Sunday, July 24, 2016

Jhonny Vegas goes low on Sunday to win the Canadian Open


Jhonattan Vegas crapped out last weekend at the Barbasol Championship. He hit the jackpot on Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open.

Vegas went out ahead of the lead pack on Sunday at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario, finishing with three consecutive birdies to shoot 8-under 64 and capture the clubhouse lead. One by one, the players behind him were unable to catch him — until there were none left. Vegas hung on to win by a shot at 12-under 276, finishing just ahead of Dustin Johnson, Martin Laird and rookie pro Jon Rahm.

“We had Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, a bunch of guys, really close,” Vegas said. “Great players. If I got lucky, it was going to be a playoff. Super surprised when nobody got to 12.”

The Venezuelan, who dedicated his win to his struggling home nation, began the day five shots behind 54-hole leader Brandt Snedeker, whose final-round 71 left him tied for fifth place. He teed off 80 minutes ahead of Snedeker and Canadian amateur Jared du Toit, who finished tied for ninth.

With a three-hole closing stretch with two par 5s, Vegas’ challengers had opportunity to catch and maybe pass him.

Dustin Johnson eagled the par-5 16th but couldn’t duplicate the feat on the 18th.

Rahm had a 15-foot eagle putt on No. 18, and he misread it. For Rahm, though he came up short of the win, the Spaniard effectively locked up his PGA Tour card for next season based on the non-member money he’s earned in a mere four starts as a pro. So far, he’s racked up more than $800,000 with a T-3 and a T-2 finish among the four cuts made.

Steve Wheatcroft couldn’t catch a break in the final two holes. On No. 17, his approach buried in the wall of a bunker, leading to a bogey. On No. 18, needing birdie to match Vegas, he bladed his third shot from a bunker into a water hazard to end his chances and leave him tied for fifth place with Alex Cejka, Ricky Barnes and Snedeker.

For the winner, this was a big turnaround from last weekend. Vegas took a six-shot lead to the weekend at the Barbasol Championship on the heels of a second-round 60. He melted down on the weekend to miss a playoff by three shots. The winner there, Aaron Baddeley, ended a five-year winless drought. On Sunday, Vegas had his turn to end a five-year skid.

“I had a six-shot lead going into the weekend and lost by three,” Vegas said. “I was five back starting today and won by one. It’s a crazy sport.”

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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