In an interview a few years back, Jhonattan Vegas shared his fondness for the biggest city in Canada. “I just love Toronto,” he gushed.
Last year he fortified that admiration with a victory at the RBC Canadian Open in the Greater Toronto Area. On Sunday, he cemented it for good as he became the first back-to-back Champion of the event since Jim Furyk pulled off the feat a decade ago.
Vegas turned the trick after posting a score of -21 at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, closing with a 65 on Sunday that could have been one better had he not left his birdie putt just inches short on the 72nd hole.
That left the door open for overnight leader Charley Hoffman, who sat at -20 with just the final hole to play, giving him the chance to win with an eagle or force a playoff with a birdie.
Under the watchful eye of an enthusiastic crowd, Hoffman managed to reach the green at the par-five final hole but missed his eagle putt. A tap-in birdie sent the pair back to the tee.
On the return trip only Vegas could manage a score of four, giving the 32 year-old the title for the second straight year.
“It’s incredible. Obviously it’s a lot of fun, winning, especially to repeat in Canada. It’s doesn’t get even better,” Vegas shared immediately after securing his third PGA TOUR victory. “I’ve been coming off a really long stretch of five missed cuts, not playing great golf. I did a little change with my Mizuno irons this week and it was magic, to be honest. It’s always fun winning, especially in (front of) a crowd like this.”
Despite his poor recent form Vegas says it did not affect him too much, paying off with a win.
“I’m the type of person that never gets down on myself. I’m always fighting hard. I’m always staying positive. As long as I stay in that frame of mind, I feel like things are going to go the right way.”
For the win Vegas earned (USD) $1,080,000.
Hughes Is Low Canadian
Just two Canadians made the 36-hole cut and Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ontario managed to be the better of the two at the end of the week thanks, in part, to a final round 68.
For that accomplishment he earned the Rivermead Trophy as the Canadian with the lowest total score.
While the week did not fully live up to Hughes’ expectations, his -10 total (67-69-74-68) gave him a share of 32nd place.
He summed up the week.
“A lot of fun. I think that’s the best way to describe it. It was great here in my local fan club, hearing them screaming and hollering whenever I made putts. Unfortunately I didn’t make enough this week but I’m grateful for all of them being here and look forward to being back next year.”
Graham DeLaet (68-68-73-71) tied for 48th.