TORONTO – Carl Pettersson’s family left Sweden when he was 10, spent five years in England, then settled in Greensboro, N.C.
“I call myself a mutt,” Pettersson said Sunday after rallying to win the Canadian Open for his fourth PGA Tour victory. “I’m not your typical Swede, as you know. I don’t have a 28-inch waist and I don’t eat bananas at the turn, stuff like that.”
In fact, he considers his ample gut a necessity, something he learned after a successful fitness kick backfired following the 2008 season.
“Obviously, I was a little overweight,” Pettersson said. “I thought, `Well, I’ll get fit.’ So I actually lost 30 pounds – and my game completely left me. I guess the timing of the swing and everything was thrown out, and I really struggled in ’09. … I’d love to be fitter, but I’m not going to go down that road again.”
“Right when I finished (Friday), I thought I had missed,” Pettersson said.
“I walked in the locker room and (fellow player) Jay Williamson had all the scenarios written out, and he’s like, `Grab a beer.’ 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.”
He made the cut by a stroke, then shot a tournament-record 60 on Saturday and closed with a 67 to beat Dean Wilson by one shot, finishing at 14 under.
“I still can’t believe I won,” said Pettersson, six strokes behind Wilson with 11 holes to play and four back with seven to go.
Wilson, playing on a sponsor exemption, shot a 72 after opening with three straight 65s to take a four-stroke lead into the final round.
“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. He holed a 25-footer from the fringe, and Wilson missed his par putt en route to a bogey.
“I played very aggressive,” Pettersson said. “And all of a sudden I had the lead.”
Wilson hit into the thick rough to the right of the green, chipped through the putting surface to the opposite fringe and missed 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.”
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.
He 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, then birdied Nos. 8 and 9 to cut the margin to four.
“I was just the sideshow on the front nine,” Pettersson said. “I just love that back nine. It sets up great for me.”
The 32-year-old former North Carolina State player earned $918,000 for his first victory since the 2008 Wyndham Championship in Greensboro. He also won the 2005 Chrysler Championship and 2006 Memorial.
“If you would have asked me Thursday if I was going to win, I would have laughed at you,” Pettersson said. “Probably thought, `You been drinking seven beers or what?”’
DIVOTS: Luke Donald (66) was third at 12 under. … Adam Hadwin was the top Canadian, shooting a 71 to tie for 37th at 5 under. … Glen Day had a hole-in-one on the 211-yard eighth, hitting a 3-iron. He shot a 69 to also finish at 5 under. … The 2011 tournament will be played at Shaughnessy in Vancouver, British Columbia.