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Former UW Husky C.T. Pan wins first PGA title

UPDATED: Sun., April 21, 2019

C.T. Pan celebrates with his trophy after winning the RBC Heritage golf tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C., Sunday, April 21, 2019. Pan won with a 12-under par for his first PGA victory. (Mic Smith / Associated Press)
C.T. Pan celebrates with his trophy after winning the RBC Heritage golf tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C., Sunday, April 21, 2019. Pan won with a 12-under par for his first PGA victory. (Mic Smith / Associated Press)
Associated Press

C.T. Pan took advantage of Dustin Johnson’s back-nine meltdown to win the RBC Heritage for his first PGA Tour victory.

The 27-year-old Pan, from Taiwan, closed with a 4-under 67 on Sunday at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina, for a one-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar. Pan finished at 12-under 272.

The top-ranked Johnson, the third-round leader in his home-state event, had a 77 to tie for 28th at 4 under. He played a five-hole stretch in 7 over, making bogeys on Nos. 11-13 and double bogeys on Nos. 14-15.

Pan took the lead for good with a 9-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th.

Kuchar closed with a 67.

Patrick Cantlay, Scott Piercy and Shane Lowry tied for third at 10 under. Cantlay and Piercy shot 69, and Lowry had a 70.

Pan headed to the practice range after the round to keep ready in case of a playoff, then raised his arms in triumph when told he’d won. He earned $1,242,000, a PGA Tour exemption through 2020-21 and spots in next month’s PGA Championship and next year’s Masters. He’s the RBC Heritage’s fourth straight first-time winner.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS: Scott McCarron completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Mitsubishi Electric Classic for his third victory at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Georgia.

The winner of the PGA Tour defunct BellSouth Classic at the course in 1997 and 2001, McCarron closed with a 1-under 72 for a two-stroke victory over Jerry Kelly, Joe Durant, Kirk Triplett and Kent Jones in the PGA Tour Champions event.

The 53-year-old McCarron finished at 7-under 209 for his ninth victory on the 50-and-over tour. He won three times on the PGA Tour.

McCarron lost the lead with a slow start, playing the first four holes in 1 over with two birdies, a bogey and double bogey on the par-5 third. He birdied the par-4 13th to break a tie with Durant and opened a two-stroke lead with an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th.

McCarron earned $270,000 and took the lead in the Charles Schwab Cup points race.

Kelly birdied the final two holes for a 67. Durant, Triplett and Jones shot 69.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz tied for 61st among the 77 finishers at 11 over, shooting 80-74-73. The former Atlanta Braves star got into the field on a sponsor exemption. He tied for 53rd in Tucson, Arizona, in March his tour debut.

LPGA TOUR: Brooke Henderson successfully defended her Lotte Championship title Saturday to tie Sandra Post’s record for LPGA Tour victories by a Canadian with eight. The 21-year-old Henderson closed with a 2-under 70 at breezy Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii, for a four-stroke victory over Eun-Hee Ji.

Henderson closed with seven straight pars and finished at 16-under 272.

Ji shot a 73. Ariya Jutanugarn (73) and Minjee Lee (74) tied for third at 11 under.

Nelly Korda, tied with Henderson for the third-round lead, finished with a quadruple-bogey 8 for a 77 that left her seven strokes back at 9 under.

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