HARRISON, N.Y., JUNE 14 -- Six years without a victory and closing in on his 46th birthday, J.C. Snead had good reason to wonder if he would ever win again.

"I've thought of retiring, but what else is there to do?" he said.

Snead found his own solution today when he surged from behind on the closing holes and edged Seve Ballesteros on the first playoff hole to win the $600,000 Westchester Classic.

A simple par on the extra hole, climaxed by a three-foot putt, provided Snead a check for $108,000, the biggest payday of his career.

The nephew of golfing legend Sam Snead took the lead for the first time in the tournament with a birdie on the final hole of regulation and was forced into the playoff when a struggling Ballesteros birdied the last two holes.

Ballesteros, who now has finished second three times in only six U.S. appearances this year, encountered immediate trouble in the playoff when his drive on the par-4 10th landed behind a pine tree on the right. On his second shot he hit a tree branch with his club and the ball moved only a few feet. His blast cleared the green and went into the crowd and he never holed out.

Snead (70) and Ballesteros (72) completed the regulation 72 holes in 8-under-par 276.

Roger Maltbie, the 1985 Westchester champion in a playoff, was third at 277 and Mike Reid, the third-round leader by a shot over Ballesteros, played the final seven holes in 4-over-par, to tie for fourth. Reid is winless in 11 years on the PGA Tour.