TORONTO (AP) — Carl Pettersson thought he had missed the weekend cut moments after finishing the second round of the Canadian Open at 1 under. Two days later, he was celebrating his fourth PGA Tour title.
“I walked in the locker room and (fellow player) Jay Williamson had all the scenarios written out, and he’s like, ‘Grab a beer.'” Pettersson said. “Before you know it, I’d had seven beers. Made the cut. And my caddie had to drive me home. I wasn’t in that bad of shape, but I didn’t want to drive. I can usually handle seven beers.”
Pettersson moved into contention Saturday with a tournament-record 60, then closed with a 3-under 67 on Sunday to beat playing partner Dean Wilson by a stroke.
“I know it’s difficult to shoot another low one after a round like that, so I tried to kind of downplay it,” said Pettersson, six strokes behind Wilson with 11 holes to play and four back with seven to go. “I was just like, ‘I’ll go out and play.’ I tried to stay calm, and just (said), ‘Whatever happens today happens.'”
He finished at 14-under 266 on the hilly, tree-lined course.
“I still can’t believe I won the tournament,” said Pettersson, the 32-year-old Swede who went to high school and college in North Carolina.
The 40-year-old Wilson, playing on a sponsor exemption, finished with a 72 after opening with three straight 65s to take a four-stroke lead.
“If you would have told me before the week that I could be second alone, I would have been tickled,” Wilson said. “Being in the position that I was, I’m a little disappointed. But still, lots of positives.”
Pettersson made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 13th to pull within one, then took the lead on the 480-yard, par-4 14th, holing a 25-footer from the fringe – moments before Wilson missed his par putt en route to a bogey.
“I played very aggressive coming in,” Pettersson said. “And that was fun. That helped me. And all of a sudden I had the lead when I birdied 14.”
Wilson hit into the thick rough to the right of the green, chipping through the putting surface to the opposite fringe and missing from 15 feet.
“That was my bad swing of the day,” Wilson said. “I had a good yardage, good mindset on what I was going to do and I just didn’t execute. I caught that ball a little thin and it rolled through the green. And I paid the price in that rough.”
Pettersson pulled away on the par-5 15th with his third straight birdie and fourth in five holes, hitting a wedge to 4 1/2 feet. Wilson’s approach trickled into the back fringe and his birdie try came up 2 1/2 feet short.
“My other wins I’ve led starting the day and led the whole back nine, so this is the first win I’ve had coming from behind,” Pettersson said. “It was a different feeling, and it was very enjoyable.”
Pettersson parred 16 and 17 and, with a shot to spare, bogeyed the 18th, missing a 5-foot par putt after Wilson putted out for his fourth straight par.
“I felt like I handled it well coming in,” Pettersson said. “I know I bogeyed the last, but after Dean didn’t make birdie, I sort of ginched that putt up there.”
Pettersson bogeyed the par-4 seventh to fall six strokes behind Wilson, then birdied Nos. 8 and 9 to cut the margin to four before seizing control on the back nine.
“I was just the sideshow on the front nine,” Pettersson said. “I just love that back nine. It sets up great for me.”
The former North Carolina State player earned $918,000 for his first victory since the 2008 Wyndham Championship near his home in Greensboro. He also won the 2005 Chrysler Championship and 2006 Memorial.
Luke Donald (66) was third at 12 under.
DIVOTS: Adam Hadwin, the 22-year-old former Louisville player making his first PGA Tour start, was the top Canadian, closing with a 71 to tie for 37th at 5 under. Jon Mills (72) was 4 under, and Stephen Ames (70), a naturalized Canadian citizen from Trinidad and Tobago, was 2 under. … Glen Day had a hole-in-one on the 211-yard eighth, hitting a 3-iron. He shot a 69 to finish at 5 under.