(CNN) -- There could be few who would begrudge JB Holmes his eventual victory in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Sunday.
The American has had to battle back from double brain surgery in 2011 and career-threatening injuries two years later, only regaining his full power and long-hitting ability this season.
All the hard work paid off as the overnight leader carded a final round 71 for 14-under 274 -- winning by a shot from Jim Furyk, who carded a superb last round 65, with another American, Martin Flores, a shot further back.
It was his first win since the FBR Open in 2008 -- the year he played in the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team -- and first top three finish since 2010.
A host of golf's big names were set to mount a challenge, but U.S. Open champion Justin Rose of England could not advance with a closing 71 and finished fifth, while Phil Mickelson slumped to a four-over 76 to close on seven-under-par.
Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge was left to rue his first round 80 after which he made a stunning recovery, equaling the course record with a 62 to make an unlikely cut and then closing with weekend rounds of 68 and 69.
It left him tied for sixth on nine-under, a remarkable comeback, and one shot clear of former champion Rory McIlroy, who closed with a 70.
McIlroy was also left to rue his second round 76, which undermined his challenge, but again showed signs he was returning to the form he showed in 2012 when he went to the top of the rankings.
But it was Holmes who came out on top, keeping his nerve in the face of a determined challenge from veteran Furyk, having the luxury of being able to finish with a last hole bogey -- holing the winning putt from four feet.
The 32-year-old from Kentucky developed vertigo in 2011 and had to have a piece of his skull removed to treat the condition. An allergic reaction to the operation saw him back in surgery just a month later.
Last year Holmes broke his left ankle while rollerblading and also had elbow surgery on his left elbow and had to battle back again to full fitness.