American Brandt Snedeker pumps his fist after sinking a birdie that put him three shots up on the field Sunday during the final round of the PGA Tour’s RBC Canadian Open in Ontario.
ONTARIO, Canada — American Brandt Snedeker took advantage of a Dustin Johnson meltdown to claim a three-shot victory at the Canadian Open on Sunday.
Snedeker, who began the final round with a wafer-thin one-shot cushion atop the leaderboard, could not be nudged from his perch all day, carding a 2-under 70 to collect his sixth career PGA Tour win and second of the season.
“This is a tournament I said early on in my career I wanted to win just because my caddie (Scott Vail) is actually from Canada and it’s his national open,” Snedeker said.
Snedeker than added: “Third-oldest tournament on Tour and it’s got some great history to it and now to put my name on that trophy, it means a lot.”
While the margin of victory appeared comfortable, Snedeker’s three-shot win over second-place finishers Johnson (70), world No. 6 Matt Kuchar (71), William McGirt (68) and Jason Bohn (71) was not without considerable suspense.
Level with Johnson with three holes to play, Snedeker was suddenly gifted breathing room when Johnson botched the par four 17th, carding a triple-bogey seven to leave the FedExCup champion two clear of his nearest challenger.
After driving his tee shot out of bounds, Johnson was soon in more trouble finding the bunker, where he smacked his next shot into the lip and the ball rolled back to a stop at his feet.
“Not too happy, but I felt really good with my golf game,” said Johnson, who had a string of 15 holes without a bogey before 17. “I’m looking forward to the next several weeks. Other than the one drive I hit on 17, I’m actually driving it really well. That is one thing I have been struggling with is the driver.
“It’s nothing to worry about. I’ll go get them next weekend.”
Unaware of Johnson’s collapse, Snedeker birdied the 16th and coolly sealed the victory by parring his final two holes for a winning total of 16-under 272.
After a week of near-ideal conditions that produced record-tying scores, the Glen Abbey Golf Club showed its teeth in a testing final round as gusty winds whipped across the Jack Nicklaus designed layout.
“After the first hole I realized it (was more difficult),” said Snedeker. “The wind was blowing very hard.”
Hunter Mahan, who turned his back on a potential million-dollar pay day by walking away from a two-shot lead Saturday to rush home when his wife went into labor, made it back to Dallas in time for the birth of his first child.
Mahan, who made the trip in a private jet, tweeted Sunday: “What a whirlwind of a day, but I’m happy to announce the birth of my daughter Zoe Olivia Mahan born at 3:26 am. Thanks for all the support!”
A smiling Snedeker said later that he would be using some of his $1 million winner’s purse to buy Mahan’s new born daughter a nice present for her perfect timing.
“Zoe will be getting a very nice baby gift from me,” he said with a smile. “I can’t thank Kandi enough for going into labor early, otherwise I don’t know if I’d be sitting here.”
NOTES: The search for the first Canadian winner of the national championship since 1954 will continue another year after the home grown contingent fell flat. David Hearn recorded the best result by firing a final round 73 to finish in a tie for 44th.
SENIOR BRITISH TO FINISH TODAY:
The battle between Bernhard Langer and Mark Wiebe for the Senior British Open Championship will go into a fifth day after bad light brought an end to play following the second playoff hole at Royal Birkdale on Sunday.
The pair were locked at nine-under par after 72 holes after German Langer blew a two-shot lead on the final hole with a double bogey to send the championship into a playoff.
Play had earlier been held up twice due to rain and the threat of thunder and lightning.
Langer, who won the tournament in 2010 at Carnoustie, held a three-shot lead heading into the final day, and looked to have secured the title with another solid round.
American Wiebe, who shared the lead with Langer after the second day, hit a four-under-par 66 on the final round which was good enough for outright second until Langer’s meltdown on the 18th.
The pair played two extra holes in near darkness before the decision was made around 2045 GMT to come back on Monday morning to resume the playoff.
America’s Corey Pavin, Peter Senior of Australia and South Africa’s David Frost were tied for third at six-under par.