Canadian Open 2016
Round 4 - Late birdies seal win for Jhonattan Vegas
July 25, 2016
Jhonattan Vegas rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday for his second PGA Tour victory, birdieing the final three holes at Glen Abbey for an 8-under 64 and one-stroke victory.
The 29-year-old Venezuelan Olympic player began the day five strokes behind leader Brandt Snedeker and four behind U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson and Canadian amateur Jared du Toit.
Vegas had five straight birdies on Nos. 2-6, bogeyed the par-4 eighth and also birdied the par-5 13th. He then birdied the par-5 16th, par-4 17th and par-5 18th to post at 12-under 276.
No one could catch him.
Johnson, Jon Rahm and Martin Laird tied for second. Johnson eagled the 16th and birdied the 18th for a 69. Laird finished with two pars in a 67. Rahm, du Toit's former Arizona State teammate, birdied 16 and 18 in a 67. The Spaniard was making his fourth start since turning professional.
Vegas earned $1,062,000 and a spot in the PGA Championship next week at Baltusrol in New Jersey. He also received a two-year tour exemption and a spot in the Masters next year.
Vegas also won the 2011 Bob Hope Classic. He tied for fourth last week in Alabama in the event opposite the British Open, shooting a course-record 60 in the second round.
Snedeker, the 2013 winner at Glen Abbey, shot a 71 to tie for fifth at 10 under. He birdied the 16th and closed with two pars.
Du Toit tied for ninth at 9 under after a 71. He birdied 16 and 18.
Du Toit, an Arizona State senior from Kimberley, British Columbia, was trying to become the first Canadian winner since Pat Fletcher, born in England, in 1954 at Point Grey in Vancouver, British Columbia. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914. Albert Murray, a Canadian also born in England, won in 1908 and 1913. Doug Sanders was the last amateur to win the event in 1956, and Phil Mickelson - then also an Arizona State student - was the last amateur winner on the tour in the 1991 Northern Telecom Open.
Top-ranked defending champion Jason Day had a 67 to tie for 14th at 7 under.
Round 3 - Brandt Snedeker edges ahead
July 24, 2016
American Brandt Snedeker made an easy-looking eagle at the par-five 18th at the Canadian Open on Saturday to put himself in position for his second win of the season.
Snedeker, the 2013 champion, also moved within sight of a second win at Glen Abbey with his third-round 66 in hot and dry conditions.
At nine-total of 207, he has a one-stroke lead over U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson (71) and 21-year-old Canadian amateur Jared du Toit (70) heading into the final round.
Snedeker started strong with five straight birdies, beginning at the second hole, and finished with an eagle after slugging a 378-yard drive downwind and sticking a lob wedge approach to seven feet behind the hole.
His form is timely heading into the final major of the year, the PGA Championship at Baltusrol next week.
“My golf game’s not been where it should have been the last couple months,” said the 35-year-old Snedeker, who won the San Diego tour stop in February.
“I want to go out there and think well tomorrow, give myself a chance, give me a lot of confidence going into the PGA Championship, FedEx Cup playoffs and help me secure a Ryder Cup spot. There’s a lot on the line tomorrow.”
Snedeker beat Johnson by three shots at Glen Abbey in 2013, after the latter hit his tee shot out of bounds at the 17th.
But because the upstart du Toit, playing in the group in front of Johnson, matched Snedeker’s eagle at the 18th, the Canadian and Snedeker will be paired instead on Sunday.
Johnson has five straight top-10 showings, including wins at the U.S. Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
But he was not sharp in a third round that included four birdies and three bogeys at the fast and firm course.
“The conditions were pretty difficult,” Johnson said. “It was windy. I had a hard time adjusting to the greens. I think they put a lot of water on them. It seemed like some greens were really soft, some greens were hard.”
American Steve Wheatcroft and German Alex Cejka were tied for fourth, two shots off the lead. Wheatcroft carded an eight-under 64, the low round of the day, while Cejka sunk an 85-footer for eagle at the closing hole for his 69.
“My goal was just let’s do a nice two-putt and finish it off,” Cejka said. “Obviously, that was a big, big bonus, unexpected. That’s perfect. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere.”
