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Pettersson wins RBC Heritage

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Associated Press
April 16, 2012
— Save the fitness trailer for the rest of the PGA Tour, Carl Pettersson knows he’s fine the way he is.

Pettersson used another fast start for a 2-under 69 and a five-shot victory over Zach Johnson on Sunday at the RBC Heritage. Pettersson has never fit the tapered, powerful build made popular by Tiger Woods and copied by scores of young players.


The one time the 34-year-old Pettersson did slim down and lost 30 pounds, he also lost his winning golf swing.


“Ultimately, just cause you don’t look like an athlete doesn’t mean you’re not an athlete,” Pettersson said. “We’re not running a marathon out here, we’re walking 18 holes.”


And no one walked them better this week at Harbour Town Golf Links than Pettersson. He finished at 14 under to win his fifth PGA Tour title and first since 2010. Pettersson also tied countryman Jesper Parnevik for most ever on tour by a Swedish player.


“It was great,” said Pettersson, now a U.S. citizen. “I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, so I kind of downplayed the whole thing. But getting off to a birdie on one was great.”


Pettersson, second in the Houston Open two weeks ago, earned $1,026,000.


Top-ranked Luke Donald needed to finish eighth or better to retain his ranking, but tied for 37th and will fall behind Rory McIlroy.


Johnson shot a 70 to finish second at 9 under, while Colt Knost’s chances for his first PGA Tour title fell apart with a 74. He was third at 8 under.


Kevin Stadler (68) and Billy Mayfair (69) tied for fourth at 6 under. Two-time Heritage winner Boo Weekley had his worst round of the week, 73, to tie for sixth with Matt Bettencourt (69).


Masters winner Bubba Watson and most of the world’s best took the week off to recover from the year’s first major. No one, though, was catching Pettersson in this one. He rolled in a 24-footer on No. 1 to get things started with a birdie. He added another birdie, from 16 feet on the par-3 fourth hole, then two-putted from 40 feet on the par-5 fifth to go up by four shots. When Johnson took bogey at No. 10, Pettersson was five strokes in front and cruising.


Donald was largely resigned to surrendering No. 1 when he woke up early for his 9:46 a.m. start time, more than four hours before the final group of Pettersson and Knost teed off.


Donald’s round began badly with a double bogey at No. 1. He worked his way back with birdies on the fifth and sixth hole and that’s where he stayed. Donald ended a four-week run at No. 1 that began after he won the Transitions Championship last month.


Pettersson’s last victory came at the RBC Canadian Open in 2010.


Pettersson remembers in 2009 feeling like he needed to trim down to play better. He worked out more, ate right, dropped 30 pounds—and couldn’t swing the club. He vowed to beef up and rediscover his game. The regimen?


“Well, you drink 10 beers and (eat) a tub of ice cream before bed,” Pettersson said. “That puts it on quickly.”


Champions Tour

At Lutz, Fla., Michael Allen won the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am for his second Champions Tour title, closing with a 3-under 68 for a three-stroke victory over Kenny Perry.


Allen finished the three-day event at 12 under. He took a five-shot advantage into the


final round, tying the tournament record for the largest 36-hole margin.


Allen bogeyed Nos. 3 and 4 at TPC Tampa Bay to cut his lead to one, but rebounded with birdies on two of the next three holes. He extended his advantage to four shots with birdies on 12 and 14.


Perry eagled the par-4 first hole and par-5 12th during a round of 65.


Allen also won the 2009 Senior PGA Championship.


MALAYSIAN OPEN


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Louis Oosthuizen won the Malaysian Open, a week after losing a playoff to Bubba Watson in the Masters.


The South African completed a 3-under 69 in the rain-delayed third round, then closed with a 68 for a three-stroke victory over Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher. The 2010 British Open champion finished at 17-under 271 on Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West Course.


Gallacher shot a 70. American David Lipsky also closed with a 70 to tie for third at 12 under with Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello and England’s Danny Willett. Cabrera-Bello and Willett shot 71.



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