WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Ted Potter Jr. won't be 30 years of age when he steps onto the first tee on July 4 to begin defense of his Greenbrier Classic championship.
His PGA Tour debut occurred on Jan. 15, 2012 at the Sony Open in Hawaii where he finished T13.
Six months later he tamed the 7,287-yard Old White TPC with back-to-back 7-under 64s and a birdie on the second playoff hole to claim his first PGA Tour victory.
In a short period, Potter - one of only 10 left-handed players to win a PGA Tour event - went from an also-ran to a champion.
Potter said it's a different feeling this year.
"There's definitely going to be a little bit more pressure this year," Potter said. "I've never defended a PGA Tour title. When you come back, there's a load on your shoulders to repeat what you've done last year. I'll just have to grind it out."
To cap last year's event, Potter had an eagle on No. 17 and a birdie on No. 18 to force a playoff with Troy Kelly, marking the second consecutive year the Greenbrier Classic was won in extra holes.
The victory proved to be a boon for Potter. Before the Classic he missed nine cuts, including five straight events before that. The title brought some perks, including a spot in the Open Championship.
The 5-foot-11 native of Ocala, Fla., made that cut, but finished no higher than T56 the rest of the year.
Potter has fared better this year in the events that he has finished.
In 15 tournaments, Potter has missed seven cuts, but hasn't finished lower than T35.
"(The Greenbrier Classic) jump started my career on the PGA Tour," Potter said. "I had struggled last year in the beginning of the year. It brought good vibes for the rest of the season. It made things more comfortable for me on the PGA Tour. I was more relaxed."