DUBLIN, Ohio - It has been a wild and wonderful journey that brought Carl Pettersson to the 18th green at the Memorial on Sunday.
His two-shot victory, his second on the PGA Tour, disappointed many who were rooting for the only known quantity near the top of the leaderboard, the ever-smiling Phil Mickelson.
Pettersson, dubbed "The Swedish Redneck" by Stockholm native Jesper Parnevik, was a victor for those who sip tea and speak proper English and also eat grits and watch NASCAR.
"I'm a mutt," Pettersson said after accepting the crystal championship trophy from host Jack Nicklaus.
Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, the 28-year-old Pettersson lived in England for five years after his father, Lars, an executive in Volvo's trucks division, was transferred.
When his father was transferred again to Greensboro, N.C., his burly 5-foot-11, 195-pound son tagged along. Carl had already shown a propensity for golf, learning from Lars, who was a low-handicapper.
Carl spent his last two years of high school in North Carolina and, after winning the state championship for Grimsley High, he went to school at Central Alabama Community College and then North Carolina State.
Pettersson has spent most of his four full years as a pro on the PGA Tour, although he also plays in Europe.
"I watched a lot of Ryder Cups over the years," Pettersson said. "I always pull for Europe. I've lived here for a lot of years but deep down I am European."
Pettersson still lives in Raleigh, N.C., with his wife, DeAnna, whom he met shortly before he embarked on his pro career, and their 21-month old daughter, Carlie.
He said he retains "some of those interesting habits" from living in the South.
"I like country music," he said. "I guess I'm not your typical Swede, you know. I'm about 30 pounds overweight and I don't wear crazy clothes."
WEATHER BEATERS: For the players out of contention, the final round became a race against a storm front.
"They told us before we teed off that we were probably going to get showers and all that stuff," Billy Mayfair said.
The threat of yet another delay in the rain-delayed final round was enough incentive.
"You could see it coming, so I wanted to get through," Bubba Watson said.
As they played, the players kept their eyes on the skies.
"I was thinking about it, believe me," Mark Calcavecchia said after closing with a 71 that left him at 292. "I've got an outing tomorrow in New York that I did not want to have trouble getting to and/or miss. I'm going to make twice as much for the outing as I made here, so if there would have been a delay, I would have just WD'd and left and got out of here. So I'm glad we got in and I didn't have to do that."
Sindelar putted out for a 72 and then dashed for the airport to catch a flight to a U.S. Open qualifier on Monday at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.
"Earlier is better," he said of his departure time as he left the course.
A half-hour delay held up the action late in the day, after most of the field had completed play.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Long-but-frequently-wild Bubba Watson, told that one course at his U.S. Open qualifier on Monday was open and the other had narrow fairways: "I'll probably play that open one a lot better."
2007 HONOREES: Louise Suggs, one of the founders of the LPGA, and 1958 PGA Championship winner Dow Finsterwald are the Memorial honorees for 2007.
Each year the tournament recognizes the contributions to the game of former players, innovators and administrators.
Suggs, who won the 1949 U.S. Women's Open by a then-record 14 strokes, was among the 13 people who helped create the LPGA and later served three terms as the association's president. She won 58 tour titles and 11 major championships, including three as an amateur.
An Ohio native, Finsterwald won 12 PGA Tour events between 1955 and 1963 and placed in the top five more than 50 times in his career. He still owns the fifth-longest cut streak, finishing in the money in 72 consecutive tournaments.
Finsterwald and Gary Player lost in a playoff to Arnold Palmer at the 1962 Masters.
They will be honored during ceremonies preceding next year's Memorial, which runs from May 31-June 3.
LIKE OLD TIMES: Paul Azinger shot a 67, bettered only by Mark Brooks' 66, in the final round to finish 10th.
He hadn't had a top 10 since the Shell Houston Open in 2004.
"It's been a while," Azinger said after finishing five shots behind winner Carl Pettersson. "I have had this streak of leaving the course irritated - that streak's a couple of years (long). And I'm not going to be irritated today."
DIVOTS: Trevor Immelman, who tied for seventh, has three top-10s in a row.... Brooks and Sergio Garcia each hit 17 of 18 greens on Sunday.... After he was disqualified for leaving the course early after the second round, and then was reinstated, Justin Rose had rounds of 67 and 71 and tied for 14th while earning $100,625.
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