The final difference between J.L. Lewis and Mike Brisky was one stroke and a few thousand dollars. But both played like winners today in the John Deere Classic.
Lewis caught Brisky with a birdie on the 72nd hole, stayed alive in a playoff by holing out a sand shot for birdie, and finally won the tournament with a birdie on the fifth extra hole.
Lewis got into the playoff after hitting a wedge to within four feet at the 18th hole and making the birdie putt for a closing 65. Brisky, who also shot a 65, and Lewis completed 72 holes at 261, 19 shots under par for the 6,762-yard Oakwood Country Club course.
Both players made pars on the first playoff hole, the 18th, birdies at the 16th and pars at the 17th as the playoff continued. Lewis appeared to have the tournament won when he holed a sand shot at the par-4 16th for a birdie, only to have Brisky drop his own 12-15 footer for a tying birdie.
"He hit just a great bunker shot," Brisky said. "How exciting to be in the playoff."
"I thought I could get the ball up and down" at the 16th, Lewis said. "When it came out, it took a little right kick and I knew it was in."
Both birdied the 18th, sending the playoff back to the 16th hole.
Lewis drove into the left rough, but hit a sand wedge some four feet above the hole. Brisky drove down the middle, but his second shot was about 25 feet left of the pin. Brisky missed his birdie attempt and Lewis knocked in his winning putt.