Vegas defends his title at RBC Canadian Open
OAKVILLE, Ontario – News and observations from the final round of the RBC Canadian Open where Jhonattan Vegas won his second-straight title north of the border in a playoff over Charley Hoffman. Vegas became the sixth golfer to defend at the Canadian Open, and the first since Jim Furyk in 2006-2007. Vegas credits family A year ago, Jhonattan Vegas was on FaceTime with his family back home in Venezuela, celebrating his win as best he could. This year, he got the real thing, as wife Hildegard and daughter Sharlene Marie were on site at Glen Abbey. “I would say it has to be the sweetest victory out of the three. Just having my family here, even my mom and dad… they were with me my first time I won. But having my wife and daughter, and especially my daughter, being with my daughter for the first win. It's hard to compare that. It's hard to put it in words,” said Vegas. “It's just really fun, watching them really enjoy it in person and seeing how nervous they are when I'm on the course playing. Every time you get a chance to share these moments with your family, it's just really grateful.” With his win, Vegas nearly locks up a spot on the International Team for this year’s Presidents Cup team, a feat he said would be ‘awesome.’ “It's always a lifetime dream to be part of some of those great teams. I mean, not that many guys can experience what being on a Presidents Cup,” said Vegas. By his own admission, Vegas said he was in ‘great form’ heading to the PGA Championship in two weeks, stating he feels like he can compete on a major stage. “Obviously I’ve never put myself on a major stage to win, but I feel like my game is good enough,” he said. With the future of Glen Abbey uncertain, Vegas said he would be one of the biggest voices to make sure the course stays put. “Especially if I keep winning here,” said Vegas, laughing. “I'll definitely make a statement on trying to keep Glen Abbey going.” Hughes finishes as Low Canadian For the first time in his career, Mackenzie Hughes won the Rivermead Cup as the Low Canadian at the RBC Canadian Open. Hughes, from nearby Dundas, Ont. (about 20 miles from Glen Abbey), had a robust crowd out following him all week. Although he finished with a bogey on the par-5 18th Sunday, the week overall was positive, he explained. “Obviously yesterday was a disappointing finish. But I wanted to come out here and finish strong and show some pride and try and be low Canadian,” said Hughes. “Last hole was a bit sour tasting and I'm probably going to think about that one for a little while. I had my sights set on three and I made six. That's a pretty tough pill to swallow, but lesson learned… don't get ahead of yourself. Overall it was a fun day and a really fun week.” Hughes finished at 10-under par and tied 32nd. He went to Kent State University in Ohio, and played Firestone Country Club – the host of next week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – a couple of times while there. “It’s a really nice golf course, demanding, and you have to drive the ball really well there,” he said, as he prepares to make his debut at that event. “I'm excited for a major-type venue, and hopefully it's a nice week.” And while it was a whirlwind week for Hughes – his family and friends hosted a baby shower Sunday evening for him and wife Jenna, as they are expecting their first child on October 28th, and the par-3 course he grew up playing was renamed in his honor Tuesday – he admitted he managed to make time to speak with Presidents Cup assistant captain Mike Weir about the prospect of making that team. “Obviously I know I'm a ways out from making that team, but you know, if I go out and win Firestone, then I'm obviously in contention to get on that team. (Weir) will be out there and hopefully I can put some good form together and a few good rounds and just see where that puts me. I'm not going to put any more pressure on myself to try and win. If I go out there and play the way I did today, I'll like my chances,” said Hughes. “There will be more Presidents Cups in the future, but you never know what might happen.” Graham DeLaet fired a 1-under-par 71 Sunday to finish at 8-under. He was tied for 48th. Johnson confident into final major Dustin Johnson admitted Sunday he wasn’t satisfied with his score, but his tie for eighth gives him some positive vibes as he heads to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational next week, where he defends, and the PGA Championship the week after. “I've really got a lot of positive things going into the next couple weeks. Got two big weeks ahead of me next week defending at the WGC, and obviously the PGA Championship. The game is in good form,” said Johnson. The World No.1 made no bogeys Sunday and shot a 5-under-par 67. But, he said he left a lot of birdies out there. “I hit it a lot better than my score,” said Johnson. “I just hit a lot of good putts that just didn't go in the hole. But I really feel like the game is in good form. I feel like I played well every day here. Just didn't hole enough putts.” Johnson flew home to Florida Sunday evening where he’ll have some family time before coming back up to Akron, Ohio for his title defense. With a big smile he said he was excited to see his kids. He also said he feels ‘comfortable’ over the golf ball right now, and is eager to tee-it-up for the next two events. “I’m hitting my irons good and hitting good wedge shots. I’m really looking forward to the next two weeks,” he said. Hoffman looking ahead Although it wasn’t the result Charley Hoffman was looking for Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open, falling short in a playoff against Jhonattan Vegas, his fifth top-5 finish of the year will help push him forward with good momentum moving into the FedExCup Playoffs, the PGA Championship, and of course the Presidents Cup. “The whole progress of going forward, and I'm doing that, playing well, and obviously you always want to finish these ones off. It's going to be a little bittersweet but I'm happy with the way I played,” said Hoffman. “Obviously good momentum. Got a major championship and the FedExCup coming up, and looking forward to that and hopefully I can keep it going.” Hoffman admitted he hit a poor tee shot on the playoff hole, and that was ultimately his demise. Although Vegas also found a fairway bunker, Vegas had a line to the green, unlike Hoffman. “Just hit really probably the worst drive of the week for me down there and Jhonny caught a break by having a shot at the green. Hats off to him the way he played,” said Hoffman. “I played great. Just didn't get the putts to the hole, which is probably going to be what I'm probably going to lose a little sleep over.” Hoffman is projected to move to 12th in the FedExCup standings, a career-high. Hagy makes big FedExCup jump Brandon Hagy made his professional debut in Canada at the Nova Scotia Open on the Web.com Tour in 2014, and things came full circle Sunday at Glen Abbey, with Hagy notching his best-ever TOUR finish north of the border. Hagy fired a 4-under-par 68 Sunday to move into a tie for fifth. Starting the week he was 129th on the FedExCup standings, but he’s projected to move to 108th, and the result, he said, will do wonders for his confidence moving forward. “It feels really good. I've worked really hard for this. I've played some good golf. I think some of my finishes haven't shown how I've been playing. It's kind of the rub of the green,” Hagy explained. “It's tough out here. It's all the best players in the world, but I knew I just had to keep staying the course… It feels pretty good.” Hagy said the key to his round was staying mentally focused on the task-at-hand, something he’s been trying to improve on. “I'm really proud of how I played. It's nice to make that eagle on the second hole and kind of get it going. Made some good putts. Chipped in once. I'm just really happy with how I kept my composure out there and tried to stay as neutral as possible,” he said. “I've been working on that a lot this last year, too, so it definitely played off.” Robert Garrigus, who tied Glen Abbey’s course record with a 10-under-par 62 on Saturday fired a 3-under-par 69 on Sunday and finished tied with Hagy and Tony Finau for fifth. Garrigus, too, moved into the Top 125 on the FedExCup, from 131st on the 109th.
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