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C.T. Pan
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The Takeaway

C.T. Pan heists RBC for his first PGA TOUR win

by Mo Yoshimoto

RBC Heritage

Hilton Head Island, SC

 

Playing out of the fourth-to-last twosome, World No. 113 C.T. Pan styled a 4-under-par 34-33=67 in Sunday's final round at Harbour Town Golf Links for a 72-hole tally of 12-under 272, up four spots on the day and good for a one-shot victory over past RBC champ, RBC Ambassador, and runner-up Matt Kuchar, who also shot 67 two groups ahead of Pan.

The 27-year-old, a pre-tourney 125/1 outright, claims his first PGA TOUR title in 79 events (76 pro), eclipsing a pair of previous-best T2’s, most recently at the 2018 Wyndham 19 starts ago.

Three players shared 3rd place, two adrift: Patrick Cantlay (69), Scott Piercy (69), and Shane Lowry (70), who was the first- and second-round leader.

Overnight leader (by one), RBC Ambassador and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson misfired (multiple times) for 6-over 77 and T28, eight in arrears. He was a pre-tourney 7/1 fave outright.


Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):

1- (-12, 272) C.T. Pan (125/1)

2- (-11, 273) Matt Kuchar (20/1)

3- (-10, 274) Patrick Cantlay (22/1)

3- (-10, 274) Scott Piercy (125/1)

3- (-10, 274) Shane Lowry (125/1)

 

Pan’s Position by Round:

R1: T53 (6 back)

R2: T6 (3 back)

R3: T5 (2 back)

Note: Pan is the seventh straight come-from-behind winner of the Heritage and the fourth straight to make the Heritage their first TOUR title. Interestingly, the previous three, Satoshi Kodaira (2018), Wesley Bryan (2017), and Branden Grace (2016), have yet to win again.


By the Numbers:

  • 11/8: DJ’s revised outright betting entering the final round.
  • 77: DJ’s final-round score, tied for his second-worst when leading/co-leading after 54 holes.
  • 82: DJ’s worst final-round score as 54-hole leader/co-leader at 2010 U.S. Open (Pebble Beach GL); finished T8.
  • 3: Players this week with multiple bogey-free rounds with two apiece: Patrick Cantlay; J.T. Poston; Billy Horschel.
  • 1: Pan missed the cut by one in his last start two weeks ago at the Valero (72-72).
  • 8: Pan is the eighth player this season (26 events) to MC the start prior and then win in their next start.
  • 27: The last four, first-time TOUR winners were all age 27: Pan; Corey Conners (Valero); Keith Mitchell (Honda); Martin Trainer (PR Open).
  • 3: Pan is playing his third season on TOUR.
  • 88: Pan’s finish in the FedExCup standings after 2017 rookie campaign.
  • 35: Pan’s finish in last season’s FEC standings.
  • 65: Pan’s bogey-free R2 score. He shot 65 in R2 last year as well.
  • 6: There were 24 first-timers at Harbour Town. Best finishes were T6’s by J.T. Poston and Seamus Power, both with ties to the other Carolina. Duke alum Kevin Streelman also finished T6 in his ninth appearance.
  • 252: Number of career rounds on TOUR for Pan.
  • 0: Number of times Pan had led or co-led after any round prior to Sunday.
  • 113: Coincidentally, Pan entered the week ranked 113th in the FEC standings and 113th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
  • 96: Pan’s career high OWGR before this week (after 2018 BMW Championship).
  • 2: Players that recorded all four rounds in the 60s: Runner-up Kuchar (69-69-68-67) and Streelman (69-69-69-68).
  • 1: Pan’s win earns him his first Masters invite. His most recent major appearance (of five) was a missed cut at the 2017 U.S. Open.

 

Q&A after R4:

Q. You now have a ticket to Augusta.

A. “Yeah, my wife… I mean my wife and I watched Tiger winning last Sunday and she was like, hey, I’m not patient at all, so you better get me there as soon as possible.”


Played last week’s Masters:

40: players

25: made cut

5: top 10s (of 15 total)

Matt Kuchar (2nd); Patrick Cantlay (T3); Shane Lowry (T3); Kevin Na (T10); Ian Poulter (T10)

 

Last year:

32: players

24: made cut

8: top 10s (of 13 total)

Satoshi Kodaira (P1); Si Woo Kim (P2); Bryson DeChambeau (T3); Webb Simpson (T5); Billy Horschel (T5); Patrick Cantlay (T7); Kevin Kisner (T7); Ian Poulter (T7)

 

Players who show up on both of the above lists:

2: Cantlay, Poulter


How Pan Won the Tournament:

Ranked 1st (or T1) in: Total Eagles; Birdie or Better Percentage; Par-4 Scoring

Ranked 2nd(or T2) in: Total Birdies; Putts per GIR; Total Putts

Note: See “Strokes Gained Leaders Stats” at the bottom, along with his full stats.

