Pan earns breakthrough (thanks to wife's "threat"), DJ's disastrous Sunday, and Tiger shows off green jacket in style: What you missed
Welcome to the Dew Sweeper, your one-stop shop to catch up on the weekend action from the golf world. From the professional tours, trending news, social media headlines and upcoming events, here's every golf-related thing you need to know for the morning of April 22.
Pan earns breakthrough...thanks to wife's "threat"
The Masters is noted for conjuring saccharine tones. For C.T. Pan, the tournament provoked a threat.
"My wife and I watched Tiger winning last Sunday," Pan said in Hilton Head, "and she was like, 'Hey, I'm not patient at all, so you better get me there as soon as possible.'"
Adhering to the theory of "Happy wife, happy life," Pan—who has never competed at the Masters—made quick work of this ultimatum request, earning his first PGA Tour victory at the RBC Heritage.
Though Pan is a former No. 1 amateur in the world, his game has not conveyed that faculty in 2019. He entered the week 124th in strokes gained, and had not logged a top-10 finish since September. A resuscitation at Harbour Town seemed unlikely, as Pan had to be prodded to play in the event, the Heritage coinciding with an AJGA tournament he was sponsoring in Houston.
But Pan entered Sunday just two off Dustin Johnson's lead, and when Johnson stumbled on the closing nine, Pan's four-under 67 was good enough to beat former Heritage champ Matt Kuchar by one.
"It's really hard out here, everyone is so good," Pan said, whose victory came in his 79th career tour appearance. "And even if you do everything right there's a chance that you don't win. So I was just very happy that I got it done and secure a W."
The win gets Pan into the PGA Championship for the first time, and also puts him in position to make the Presidents Cup. More importantly, he made good on his wife's wish, earning an invite to next year's Masters.
"She's right, always," Pan said.
Johnson's Sunday stumble
Even by his lofty standards, the start to 2019 has been one to remember for Johnson: two worldwide wins, a runner-up at the Masters and seven total top 10s in 10 starts. But Sunday was a day Johnson would rather forget.
Beginning the day with a one-shot lead, Johnson played an unspectacular front, carding one birdie against a lone bogey, yet still maintained a share of the lead heading into the final nine. That quickly dissipated in a five-hole stretch starting at the 11th, where Johnson could not save par after a wayward drive forced a punch-out. The World No. 1 then failed to get up-and-down on the 12 and 13th holes, and with oil officially leaking, the ship went kaboom with back-to-back doubles.
A birdie on the 18th was the proverbial lipstick on a pig, as Johnson's six-over 77 dropped him from first to T-28.
While Johnson's resume is not short on Sunday stumbles, it should be noted that the 34-year-old is 5-4 when holding the 54-hole lead. Nevertheless, out of those four losses, Johnson's shot 77 or higher (2010 U.S. Open, 2017 WGC-HSBC Champions) in three of them.
Henderson defends title and ties record
Brooke Henderson is just 21 years old, but her win at the LOTTE Championship put her in lofty company.
Henderson defended her title at the Oahu event for her eighth career victory. A total that ties her with Sandra Post, Mike Weir and George Knudson as the Canadians with the most LPGA or PGA Tour titles.
"It's really amazing to even be mentioned in the same sentence as Mike Weir, George, and Sandra," said Henderson. "This week was really special. I always love coming to Hawaii. Last year was such an incredible week for me, to be able to hoist that trophy for the first time....To get the win, eighth career win on the LPGA Tour, is just surreal and really amazing."
Tied with Nelly Korda heading into the day, Henderson's two-under 70 on a windy day at Ko Olina Golf Club was good enough for a four-shot advantage over Eun-Hee Ji. Korda hung tough for most of the round, but a quadruple-bogey eight on the final hole left her seven shots back.
17-year-old makes Web.com Tour cut
Akshay Bhatia might not be an amateur for much longer. If his recent results are any indication, the fledgling talent should assimilate into the pro ranks just fine.
Bhatia, the 17-year-old who made his PGA Tour debut last month at the Valspar Championship, was able to Monday qualify into the Web.com Tour's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship, and has made the most of his opportunity by making the cut at the rain-delayed event.
“It’s great out here,” Bhatia told the Montgomery Advertiser. “Anytime I can step up and play against pros, guys who have been on the tour, it’s great. I get a little taste of it before I actually turn pro. It’s cool.”
A first-round 73 left Bhatia outside the top 100, but the homeschooler from North Carolina bounced back in Round 2 with a two-under 70, moving into a tie for 40th and good enough to advance to Saturday play.
“I just felt like I hit a lot of greens,” Bhatia said. “I feel like I’m not playing very well, but to manage a two under today was pretty decent.”
Bhatia, who is expected to turn professional by the end of the year, had the benefit of playing with Davis Riley, the former Alabama All-American who's in his first year as a pro. “I asked him about college. ‘How was it?’ The decision to turn pro now vs. after you graduate,” Bhatia said. “It was fun because he’s in my age division, sort of. He kind of understands my language.”
Bhatia, who turned in a 74-70 to finish T-42, intends to enter Monday qualifying at a handful of PGA Tour and Web.com Tour events this spring and summer before making his decision. Up next after the RTJ Championship: defending his title at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club.
Tiger shows off green jacket in style
Question: What goes well with the green jacket? Answer: Any damn ensemble you can imagine.
Tiger Woods served as proof to that on Friday night, making his first public appearance with the green jacket at his own restaurant in Jupiter. The 43-year-old was seen rocking "the coat," as he calls it, with a Nike dri-fit t-shirt, Oakland Raiders shorts and a hat with his Frank headcover on the front.
That's the closest the Raiders will come to a trophy for years, amiright?
As a few critics pointed out on Twitter, Augusta National has a strict dress code when it comes to wearing the green jacket. But, and just spitballin' here, we're guessing Woods won't get a call for his very casual Friday approach.