Round 2 - Dustin Johnson & Luke List neck and neck
July 23, 2016
US Open champion Dustin Johnson shook off a double-bogey to maintain a share of the lead alongside Luke List after two rounds of the PGA Tour Canadian Open.
Johnson, who started Friday tied with List for the lead, fell back early as he dropped four shots in his first four holes at Glen Abbey near Toronto.
With warm sunshine drying out the course, Johnson teed off on 10 and promptly bogeyed 11. He dropped two shots at 12 and bogeyed 13 before pulling back a couple of shots at 16 and 18.
With his confidence high in the wake of his first major triumph at the US Open, Johnson said he didn't panic.
"I didn't feel like I hit bad shots," he said. "Just got in a couple of awkward spots. I knew I was playing well."
With four more birdies coming in and one bogey at his penultimate hole Johnson signed for a one-under 71 that left him tied with List on seven-under 137.
While he thought his game was on, Johnson acknowledged that the windy weather and firm course made for a challenging day.
List's 71 had its rocky moments, but he picked up two of his four birdies at 16 and 18 -- after making three bogeys in four holes on the back nine.
Canadian amateur Jared du Toit, Spain's Jon Rahm and American Kelly Kraft were a stroke back on 138. All three also carded 71s.
Du Toit was tied for the lead through nine holes, but surrendered a triple-bogey eight on the par-five second hole and bogeyed the fifth. He bounced back with three straight birdies to stay in the hunt.
England-born Canadian Pat Fletcher is the last Canadian to win the title, back in 1954 in Vancouver.
World number one and defending champion Jason Day of Australia was one-over through 36 holes after a second-round 76.
"The day was pretty tough in itself and then I really didn't have anything going well," Day said. "Off the tee was terrible. Hitting the greens were terrible. Chipping was terrible and putting was terrible. So put all that together, you shoot four-over."
Day said he hadn't adjusted well to the firm greens this week.
"When your speed is off, it's really hard to hit your line and trust it," he said.
Having made the cut, he said, he would just try to enjoy the weekend as he looks ahead to next week's PGA Championship, the fourth major of the year that has been moved up in the calendar to allow for golf's return to the Olympics in August.
"I'm just going to go out there and try and enjoy myself. Try and work on things that need to be worked on for the PGA," Day said.
"I've just got to play really, really good golf over the weekend to even have a sniff at catching them. I've just got to try and enjoy myself first more so than what I have the last two days."
Round 1 - Dustin Johnson & Luke List share lead
July 22, 2016
Reigning US Open champion Dustin Johnson fired a six-under par 66 to seize a share of the lead at the PGA Tour's Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club.
The 11-time PGA winner made seven birdies, an eagle, a bogey and a double bogey to move into a tie atop the leaderboard with Luke List at the Toronto-area course.
"It's firm and fast," said world number two Johnson. "It's definitely tough to get the ball close to the hole. You've really got to land the ball on your numbers. With it being as windy as it was today, it was tough to do that."
Defending champion and world number one Jason Day opened with a three-under 69 and is three shots back of the leaders. He is seeking to become the first repeat winner of the Canadian Open since Jim Furyk in 2006 and 2007.
Johnson, who won the US Open last month at Oakmont, is making his fourth start in the Canadian Open. He has had mixed results in the event, withdrawing in 2008, missing the cut in 2014 and finishing tied for second in 2013.
Johnson is Canada's adopted son as he is engaged to the daughter of Canada's greatest sports hero, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky. Johnson and Paulina Gretzky have an 18-month-old son together.
List carded birdies on five of his first nine holes. He added another at the second hole en route to a bogey-free 66, matching his career-low round on the US PGA Tour.
"I was very fortunate that the first five holes there wasn't much wind at all and then it kind of picked up," said List, who is coming off missed cuts in five of his past seven starts.
Canada's Jared du Toit, Chesson Hadley, Kelly Kraft and Jon Rahm are tied for third at five-under 67.
Du Toit, an amateur, eagled the par-four 17th hole, then made a birdie on 18. Hadley made six birdies and one bogey. Kraft played the six-hole stretch beginning at the 13th in six-under par.
Rahm is hoping to become the first to win the Canadian Open in his debut since Chez Reavie in 2008.