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GOLF

Pettersson captures Canadian Open PGA title

Sweden's Carl "Big Dog" Pettersson captured the PGA's Canadian Open golf title on Sunday in Toronto, firing six birdies in eight holes to overtake American Dean Wilson for a one-stroke triumph.

Pettersson captures Canadian Open PGA title
Photo: Nathan Denette/AP/The Canadian Press/Scanpix

Pettersson, coming off a tournament-record 60 in Saturday’s third round, fired a three-under par 67 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club to complete 72 holes on 14-under 266 and defeat Wilson, the leader by four strokes when the day began.

“I still can’t believe I won the tournament,” Pettersson said. “I know it’s difficult to shoot another low one after a round like that, so I was just trying to downplay it. I just tried to stay calm and whatever happens happens.”

Pettersson’s victory came hours after country Richard S. Johnson won the European Tour’s Scandinavian Masters crown on home turf northwest of Stockholm.

Pettersson only made the cut by a stroke after opening with rounds of 71 and 68 but took the $918,000 (6.71 million kronor) prize and his first victory since the 2008 Wyndham Championship. He also won the 2006 Memorial and 2006 Chrysler crowns.

The Swede bogeyed at the fourth and seventh holes and Wilson appeared to be in command, but Pettersson closed the front nine with a pair of birdies, birdied the 11th and ran off three birdies in a row starting at the 13th hole with a 15-footer.

Wilson, 40, stumbled with bogeys at the 12th and 14th holes to hand Pettersson the lead after the Swede sank a 25-footer, falling two strokes off the pace with the European’s birdie from 4.5 feet at 15.

Both men parred the 16th and 17th holes and the 18th, playing the toughest hole of the week, ended with a par for Wilson. That allowed Pettersson, 32, the luxury of a closing bogey being good enough to capture his fourth career title at the $5.1 million event.

“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.”

Wilson, who was playing on a sponsor’s exemption, settled for an unsatisfying second.

“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.”

England’s Luke Donald was third, two strokes off the pace. Sharing fourth on 270 were South Korean Charlie Wi, Australian Greg Chalmers, Americans Michael Letzig, Charley Hoffman, Matt Kuchar, Jeff Quinney, Bryce Molder and Bob Estes as well as South African Tim Clark.

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GOLF

Sweden’s Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters

Sweden's Alex Noren came back from a seven-shot overnight deficit to claim a dramatic French Open victory at Le Golf National on Sunday, as the difficult closing stretch of the Ryder Cup course saw a host of challengers slip up.

Sweden's Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters
Swedish golfer Alex Noren holds the trophy after winning the HNA Open de France, as part of the European Tour 2018, on Sunday. Photo: LUCAS BARIOULET / AFP
Fellow Swede Marcus Kinhult had entered Sunday's play with a two-shot lead but struggled through a five-over final round to end in a three-way tie for fifth.
 
World number 16 Noren fired a brilliant four-under 67 to reach seven-under par for the tournament, before sitting back and watching his rivals falter as he won by a single stroke.
 
The 35-year-old will be a key figure for Europe when the Ryder Cup gets underway on September 28, and he showed all his qualities by playing the last three holes in two-under.
 
The big-name pairing of Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm both threatened, but the two Spaniards found water at the 18th, while world number two Justin Thomas never seriously contended.
 
Julian Suri, who was looking to become the first American winner of the event since Barry Jaeckel in 1972, went to the 72nd hole on eight-under but made a watery double-bogey, while England's Chris Wood also blew a late lead.
 
That handed Noren, who finished his fourth round 45 minutes before the final group, a 10th European Tour title and first since the BMW PGA Championship in May 2017, when he also fought back from seven shots behind on the final day.
 
Scotland's Russell Knox carded a final-round 65 earlier in the day to finish tied for second with Suri and Wood on six-under — enough to secure him a spot for the British Open at Carnoustie along with Kinhult and Suri.