Embroiled in a battle against one of the most congested leader-boards in recent times on the PGA Tour, Pan began the day two shots behind the leader, Dustin Johnson, and in a share of 5th place.
Pan, a former star while attending the University of Washington, slowly worked his way through the field and hit the front with his 4th birdie of the day at the 12th.
A very messy bogey at the par 5 15th threatened to destroy his chance of such a significant moment in his career but an approach inside ten feet at the 16th led to a birdie and a cushion for his final two holes.
In a perfect world, Pan might not have even been here but an indifferent start to the year meant he had to play. His wife Michelle and he are very much behind bringing ten Taiwanese children to an AJGA event in Texas but it was left to Michelle to guide that group through the event which was by one of them.
"Yeah, so this week I'm having my first AJGA events in Houston," said Pan. "It's a very big deal for me. That's why my wife, unfortunately, she's not here, because she's there in Houston handling stuff. And we also brought ten kids from Taiwan, like given exemption to participate in my AJGA events.
"One of the girls we brought from Taiwan, she won the tournament. So this is one of the best weekends that I've ever had.
"And the reason why -- because I try really hard to kind of skip this week, see if I can play well the first three months and hopefully I can skip this week and spend my time with the kids at my AJGA events location. And obviously I didn't play well the first three months so that's why I'm here. And my wife told me to be here. She's right again."
Matt Kuchar would birdie the last a few minutes later to get within one but Pan was up to the task. He parred each of his final two holes and although he waited on the possibility of either Patrick Cantlay or Shane Lowry in the groups behind spoiling his party, he would eventually win by one over Kuchar with Cantlay, Lowry and Scott Piercy tied for 3rd another shot back.
Early in the day, as many as ten players were within one shot of the lead but slowly but surely many were eliminated including the 54 hole leader and world number one, Johnson, whose final day 77 was almost inexplicable. He would eventually finish in a share of 28th.
Marc Leishman was the only Australian to make the weekend but he would finish in 58th place.
“Something when I was younger that I always dreamed of, watching Tiger playing...it just means a lot to me to win.”April 21, 2019
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