Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas wasn’t the hometown favorite on Sunday at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario, but he won the crowd over, then the tournament, then a spot in the PGA Championship.
Vegas’s 8-under 64 early in the day on Sunday got him to 12-under, which proved to be the winning score against all coers in the RBC Canadian Open, a win that clinched Vegas a spot in the fourth Major of the year, which starts in just four days.
Five strokes behind the co-leaders to start Sunday, Vegas blistered the course with five straight birdies on the front nine before bogeying No.8. He strung together four more birdies from No. 13 on, including three straight to end the round.
Thus he defeated Spain’s John Rahm, Scotland’s Martin Laird, and the US’ Dustin Johnson by one stroke each. Johnson, ranked No. 2 in the world, made a closing push with an eagle on 16 and a birdie on 18 but it wasn’t quite enough.
Day Three contenders Brandt Snedeker and Canadian amateur Jared du Toit got to look at Vegas’ score the longest, as they were in the day’s final pairing. The amateur looked to have nerves early, with two bogeys in his first six holes. He finished with an even-par 71 to wind up tied for ninth at 9-under.
The more experienced Snedeker was just as up and down, bogeying No. 1 and also shooting a 71 to finished tied for fifth at 10-under.
Other notable finishers were two-time champion Jim Furyk, who was 13th at 8-under, and world No. 1 Jason Day, who wound up at 7-under, tied for 14th.