Taiwan’s Pan Cheng-tsung won his first PGA Tour event with a one-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina.
Pan, who goes by the initials C.T, shot a four-under par 67 at Harbour Town Golf Links to finish on 12 under par for the tournament.
Kuchar, finishing ahead of Pan, birdied the last to also shoot 67 and waited in the clubhouse as Pan, ranked 113 in the world, held his nerve. Patrick Cantlay (69), Scott Piercy (69) and Ireland’s Shane Lowry (70) tied for third at 10-under.
“It’s still really hard for me to believe,” said 27-year-old Pan, who had won twice on the PGA Tour Canada in 2015, and finished second twice in PGA Tour events, including last year’s Wyndham Championship. “It’s something I always dreamed of when I was growing up, and I;m glad to have finally done it.”
Pan, who moved from Taiwan when he was 18 to study at the University of Washington, took the lead for the first time with a birdie at the 16th after a bogey at the 15th, and parred the last two holes. Victory, however, was not assured until Cantlay, Piercy and second-round leader Lowry completed play.
Kuchar, a winner at Hilton Head in 2014, made a run at another title with three birdies in five holes before a bogey at the seventh. He regrouped for birdies at 13 and 15, before another bogey at 17 seemed to end his chances. However, a stunning approach to 18 set up yet another birdie and set the clubhouse target at 11 under.
“It was so much fun that back nine,” said Kuchar. “To have a chance, to be playing some good golf, make a handful of birdies, and see how much I could do out there sure was fun.”
Dustin Johnson had begun the round with a one-stroke lead, but had three bogeys and two double bogeys to drop seven shots in a five-hole stretch on the back nine at Harbour Town. He finished with a six-over 77 to tie for 28th.