C.T. Pan of Taiwan is the latest young gun who says he owes it all to Tiger Woods.
The 27-year-old Pan claimed his first PGA Tour victory by shooting 4-under-par 67 to beat Matt Kuchar by one stroke in the 51st RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort www.seapines.com/golf/harbour-town-golf-links.aspx in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
“It’s something I dreamed about when I was young watching Tiger (on TV),” said Pan, who didn’t know English when he came to play at the University of Washington and later won twice on the PGA Tour Canada in 2015. “I played in college, went through all the steps to get here and it means a lot to get a ‘W’ on the PGA Tour.
“I got lucky because I hit four bad shots on 15 and was happy got get away with a bogey. I hit a lot of good shots coming in, gave myself a chance for birdie on each of the last three holes, and I’m very happy to get the win.”
Pan sank a nine-foot birdie putt at No. 16 that proved to be the winner and added two solid pars to finish 72 holes at 12-under 272.
Kuchar, who has two victories this season among five finishes in the top 10 and eight in the top 25 to lead the FedEx Cup standings, birdied three of the last five holes to also shoot 67.
However, he made a costly bogey at the par-3 17th hole when he drove into a greenside bunker failed to get up-and-down for par.
“It’s been such an amazing run,” said Kooch, who won the 2014 Heritage. “It was so much fun on the back nine to get into contention and be in the hunt. It’s just so great to play here; it feels like home.”
Shane Lowry, who led after each to the first two rounds and was in or near the lead all the way, closed with a 70 to finish two shots back in a tie for third with Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, and Scott Piercy, who both totaled 69.
Seamus Power of Ireland posted a 67 and wound up one more back in a tie for sixth with Kevin Streelman, who had a 68, and J.T. Poston, whose 66 was low score of the day.
Sam Burns finished four down in solo ninth, while Kevin Na of Diamond Bar shot 67 to wind up five back in a tie for 10th with Troy Merritt (69), Ian Poulter (67) of England, Michael Thompson (69), K.J. Choi (72) of South Korea and Rory Sabbatini (73) of Slovakia.
Top-ranked Dustin Johnson, who held the 54-hole lead, stumbled to a 77 to tie for 28th, 2013 winner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland tied for 48th after a 73, ninth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State shot 75 to tie for 63rd and defending champion Satoshi Kodaira of Japan imploded in an 82 to finish 70th and dead last among players who made the cut.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html