Canadian Open goes Swedish

Carl Pettersson holds up the trophy after winning the Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf and...

Carl Pettersson holds up the trophy after winning the Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto on July 25, 2010. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

The man was born in Sweden, became a teenager in Great Britain and settled in North Carolina.

Listen to him speak for a few moments and you'll get confusing notes of all three.

"I call myself a mutt, really," said Carl Pettersson.

Now he can call himself Canadian Open champion. Pettersson, who made a 10-foot putt for par on Friday to make the cut, fired an other-worldly round of 60 on Saturday to put himself in the mix and finished off his unlikely championship with a round of 67 Sunday to beat American Dean Wilson by a solitary shot.

Pettersson stood on the 11th tee Sunday trailing Wilson by four strokes but passed him in the next three holes, partly because Wilson started to falter and partly because he caught fire himself.

It was a remarkable end to a strange week for Pettersson. He came off the course on Friday afternoon uncertain if he would qualify for the weekend. He and fellow pro Jay Williamson sat in the players' lounge and downed seven beers while waiting to hear the good news.

"I had to get my caddie to drive me home," he said.

Saturday morning, playing in the second group out, he lit up St. George's Golf and Country Club as it's never been lit up before, lipping out on a 59 on the 18th green, happily settling for a course and tournament-record 60.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "I still can't believe I won the tournament."

Wilson had the tournament firmly in his grasp. He started Sunday with a four-shot lead and that's where he stood on the 11th tee. Pettersson made a birdie at 11, while Wilson made par.

Then, on 12, Pettersson made a par and Wilson bogeyed. At 13, Pettersson sank a birdie putt, while Wilson made par.

Then, at 14, Pettersson took the lead for good, ramming home a 25-footer for bird, while Wilson stickhandled around for a bogey.

"When I was within four, I wanted to get within three and I played very aggressive coming in," said Pettersson. "And all of a sudden, I had the lead when I birdied 14. I knew, even with a two-shot lead, anything can happen."

But, it didn't and now Pettersson has his fourth PGA Tour win and first win since 2008.

"When I got on the U.S. tour, I had three wins really early in my career and finished in the top 30 most years on the money list, right around top 30," he said. "Then last year, my game left me. And you know, you start questioning yourself if you're good enough to play, and am I ever going to win again. And yeah, I was feeling it coming up the last hole. It was a special most important win for me coming back after last year playing so poorly."

After he won his previous tournament in Greensboro in 2008, Pettersson decided he wanted to join the flat-belly crowd that dominates the PGA Tour, so he decided to work out.

"I kept thinking what am I going to do to get better, and obviously I was a little overweight," said Pettersson. "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've played fairly well this year, not great, but I've had moments of doing good stuff, and I don't know. You know, I'd love to be fitter, but I'm not going to go down that road again."

Given the results, how can you argue with this mutt's logic?


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