Local favorite Carl Pettersson enjoyed a successful homecoming of sorts this weekend, shooting a 2-under-par 68 Sunday in the final round of the Wyndham Championship for a two-stroke victory.
The North Carolina State graduate from Sweden, who played his high school golf in Greensboro, N.C., returned to his old stomping grounds in style. He finished at 21-under 259 to earn his third career PGA Tour victory at Sedgefield Country Club.
"Obviously, the week has been fantastic," Pettersson told reporters. "I kept telling myself I could do it and it was an unbelievable feeling today on the back nine to really knuckle down and get it done."
Pettersson earned $918,000 for the victory in the final regular-season event for the PGA Tour of 2008. His previous victories came in the 2005 Chrysler Championship and the 2006 Memorial Tournament.
Pettersson set the record for the lowest winning score at the Wyndham Championship, bettering Jesper Parnevik's 265 total in 1999, when the event was played at Forest Oaks Country Club. At Sedgefield, which hadn't hosted a PGA Tour event since 1976, the previous lowest winning score was 267, set by George Archer (1967), Billy Casper (1968) and Chi Chi Rodriguez (1973).
Pettersson earned 4,500 FedEx Cup points to move to No. 13 in the standings with 9,821 points. The FedEx Cup playoffs begin this week at The Barclays with the top 144 players in the standings.
Five players at the Wyndham Championship field played their way into the playoffs, including Justin Bolli (from No. 153 to No. 141), Lee Janzen (154 to 144), first-round co-leader Martin Laird (164 to 128), Rich Beem (166 to 114) and J.J. Henry (177 to 135).
Bolstered by his record-setting 61 in Friday's second round, Pettersson finished two shots ahead of Scott McCarron, who recorded his sixth career runner-up finish and first since the 2005 FBR Open. McCarron moved to No. 77 on the FedEx Cup points list.
McCarron took the lead from Pettersson briefly on the 11th hole, but quickly gave it back at No. 12 with a three-putt bogey, missing a four-footer for par. He went on to shoot 2-under 68.
Pettersson, who lives 90 minutes away from Greensboro in Raleigh and serves on the Wyndham tournament board, said he wasn't pleased with the middle stretch of his round. However, he managed to save par on No. 12 to tie McCarron and then took the lead with a birdie at No. 13 and extended his advantage to two shots with a birdie on the par-5 15th.
"Not getting it up and down on 11 kind of got me pissed off, really, because it was an easy chip," Petterrson said. "I didn't play it aggressive enough and then I hit a poor tee shot on 12. I kind of told myself, ‘I'm letting the tournament get away from me again.'"
The round of the day was turned in by Henry with an 8-under 62, equaling the best final-round score in the history of the Wyndham Championship, tying Davis Love III's 62 at Forest Oaks in 1992. Henry finished tied for fourth with Laird (63).
Tim Clark, John Senden and Kevin Streelman tied for sixth at 15-under 265. Shane Bertsch, Mark Wilson, Michael Letzig, Bob Sowards, Jerry Kelly and Briny Baird tied for ninth at 14-under 266.
August 18, 2008
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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