Golf: Chinese Taipei's Pan Cheng-tsung holds off rivals to win PGA Heritage title

The victory brought Pan Cheng-tsung, ranked 113th in the world, tour status through the 2020-21 campaign as well as berths in his first Masters next year and his first PGA Championship next month at Bethpage Black.
The victory brought Pan Cheng-tsung, ranked 113th in the world, tour status through the 2020-21 campaign as well as berths in his first Masters next year and his first PGA Championship next month at Bethpage Black.PHOTO: REUTERS/ USA TODAY SPORTS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Chinese Taipei's Pan Cheng-tsung held off Americans Matt Kuchar and Patrick Cantlay to win his first US PGA Tour title on Sunday (April 21), capturing the Heritage tournament by one stroke.

Pan fired a final-round four-under 67 at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina, to finish 72 holes on 12-under 272 with Kuchar second on 273 and Cantlay, American Scott Piercy and Ireland's Shane Lowry another stroke adrift.

"Dream come true," Pan said. "It's something when I was younger I always dreamed of. It just means everything to have a win on the PGA Tour.

"It means the world to me. I'm really happy I finally did it."

The victory brought Pan, ranked 113th in the world, tour status through the 2020-21 campaign as well as berths in his first Masters next year and his first PGA Championship next month at Bethpage Black.

Pan's breakthrough came in his 79th tour event after only seven prior top-10 finishes. He had twice been a runner-up, sharing second in 2017 at Torrey Pines and 2018 at Greensboro.

Pan, 27, played at the University of Washington and spent eight weeks in 2013 as the world's top-ranked amateur golfer.

In 2014, Pan won team and individual gold medals at the Incheon Asian Games.

Pan's wife Michelle was not with him, instead hosting junior golfers from his homeland at an event in Houston where college recruiters could see them play.

"Congrats to C.T. Pan for finishing off strong like that. These were some tough holes here," Kuchar said.

"It was a great run. I can't tell you how much fun it was to get into contention on that back nine."

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who shared second last week at the Masters, led by a stroke when the day began but fired a 77 to share 28th on 280.