Dustin Johnson misfired over the closing nine holes to fall dramatically out of contention at the RBC Heritage, with CT Pan gleefully picking up the pieces.
Pan’s first PGA TOUR victory was a memorable one as he emerged from a strong leaderboard that had Shane Lowry, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter and, of course, the world’s best player all vying for the win.
‘It’s still really hard for me to believe.’
This was the immediate reaction of Pan, but could easily have been copy-and-paste for Johnson, who somehow lost his game en route to a back nine 41.
Instead of bagging his 21st tour win, he retreated to a share of 28th after a five-hole stretch that saw 7 dropped shots including two doubles.
Branden Grace finished in a share of 61st place; he was the only South African to make the cut
After a fireworks-free front nine, Johnson still enjoyed a share of the lead as he looked to win after finishing second to Tiger Woods at Augusta National. Instead of showing the same steely determination for which Woods has become synonymous, he crumbled, leaving his top ranking a little less imperious.
For Pan though, it matters little, as he was left to soak in his biggest moment on the PGA TOUR. A moment of vindication for years of hard work, and built on the back of two runner-up finishes; the Farmers Insurance Open in 2017 and last year’s Wyndham Championship.
Final leaderboard (Par 72, USA unless noted):
272 – CT Pan (TPE) 71-65-69-67
273 – Matt Kuchar 69-69-68-67
274 – Patrick Cantlay 67-72-66-69, Scott Piercy 67-70-68-69, Shane Lowry (IRL) 65-68-71-70
275 – JT Poston 71-71-67-66, Seamus Power (IRL) 68-72-68-67, Kevin Streelman 69-69-69-68
276 – Sam Burns 67-70-69-70
277 – Kevin Na 67-72-71-67, Michael Thompson 68-71-69-69, Troy Merritt 69-67-72-69, KJ Choi (KOR) 70-66-69-72, Rory Sabbatini (SVK) 67-69-68-73, Ian Poulter (ENG) 70-67-67-73
278 – Brian Stuard 68-70-72-68, Zach Johnson 69-69-72-68, Jason Kokrak 69-68-72-69, Joel Dahmen 70-68-71-69, Eddie Pepperell (ENG) 71-69-68-70, Peter Malnati 67-72-69-70, Webb Simpson 69-73-65-71, Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP) 68-69-70-71, Trey Mullinax 66-68-71-73
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