HILTON HEAD – C.T. Pan had competed among leaders on the final day of tournaments in the past, but finishing the task made Sunday’s outing in the RBC Heritage particularly rewarding.
“It just means a lot to me to have a win on the PGA Tour,” Pan said. “It means everything to me.”
Pan, who’s from Taipei, won his first PGA Tour title by shooting 4-under-par 67 in the final round at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Pan finished at 12-under 272, avoiding many of the late-round snags that tripped other contenders, giving him a one-shot victory over Matt Kuchar (67).
“I’ve been working so hard for this moment,” Pan said.
Pan, 27, had a tie for second place in last August’s Wyndham Championship and a tie for second place in the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open as previous best finishes on tour. He played college golf for Washington.
Pan is the second golfer from Taipei to win on the PGA Tour. T.C. Chen won the Genesis Open in 1987.
It marks the fourth year in a row that the RBC Heritage winner is a first-time champion on tour.
Patrick Cantlay needed a birdie on the final hole to forge a playoff, but he ended up with a bogey and a round of 69.
Pan bogeyed the 15th hole before finishing his round with a birdie on a 9-foot putt on No. 16 and two pars. His attempt on a birdie putt on the last hole — that would have provided a two-shot lead — clipped the cup and rolled away.
The victory guarantees Pan a spot in next month’s PGA Championship.
Earlier, Kuchar’s birdie putt on No. 18 made him the leader in the clubhouse.
“To get in the mix, to have a chance was a lot of fun,” said Kuchar, the tournament’s 2014 champion.
Cantlay’s 10-under left him tied for third place with Scott Piercy (69) and Shane Lowry (70).
Cantlay also was in the mix a week earlier on the final day of the Masters.
“Playing that well on the weekend is obviously huge,” Cantlay said. “I feel like I usually play well and close strong.”
Lowry, the leader after the first two rounds, was aiming for his second PGA Tour victory.
Third-round leader Dustin Johnson, who holds the No. 1 world ranking, was a home-state favorite, but he faded with a 7-over stretch on Nos. 11-15. He finished his round of 77 with a birdie, tying for 28th at 4 under.
Johnson was in position for his 21st PGA Tour victory before the unexpected slide.
J.T. Poston (66) made a big move early and finished tied for sixth at 9 under. He was joined by Ireland’s Seamus Power (67) and Kevin Streelman (68).
Sam Burns used an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to catapult into contention. But after reaching 11 under, a three-hole stretch at 3 over on the backside dropped him out of reach. He was ninth at 8 under.
Jason Kokrak also appeared on the leader board, but he ended up with a 69 after a triple-bogey on the last hole. He finished 6 under.
–Field Level Media