Jhonattan Vegas has defeated Charley Hoffman with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden death playoff, to successfully defend his Canadian Open title.
The 32-year-old Venezuelan found a fairway bunker from the tee on the par-5 18th but managed to get his second shot onto the edge of the green despite his ball clipping the lip of the bunker on the way through. Vegas chipped down to a foot to set up his birdie, while Hoffman’s birdie try from the back bunker burned the edge of the cup.
"When I heard the clip, because obviously I didn't see it, I knew that it was probably going to go in the water, because I didn't know exactly how hard I hit it," Vegas said of his second shot. "But then when I saw the ball in the air, it was still going really hard and forward.
"It's been a special day. I just came out with an aggressive mentality, just feeling really good about my game.''
Earlier, Vegas closed with seven under 65 to set the clubhouse mark at 21 under 267 and was later joined by Hoffman, the 54-hole leader, when he birdied the last hole of the Glen Abbey course for a 68.
"I gave myself a chance, except I putted horribly and left everything short," Hoffman said. "Jhonny played great. All credit to him."
Vegas’ second successive Canadian Open victory comes on the back of some poor recent form, with seven missed cuts in his past eight events dating back to the end of April.
Australia’s big chance heading into the final round was Victorian teenager Ryan Ruffels.
The 19-year-old was in a tie for fifth after 54 holes but he began poorly with bogies at the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th holes to be out in 39 and free-falling away from the leaders.
His back nine didn’t start much better with two double bogies, at the 11th and 14th holes, being thrown in with a bogey to see him reach the 15th tee eight over for the round. But to Ruffels’ credit he didn’t throw the towel in, finishing eagle-birdie-birdie to card a 76 and rebound back into a tie for 32nd place at 10 under.