Saturday, July 21, 2018

Jhonattan Vegas rallies to win Canadian Open

OAKVILLE, Ontario — Jhonattan Vegas birdied his way off Glen Abbey and waited to see if anyone would catch him. No one did.

Vegas rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday for his second PGA Tour title, birdieing the final three holes for 8-under 64 and a one-stroke victory.

The Venezuelan Olympic player began the day five strokes behind leader Brandt Snedeker and four behind U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson and Canadian amateur Jared du Toit. Last week in Alabama in the event opposite the British Open, Vegas, shot a course-record 61 in the second round and tied for fourth.

"That's the fortunate breaks that sometimes you need to be a champion on the PGA Tour," Vegas said. "It's a great feeling. I mean, last week, I had a six-shot lead going into the weekend and lost by three. I was five back starting (Sunday) and won by one. It's a crazy sport. You've just got to keep your head down and play hard."

Vegas had five straight birdies on Nos. 2-6, bogeyed the par-4 eighth and also birdied the par-5 13th.

"Starting the round, I knew that if I could get to 12 under, literally that's the number I had in my mind," Vegas said. "I didn't know that it was going to be enough, obviously, to win by one, but I knew it was going to give me a good chance."

He birdied the par-5 16th, par-4 17th and par-5 18th to post at 12-under 276.

"I think there were a bunch of guys around 11 or 10," Vegas said. "We had, I think, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, a bunch of guys, really close. Great players. I knew, if I got lucky, it was going to be a playoff. Super surprised when I saw that nobody got to 12."

Vegas earned $1,062,000 and a spot in the PGA Championship next week at Baltusrol in New Jersey. He also received a two-year tour exemption and a spot in the Masters next year.

Johnson, Jon Rahm and Martin Laird tied for second.

Johnson eagled the 16th and birdied the 18th for 69. Rahm and Laird both shot 67. Snedeker shot 71 to tie for fifth at 10 under. He birdied the 16th and closed with two pars.

CHAMPIONS: Paul Broadhurst won the Senior British Open in Carnoustie, Scotland, for his first senior major title, closing with 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Scott McCarron. Broadhurst, 50, overcame an opening 75 to become the third English player to win a senior major, joining Mark James and Roger Chapman. Broadhurst, who entered the final round four strokes behind leader Miguel Angel Jimenez, finished at 11-under 277. McCarron bogeyed the par-3 16th and par-4 18th in his 69. Jimenez had 75 to drop into a tie for third with Magnus Atlevi (67) at 8 under.

LPGA: Cristie Kerr held on for a 3-and-2 victory over Melissa Reid to give the United States the International Crown in Gurnee, Ill. Kerr and company were shut out in the first session but got progressively better each day. Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller each closed out wins before Reid missed a birdie putt on 16, handing the decisive victory to Kerr.

AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP: Former pitcher Mark Mulder rallied to successfully defend his title in the American Century Championship celebrity tournament in Stateline, Nev. Mulder birdied seven of his first 13 holes and finished with a 29-point round for 74 points overall and a five-point victory over ex-tennis star Mardy Fish in the modified Stableford event.