Jhonattan Vegas rallied past the field and shocked everyone to defend his title at the RBC Canadian Open Sunday, defeating Charley Hoffman with a birdie on the first playoff hole.
It was truly a game of inches for the pair, who both finished at 21-under. Vegas bounced a shot off the bunker and onto the green on playoff hole to set up an easy birdie. Meanwhile, Hoffman missed a tournament-winning eagle by about one inch in regulation, then missed a similar shot on the extra hole that would have sent it to a second playoff hole.
“When I heard the clip, because obviously I didn’t see it, I knew that it was probably going to go in the water, because I didn’t know exactly how hard it hit it,” Vegas said. “But then when I saw the ball in the air, it was still going really hard and forward.”
It was a powerful weekend for Vegas, whose native Venezuela is in turmoil as citizens refused to vote in an election that would give the socialist president Nicolas Maduro’s party being given unlimited powers.
Vegas shot a 65 to catch Hoffman, who fired a 68.
“I gave myself a chance, except I putted horribly today and left everything short,” Hoffman said. “Jhonny played great today. All credit to him.”
Vegas won his third PGA title. He is the sixth player to win the RBC Canadian Open two years i a row and the first to do so since Jim Furyk in 2006-2007.
Ian Poulter, who continues to play strongly this year, shot a 64 to miss the playoff by a single stroke.
“The best thing I did today was start holing a few putts,” Poulter said. “I played good golf today. I gave myself a lot of chances. I’m going to rue a couple of chances out there on the golf course — 13, 16 — where I felt I had opportunities to add to my under-par tally.”
No. 1 Dustin Johnson finished at 17-under, four strokes off the lead.