By Michael Williams
GolfWRX Staff Writer
For Swede Carl Pettersson, the biggest drama of the day was whether the tournament organizers would get the spelling right on his winning check. Pettersson was never in trouble on Sunday, cruising to victory in the 2012 RBC Heritage at Harbor Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Pettersson shot a 2-under 69 on Sunday to finish at 14-under par 270, five shots better than runner-up Zach Johnson.
The win ties Jesper Parnevik for the most in PGA Tour history for a Swede with five. Pettersson, 34, also completed the career “RBC Slam,” having previously won the RBC Canadian Open. For his victory, Pettersson earned $1,025,000 and 500 FedEx points. “Honestly, I’ve lived more of my life here than in Sweden, and I feel more like an American than a Swede,” noted Pettersson, who is applying for U.S. citizenship. “But I know that I am Swedish, and Sweden is a golf-crazed country.”
Pettersson, who had played well the previous week in Augusta, took the lead on the final hole of the third round by one shot over Colt Knost and never looked back. He fired off three birdies in his first five holes. He made just one bogey in the final round (No. 15), and took just 26 putts. On the course that he said was “one of (his) favorites,” Pettersson played beautifully. He was first in greens in regulation and first in putting, a wining combination on any track.
The 27-year-old Knost, who in his second year on the Tour, never found his footing in the final round. Seeking his first victory, he stumbled out of the blocks with a bogey and double bogey sandwiching a birdie on the first three holes. He was never able to stay with the streaking Pettersson and finished with a 3-over par 74. Johnson pulled to within three strokes of the lead with a birdie on the par-5 15th but bogeyed the next hole. He never got any closer and bogeyed the last to shoot 70.
Top-ranked Luke Donald needed to finish eighth or better to retain his spot atop the Official World Golf Ranking, but tied for 37th and will fall behind Rory McIlroy.
Michael Williams is the contributing editor of Newschannel8 Capital Golf Weekly and Bunkershot.com, as well as a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.
You can follow Michael on twitter — @Michaelontv