Least Important Stat(s): Driving Accuracy (ranked T59); Driving Distance (T50); SG: Off-the-Tee (50th); Par-3 Scoring (T43); GIR (T37)


Overall, this was the University of Washington alum’s third professional win. He won two times in seven career starts on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, both of those coming in 2015.

He almost didn’t play this week.

“Yeah, so this week, I’m having my first AJGA event in Houston. It’s a very big deal for me… my wife, she’s there in Houston handling stuff. I tried really hard to skip this week, see if I can play well the first three months and hopefully skip this week and be with my AJGA event. Obviously, I didn’t play well the first three months so that’s why I’m here. And my wife told me to be here. She’s right again.”

Along with the Masters invite, Pan collects a host of other goodies. Most importantly, perhaps, he’s now fully exempt thru the 2020-21 season, which should ease any AJGA scheduling conflicts in the future.


Pan’s TOUR Career:

Seasons: 3rd

Starts: 79

Cuts Made: 50 (63.2%)

Top 25s: 19 (24.0%)

Top 10s: 6 (7.5%)

Top 3s: 3 (3.7%)

Wins: 1 (1.2%)

 

1

This was Pan’s 15th start of the season and first top 10. His previous best was T16 at Mayakoba back in November. Pan’s last 10 starts entering the week read: four missed cuts and six finishes between T42 and T72, the T72 was tied last at THE PLAYERS three starts ago.

Season Form: 1-MC-42-72-MC-MC-44-60-66-51-MC-16-22-23-30

 

71.50

Pan’s R4 scoring average this season before Sunday, which ranked 171st on TOUR. His last five R4 scores before Sunday: 74-76-72-71-77, none of those sub-par rounds.

 

67

Pan’s R4 score on Sunday, which was his best final-round score this season since 66 at Mayakoba five months ago. His previous R4 scores didn’t indicate a fast-finisher, but Sunday’s 67 was tied for the second-best score of the day (+4.686 SG: Total) and came at the exact right course, where come-from-behind winners are the norm, and at the exact right time.

After opening with 71, day- and week-tying-low 65, and 69, Pan began T5, two back, and outpaced one bogey with five birdies on seven (of 14) fairways and 10 greens in regulation. He posted -0.761 SG: Off-the-Tee, 1.964 SG: Approach, 1.723 SG: Around, and 1.759 SG: Putting with just 23 total putts.


Pan’s Key Moments in R4:

Began: T5 (two back)

 

Hole 1 (par 4)

par-save from 9’2”

Hole 5 (par 5)

up-and-down birdie (pitched from 83’4” away to 18 inches)

Hole 9 (par 4)

birdie from 5’4” (approach from 118 yards)

Hole 10 (par 4)

birdie from 10’0” for back to backs (approach from 135 yards)

Now: bogey-free 3-under thru 10; Pan co-leads (with Lowry) on 11-under total

Hole 12 (par 4)

birdie from 7’4” (approach from 125 yards); Pan LEADS by 1 on 12-under (over Lowry)

Hole 13 (par 4)

par-saver from 5’4”; Pan LEADS by 1 (over Lowry)

Hole 15 (par 5)

all-over-the-place bogey (missed par-saver from fringe 11’9”); Pan co-leads on 11-under (with Kuchar, 4-under thru 16)

Hole 16 (par 4)

bounce-back birdie from 8’9” (approach from 107 yards); Pan LEADS by 1 on 12-under (over Kuchar- IN w/ 67; and Cantlay, 3-under thru 15)

Hole 17 (par 3)

sand save (from greenside bunker 38’6” away); Pan LEADS by 1 (over Kuchar and Cantlay)

Hole 18 (par 4)

2-putt par (approach from 174 yards to 18’4”); Pan WINS by 1 (over Kuchar). Cantlay, needing birdie at the last to force extra time, bogeyed.

OUT: 2-under 34 (2 birdies, NO bogeys)

IN: 2-under 33 (3 birdies, 1 bogey)


Strength of Field:

With a Strength of Field rating of 460 (up 89 from last year), Pan banks 58.00 world-ranking points: 

OWGR: From 113th to 55th (up 58); career high

With the win, Pan earns 500 FedExCup points:

FEC: From 113th to 26th (up 87)

Note: Win moved him from 285th in all-time Heritage earnings ($71,427) to 13th with $1,313,427.


Field Scoring Average:

This was the 51stplaying of the Heritage, all 51 at Harbour Town GL.

Par 71 (36-35)

7,099 yards

 

R1: 71.03

R2: 71.10 (contested over two days)

R3: 71.04

R4: 71.69

Total: 71.17

Pan: 71-65-69-67

SG: Total: 12.860

Heritage Form: 1-23-44

Note: Pan was T4 here last year thru 54 holes (70-65-67) but shot 5-over 76 out of the penultimate threesome for T23. His scoring average in 12 rounds is now 69.33 with 10 laps of par or better and eight sub-par rounds.


