Jhonattan Vegas defends Canadian Open title with play-off victory
Last Updated: 31/07/17 9:49am
Jhonattan Vegas successfully defended his Canadian Open title on Sunday by beating Charley Hoffman with a birdie on the first hole of a play-off.
Venezuelan Vegas, who missed the cut in his last five PGA Tour starts, tapped in for birdie at the first play-off hole - the par-five 18th - moments before overnight leader Hoffman failed to hole out from a greenside bunker.
Vegas, who started the round three shots off the lead held by Hoffman, closed with a 7-under 65 to match Hoffman at 21-under-par at Glen Abbey to take the tournament into a play-off after he had powered up the leaderboard with six birdies in his first 11 holes.
"It's been a special day," Vegas said after sealing victory. "I knew that I had to shoot a good round today to have a chance to win again. I just came out with an aggressive mentality, just feeling really good about my game.
"When I started making a few birdies, especially the putt for birdie on 7, I started feeling the same chills that I felt last year when I won, and I just knew that something good could happen if I kept that going."
Vegas' closest challenger was Hoffman and the American was on the green in two at 18 in regulation, needing an eagle to win, however, he finished with a birdie that capped a 68 and forced the play-off.
"I gave myself a chance, except I putted horribly today and left everything short," Hoffman said. "Jhonny played great today. All credit to him.
"It's always tough after you don't close the deal after having the lead. Seventeen, I hit a great putt. Actually thought I made it. That green was a little burned out. Thought I made that putt on 17. Eighteen, I hit a good putt. Sixteen, is the one I want back, right in the jaw strip. Didn't get there."
Ian Poulter was a stroke back in third position after a fine eight-under 64, the best round of the day.
"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."