Carl Pettersson’s win yesterday at the RBC Canadian Open was significant for Nike Golf for a number of reasons. First, let’s look at how Carl accomplished his come-from-behind victory: He made Friday’s cut directly on the number at -1, then after a slow start (a bogey and three pars) on Saturday he birdied 5 and 6, and eagled 9 to finish the front nine at three under par. He then tore up the back nine with five birdies and an another eagle, and after just lipping out a putt on 18 to shoot 59, he finished with a 10-under-par 60 that put him in a tie for second place going into Sunday.
Sunday started as Saturday did, with a lackluster even par front 9 (two birdies, two bogeys). But on the back nine Carl put the pressure on leader and playing competitor Dean Wilson with a birdie on 11 and three more consecutive birdies on 13, 14 and 15 that gave Carl a two-shot lead with three holes to play. Wilson never regained any momentum, and Carl ended up with the title. It’s not only significant that Carl won, but how he won — coming from four shots behind at the start of the back nine with aggressive shots on several key holes to take the title from Wilson. In a comment to The Golf Channel’s David Marr, Carl mentioned, “Now I know a little bit how Tiger feels coming down the stretch, he seems to do this every week.” Carl certainly won in Tiger-like fashion indeed.
Also significant on Sunday was the number of other Nike Golf athletes in contention, not only in Toronto but in the other tour events as well. Trevor Immelman was near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday, finishing T13 and five shots back of Pettersson. Also with a strong Sunday finish was David Duval, who shot 65 (no bogeys, five birdies) to finish T17 and one shot back of Immelman. If not for a rough finish on Saturday, David could have been right in the mix late on Sunday. I still think that DD is very close to winning again on the PGA Tour, but that’s another topic for another day. In the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational, Jamie Lovemark finished in second place just one shot back of winner D.J. Brigman. And at the Evian Masters, Suzann Pettersen finished in fifth place, just 2 shots back of winner Jiyai Shin.
The high finishes of these Nike athletes yesterday speaks to the depth of talent on the Nike Golf staff. Tiger has long been the most prominent athlete on the Nike staff — and for the most part he still is — but with TW still working out issues both on and off the course, other Nike athletes have shown that they have the talent to win on their respective tours as well. Perhaps this will give the golf world the chance to see that there’s much more to Nike Golf than just Tiger Woods.
But today we congratulate Carl Pettersson on his victory at the RBC Canadian Open. Here’s a look at the Nike equipment Carl used this past weekend to take the title:
Driver: Nike VR Tour 11.5 degrees
Irons: Nike VR Split Cavity (5-PW); Nike Pro Combo 4-iron
Wedges: Nike VR 49, 55-degree; Nike VR V-Rev 60-degree
Ball: Nike ONE Tour
Glove: Nike Dri-FIT Tour
Apparel: Nike Golf Tour Apparel
Footwear: Nike Tour Premium