Low Rounds:

R1: 65: Shane Lowry

R2: 65: C.T. Pan

R3: 65: Webb Simpson

R4: 66: J.T. Poston

 

Bogey-free Rounds:

R1: (6): Shane Lowry (65); Ryan Moore (66); Billy Horschel (67); Patrick Cantlay (67); Andrew Landry (69); Boo Weekley (69)

R2: (7): C.T. Pan (65); K.J. Choi (66); Kevin Kisner (68); Brian Gay (68); Danny Lee (69); Billy Horschel (70); Scott Piercy (70)

R3: (5): Webb Simpson (65); Patrick Cantlay (66); J.T. Poston (67); J.J. Spaun (68); Eddie Pepperell (68)

R4: (2): J.T. Poston (66); Brian Stuard (68)

 

Multiple Bogey-free Rounds: Cantlay, Poston, Horschel (x2)


Draw:

A total of 70 pros from a field of 131 pros and one amateur made the 36-hole cut of even-par 142:

 

30 (of 63) EARLY/late; 2 WDs; 1 DQ

40 (of 66) LATE/early

 

Top 10s: 15

EARLY/late (4):

Shane Lowry (T3); Kevin Streelman (T6); Troy Merritt (T10); K.J. Choi (T10)

LATE/early (11):

C.T. Pan (Won); Matt Kuchar (2nd); Patrick Cantlay (T3); Scott Piercy (T3); J.T. Poston (T6); Seamus Power (T6); Sam Burns (9th); Kevin Na (T10); Rory Sabbatini (T10); Michael Thompson (T10); Ian Poulter (T10).

Note: Pan is the first LATE/early RBC winner since Branden Grace in 2016.

 

15

15 (of 26) tourneys so far this season with a traditional draw:

Winners:

EARLY/late: 6

LATE/early: 9 (Pan)


Leader/co-leaders by Round:

R1: Shane Lowry (finished T3): Drops to 0-for-2 as 18-hole leader/co-leader

R2: Shane Lowry (T3): Drops to 0-for-1 as 36-hole leader/co-leader

R3: Dustin Johnson (T28): Drops to 11-for-20 as 54-hole leader/co-leader


26

Season Winners (26):

10 winners were in their 20s (Pan age: 27)

11 were in their 30s

5 were in their 40s


Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:

7: Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy

6: Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson, Gary Woodland

5: Scott Piercy, Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Sungjae Im, Justin Thomas

4: Michael Thompson, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler, Jason Kokrak, Si Woo Kim, Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Lucas Glover, Charles Howell III

 

Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:

2: Patrick Cantlay (3-9)

2: Kevin Streelman (6-6)

2: Tiger Woods (1-5)

 

Consecutive Top-10 Streak Ended at:

2: Francesco Molinari (MC-5-3)

2: Graeme McDowell (48-7-1)

2: Jason Kokrak (16-7-2)


Pan’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 70 players):

Eagles: 1 (T1)

Birdies: 19 (T2)

Bogeys: 7 (T9)

Double Bogeys: 1 (T19)

Birdie or Better: 27.78% (T1)

Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 2.50 (6th)

Par-3 Scoring: 3.19 (T43)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.84 (T1)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.33 (T7)

Driving Distance (all drives): 270.0 yards (T50)

Driving Accuracy: 29/56 (T59) at 51.79%

GIR: 42/72 (T37) at 58.33%

Proximity: 32’6” (7th)

Putts per GIR: 1.524 (2nd)

Total Putts: 99 (2nd)

Putts by Round: 29-23-24-23

Scrambling: 22/30 (T16) at 73.33%

All-Around: 12th


Leaders in Strokes Gained Stats:

SG: Off-the-Tee:

1. Dustin Johnson (4.681)

2. Adam Hadwin (4.568)

3. Matthew Fitzpatrick (4.191)

4. Shane Lowry (4.031)

5. Boo Weekley (3.662)

50. C.T. Pan (-0.637)

 

SG: Approach-the-Green:

1. Kevin Streelman (7.667)

2. Scott Piercy (7.153)

3. Trey Mullinax (6.577)

4. Brian Stuard (6.563)

5. Rafa Cabrera Bello (5.602)

18. C.T. Pan (3.487)

 

SG: Around-the-Green:

1. Luke Donald (4.791)

2. Brandon Harkins (4.505)

3. Seamus Power (4.220)

4. Shane Lowry (3.961)

5. Jonathan Byrd (3.847)

7. C.T. Pan (3.710)

 

SG: Putting:

1. Matt Kuchar (9.443)

2. Cody Gribble (7.657)

3. Jason Kokrak (6.944)

4. Wyndham Clark (6.893)

5. C.T. Pan (6.284)

 

SG: Tee-to-Green:

1. Kevin Streelman (9.704)

2. Troy Merritt (8.860)

3. Boo Weekley (8.428)

4. Brian Stuard (7.828)

5. J.T. Poston (7.672)

11. C.T. Pan (6.576)

 

 

 

 

Mo Yoshimoto
You can find Mo on Twitter @Bears3423.