Golf is a fickle game, in a sense that it can be anyone’s good or bad day because of one mechanical miscue. Jhonattan Vegas proved to be the beneficiary of a lot of bad days on the road to his Trophy at the RBC Canadian Open.
Jon Rahm stood over a putt with a chance of eagle on the 18th green but pulled the ball a little left, relinquishing his grasp on any chance at winning. Steve Wheatcroft landed his second shot in a greenside bunker with a good chance to make birdie if the stars aligned in his name. The stars didn’t seem ready to come out for the night as Wheatcroft’s sand wedge ricocheted off the rock hard sand causing him to skull the ball over the green, and into the water.
Golf is hard (and heartbreaking).
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 24, 2016
Dustin Johnson was even in the mix with this one. Johnson was at even par on the day as he headed for the last three holes; he needed to be at least four-under to tie Vegas, and with two par-fives coming up, Johnson did what he does best, crush the ball. Johnson made eagle on the 16th, but a par-save out of the sand on the par-four 17th put the pressure on him at 18, and he would just miss out on the chance to tie Vegas after he landed long in the rough.
Vegas did deserve to win yesterday. After a rocky start to this event, he settled down and played his brand of golf until it came time to shine bright on the big stage. In his final round, Vegas shot five straight birdies on the front nine to put him within reach of the trophy and birdied the final three holes to put him atop the leaderboard, which would prove to hold up against some great golfers.
Canada was within arms reach of crowning a Canuck champion for the first time in 59 years, but amateur Jared du Toit just didn’t have enough gas in the tank to put him in the lead. Nonetheless, du Toit showed the PGA Tour what he’s made of, and like many other young players, I think he’s just getting started.
This coming week, the PGA Championship will get underway at Baltusrol Golf Club. Television coverage of the event starts Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT on TNT, where the reigning champion and number two golfer in the world, Jason Day, will defend his title.