coming into the year I wanted to win before Augusta," Bryan, the first South Carolina-born player to win the Heritage since it began in 1969, told the CBS TV.

"But I guess the week after Augusta is not too bad. I'm certainly going to remember this for a long time."

Looking back to the Masters, Bryan added: "I went out and watched my buddy Russell Henley for a bit. I wanted to see how it played in those (windy) conditions. I soaked it up. Next time I'll be inside the ropes."

Bryan admitted that his final-round cool and calm demeanour had slipped for a brief spell on the 17th tee when he realised for the first time that his first PGA Tour victory was so close.

"I threw up a little bit. I guess this is what nervousness feels like, but then I was able to get it back together," he said.

"I felt like I was missing greens and scrambling the last two or three days and still was able to muster up a good score."

"I got a little bit lucky. The leaders kind of stalled and I was able to make a couple (of birdies) on the back nine and catch them."

One of those, third round leader Jason Dufner, faded badly with a closing 76 and a tie for 11th, while Donald, another of them, had to settle for his fifth runner-up finish on a course that very much suits his accurate iron play.

(Par 71 - USA unless stated)

271 Wesley Bryan 69 67 68 67
272 Luke Donald (Eng) 65 67 72 68
273 Ollie Schniederjans 68 68 69 68, Patrick Cantlay 70 66 70 67, William McGirt 68 68 68 69
274 Brian Gay 68 70 69 67, J.J. Spaun 67 72 66 69, Graham DeLaet (Can) 65 67 69 73
275 Brian Harman 71 70 66 68, Bud Cauley 63 72 71 69
276 Ryan Palmer 68 73 67 68, Ian Poulter (Eng) 66 68 69 73, Jason Dufner 68 67 65 76, Webb Simpson 66 68 68 74, Brandt Snedeker 69 68 71 68, Branden Grace (RSA) 68 71 69 68, Russell Knox (Sco) 70 66 72 68, Sam Saunders 65 70 74 67, Kang Sung-Hoon (Korea) 69 69 70 68, Kevin Kisner 72 64 66 74, Matt Kuchar68 71 73 64
277 Billy Hurley III 69 71 66 71, Adam Hadwin (Can) 71 66 71 69, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 67 71 70 69, Nick Taylor (Can) 69 66 70 72

Neville Leck

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