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Lowry's bid falters down the home straight as Pan claims maiden PGA Tour victory

Lowry was unable to secure his second win of the season having seized the lead at the RBC Heritage.

SHANE LOWRY’S SUNDAY afternoon challenge at the RBC Heritage faded down the home straight, but a top-three finish is the Irishman’s best on the PGA Tour since the 2016 US Open.

A disappointing double-bogey six on the 12th hole ultimately ended Lowry’s hopes at Hilton Head, as 27-year-old C.T Pan took full advantage to claim his maiden career victory in South Carolina.

RBC Heritage Golf Lowry was in the hunt but had to settle for a top-three finish. Source: Scott Schroeder

Pan, who carded a final-round 67, claimed a one-shot victory over Matt Kuchar on 11-under, while Patrick Cantlay, Scott Piercy and Lowry finished a shot further adrift on 10-under.

Lowry carded a round of 70 and while it was another excellent week for the Offaly native, it ultimately ended in disappointment as he will reflect on a missed opportunity to secure his second win of the season. 

Starting the day one shot behind overnight leader Dustin Johnson, Lowry surged into the lead with birdies on the second, fifth and sixth but a missed putt from three foot on nine saw his bid unravel, before that six on 12.

As the leaders faded, Pan came into his own. He charged into the lead alone with a five-foot birdie putt to close the front nine, a 10-foot birdie putt to open the back nine and a seven-footer for birdie at the par-4 12th to reach 12-under.

When Lowry made double bogey moments later, Pan had opened a two-stroke lead on Kuchar and a three-shot edge on everyone else.

Kuchar answered with a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-5 15th, before Pan then sent his tee shot at 15 into trees right of the fairway and his third into a greenside bunker on the way to a bogey that left him level for the lead with the American.

But Pan was not to be denied as he dropped his approach at the 16th to eight feet and made the birdie putt to lead alone at 12-under, before sinking a tense par putt at 17 to head up the last with a slender advantage. 

The Taiwan golfer put his approach 18 feet from the cup and lipped out on his birdie putt before tapping in for par to stay one ahead with Cantlay and Lowry yet to finish.

gettyimages-1144226962-594x594 Pan celebrates his victory. Source: Getty Images

Cantlay missed the green with his approach at 18 and spun his birdie chip past the hole to end his hopes and Lowry missed a 30-foot birdie putt at 17 and with his approach at 18 to give Pan the victory. 

The victory brought Pan, ranked 113th in the world, Tour status through the 2020-21 campaign as well as berths in his first Masters next year and his first PGA Championship next month at Bethpage Black.

“Dream come true,” he said. “It’s something when I was younger I always dreamed of. It just means everything to have a win on the PGA Tour.

“It means the world to me. I’m really happy I finally did it.”

Earlier, Waterford’s Seamus Power produced his best round of the week to sit in a tie for sixth, while Graeme McDowell finished on one-over par. 

With reporting from AFP

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Ryan Bailey

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