Date: August 18, 2008

Senden settles for sixth

John Senden has finished the Wyndham Championship six shots adrift of winner Carl Pettersson in a tie for sixth spot on 15-under. Senden capped off a solid showing at the tournament with his third four-under-par round of 66 in four days. The Australian, who also began the day in equal sixth, landed six birdies and two bogeys to finish level with South African Tim Clark and American Kevin Streelman. David Lutterus was the next-best Aussie on 10-under while Nick Flanagan (six-under) finished four strokes further back. However, Pettersson (21-under) staked his claim for a place on the European Ryder Cup team with a two-stroke victory. Recovering from two successive soft bogeys that left him behind with seven holes remaining, Pettersson, a Swede who has lived in North Carolina for half of his 30 years, roared back with three late birdies to beat Scott McCarron (19-under) by two strokes, picking up $US 918,000 ($AU 1,052,200) for his third PGA Tour victory. “I&aposm thrilled. This is home for me,” he said after carding 68 to finish on 259 for the tournament, a record low score in the historic event that dates back to 1938. Pettersson is the third Swede to win on the PGA Tour this year, and the second to prevail in Greensboro, following 1999 champion Jesper Parnevik. And though Pettersson remains a long shot to earn an automatic berth on the European side, he must be one of the names Nick Faldo will consider when he makes his two captain&aposs picks in two weeks&apos time. Pettersson, who moved to Greensboro at the age of 15 when his father, a Volvo executive, received a job transfer, admits he feels more American than European, but that does not mean he wants to sit out the Ryder cup. “I&aposm Swedish, but I really feel American, to be honest with you,” he said. “My heritage is European and I would love to play on Nick&aposs team. I&aposm going to be playing hard for Europe if I make that team.” Pettersson began the final round with a two-stroke lead over McCarron, who quickly erased the deficit with two early birdies. Pettersson edged one stroke clear at the turn, before making a mess of the next two holes, three-putting from the fringe at the 10th and dropping another shot at the 11th after missing the green and then hitting a mediocre chip. Suddenly, McCarron had the lead and the momentum, and he sensed a chance to go further ahead after hitting his tee shot to 10-feet at the par-three 12th. Pettersson sprayed his tee shot right of the green and chipped down to 13 feet. He was in deep trouble, potentially on the verge of going three shots down, but he coolly drained the par putt. McCarron subsequently missed not only his birdie chance, but also a three-footer to save par, walking off with a demoralising bogey that left them tied up again. “I think that was the turning point, me making par there on 12,” said Pettersson. “I told myself on the next tee box I&aposve got to put the pressure on Scott and hit a great tee shot. I had momentum and I felt I had to be aggressive on that hole.” McCarron, who has not won since 2001 and is on the comeback after major elbow surgery two years ago, admitted he blew it on hole 12. “I let it go at 12,” he said. “Carl played well but I certainly had my chances today.” “Second place is tough to swallow right now but I&aposll probably be pretty happy when I realise I&aposve got a job for next year. That was my goal coming back from rehab.” Rich Beem roared home with a 63 to finish third on 17-under, earning a spot in the first of the tour&aposs four-event play-off series that starts on Thursday (US time). Round Four, Wyndham Championship, Greensboro -21: Carl Pettersson 64 61 66 68 -19: Scott McCarron 65 64 64 68 -17: Rich Beem 70 67 63 63 -16: J.J Henry 70 66 66 62, Martin Laird 63 74 64 63 -15: Tim Clark 64 67 68 66, John Senden (Australia) 66 66 67 66, Kevin Streelman 66 64 67 68 -14: Briny Baird 67 68 62 69, Shane Bertsch 67 68 67 64, Jerry Kelly 66 65 68 67, Michael Letzig 67 66 67 66, Bob Sowards 65 66 68 67, Mark Wilson 68 67 67 64 -13: Justin Bolli 68 66 68 65, Lee Janzen 67 66 67 67, Scott Sterling 64 71 64 68, Vaughn Taylor 67 67 66 67, Garrett Willis 64 64 69 70 Also: -10: David Lutterus (Australia) 69 64 72 65 -6: Nick Flanagan (Australia) 68 69 70 67 -3: Mark Hensby (Australia) 66 66 75 70 -1: Peter Lonard (Australia) 66 71 73 69