Ve­gas wins in play­off for sec­ond straight Open ti­tle

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JOHN CHIDLEY-HILL OAKVILLE —

, Ont. This year, there were no video calls to be made when Jhonat­tan Ve­gas won the RBC Cana­dian Open golf tour­na­ment. He’d brought his wife and daugh­ter with him so they could see him win the PGA Tour event — again — in per­son.

Ve­gas made birdie on the 524yard par-5 No. 18 to win a play­off with Charley Hoff­man on Sun­day and cap­ture back-to-back Cana­dian Opens. As soon as he’d shook hands with Hoff­man, hugged his caddy and waved to the crowd, Ve­gas bee­lined for his wife Hilde­gard and hugged and kissed her be­tween the bunkers that sit be­hind the green.

“It’s hard to put it in words,” said Ve­gas. “But it’s just re­ally fun, watch­ing them re­ally en­joy it in per­son and see­ing how ner­vous they are when I’m on the course play­ing. Every time you get a chance to share th­ese mo­ments with your fam­ily, it’s just re­ally im­por­tant.”

Ve­gas was in Canada alone when he won last year — even his caddy couldn’t make it be­cause of visa is­sues — so he spent his en­tire news con­fer­ence on his phone.

The Venezue­lan shot a 7-un­der 65 in the fourth round to fin­ish the tour­na­ment at 21 un­der. Hoff­man, who en­tered Sun­day atop the leader­board with a one-stroke lead, had a 68 to force the play­off.

Ve­gas could have sealed his win in reg­u­la­tion and pre­vent a play­off at Glen Abbey Golf Club, but came up four inches short on his birdie putt.

“I had to sit down pretty much in the same chair, same TV and just wait to see what was go­ing to hap­pen,” said Ve­gas.

“I was feel­ing a lit­tle bit an­gry with my­self that I didn’t birdie 18 in reg­u­la­tion.”

Jhonat­tan Ve­gas

Macken­zie Hughes

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