photo credit the PGA
The 109th RBC Canadian Open begins Thursday at Oakville, Ontario’s Glen Abbey Golf Course. The tournament is the national championship of Canada and the third oldest tournament on the PGA Tour after the US Open and British Open. A strong field this year will attempt to stop 2016 and 2017 champion Jhonattan Vegas from becoming the first three-time consecutive Canadian Open champion.
Champion Jhonattan Vegas
photo courtesy Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Jhonattan Vegas is Venezuelan golfer who has been playing on the PGA Tour since 2011. Vegas acclimatized to American golf by playing for the University of Texas before turning professional in 2008. Success on the developmental Web.com Tour earned Vegas PGA Tour status, and Vegas looked to be a rising star when he won the 2011 Bob Hope Classic in only his second tournament as a PGA Tour member. However, his next win would wait until the 2016 RBC Canadian where Vegas defeated Jon Rahm, Martin Laird and Dustin Johnson by one stroke. Vegas repeated his win last year in dramatic fashion.
Vegas had battled back to lead Charley Hoffman by one heading into the 18th hole. However, an errant shot forced Vegas to settle for par and allow Hoffman the opportunity to tie with a birdie. In fact, Hoffman nearly won the championship outright with an eagle attempt but had to settle for a playoff. Vegas then rode his luck when his drive clipped the lip of a fairway bunker but maintained enough momentum to roll safely towards the green and an eventual birdie and for his second Canadian Open.
Jhonattan Vegas will be just the third man on the PGA Tour to claim 3 consecutive wins at the same tournament if he comes out on top this weekend. Standing in his way are US Open champion Brooks Koepka and world number 1 ranked golfer Dustin Johnson. Johnson was a runner up in 2016 and will look to build on his already strong season, despite his hiccup at the British Open. Other favorites include an energized Tommy Fleetwood coming of a solid British Open last week while Canadians will hope that one of their own can win the tournament for the first time since 1954. With only 16 Canadians in the field, the country’s best hope likely lies with Nick Taylor, Adam Hadwin or Mac Hughes pulling off an upset at Glen Abbey.