April 15 2012
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
Colt Knost has a long, flowing swing that has earned him a couple wins on the Nationwide Tour and a pair of USGA titles. He's fifth on the PGA TOUR in fairways hit this year, but under pressure that long swing becomes even longer and can lead to control problems. It showed on Sunday when Knost was long in the backswing, creating an over-the-top move on the downswing which led to trouble. The longer the swing, the better the timing has to become and it's hard to rely on timing under pressure.
Hot start: We shouldn't have been surprised when Carl Pettersson started his final round with one-putts on each of the first five holes. He is fifth on TOUR in front-nine scoring this year, averaging 34.6. Pettersson started his final round rolling in a 23-foot birdie, turned at 3-under 33 and was never caught. He won this tournament on the front nine where he was a cumulative 12 under in four rounds.
14th hole: Year after year, the 14th hole at Harbour Town is the toughest on the course. This year it played to a stroke average of 3.325. There is water fronting the green and a nasty pot bunker on the left, plus overhanging limbs from a forest of trees. Players simply cannot be aggressive on the 198-yard hole.
Set Up: Pettersson has made several changes to his address position. He is more open with his hips and his head is well behind the ball, and his weight is noticeably on his right side. His finish is almost on his back foot but it generates tremendous power. Pettersson hit a 158-yard pitching wedge into the 72nd hole and is averaging 297.9 yards off the tee. Pettersson also missed just two fairways on the front side, when he shot 33 and opened his five-shot lead.
Short hitter: Every round of every tournament has a bit of a blemish, even for the tournament winner. The 15th hole is a 588-yard par 5. Pettersson almost got to the ladies' tee with his drive. He rattled one off the trees and the ball ricocheted back into the fairway, 176 yards off the tee and leading to bogey. Sometimes a hole just doesn't fit a player’s eye, as Pettersson bogeyed it in each of the last three rounds. He made six bogeys the entire tournament -- half of them the 15th hole.
Na, Na, Na: Last year on April 15, Kevin Na took a 16 while playing in the Valero Texas Open. Exactly one year later, he is a good sport about the adventure. Na will be at TPC San Antonio on Monday to help with course maintenance, as tournament officials have decided to clear out some of the heavy woods on the right side of the ninth fairway. Na spent several of his 16 shots on in those woods.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.