Pettersson used another fast start for 2-under 69 and a five-shot victory over Zach Johnson on Sunday at the RBC Heritage. Pettersson has never fit the tapered, powerful build made popular by Tiger Woods and copied by scores of young players.
The one time the 34-year-old Pettersson did slim down and lost 30 pounds, he also lost his winning golf swing.
“Ultimately, just cause you don’t look like an athlete doesn’t mean you’re not an athlete,” Pettersson said. “We’re not running a marathon out here, we’re walking 18 holes.”
And no one walked them better this week at Harbour Town Golf Links than Pettersson. He finished at 14-under to win his fifth PGA Tour title and first since 2010. Pettersson also tied countryman Jesper Parnevik for most ever on tour by a Swedish player.
“It was great,” said Pettersson, now a U.S. citizen. “I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, so I kind of downplayed the whole thing. But getting off to a birdie on one was great.”
Pettersson, second in the Houston Open two weeks ago, earned $1,026,000.
Johnson shot 70 to finish second at 9-under, while Colt Knost’s chances for his first PGA Tour title fell apart with 74. He was third at 8-under.
Kevin Stadler (68) and Billy Mayfair (69) tied for fourth at 6-under. Two-time Heritage winner Boo Weekley had his worst round of the week, 73, to tie for sixth with Matt Bettencourt (69).
World No. 13 Webb Simpson finished 4-over while No. 14 Matt Kuchar, a former Georgia Tech star who finished two strokes from the playoff in third at the Masters Tournament, also was way off the pace at 3-over. No. 18 Bill Haas did not make the cut.