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Monday, July 25, 2016

The Limerick Summary: 2016 RBC Canadian Open

Winner: Jhonattan Vegas

Around the wider world of golf: After finishing the first day in last place, the USA team stormed back to win the UL International Crown on the LPGA; Paul Broadhurst surprised everyone with his come-from-behind win at the Senior OPEN Championship on the Champions Tour; Ryuko Tokimatsu won the Dunlop SRIXON Fukushima Open Golf Tournament on the Japan Tour; Isabelle Boineau won the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open on the LET; Nicholas Lindheim won the Utah Championship on the Tour; Laura Gonzalez Escallon won the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship on the Symetra Tour; Mark Mulder successfully defended his title at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament; and Sun-Ju Ahn won the Century 21 Ladies on the JLPGA (bangkokbobby has details).

Jhonattan Vegas with RBC Canadian Open trophy

Let's face it, folks -- this isn't the end we expected at the Canadian Open. We figured Dustin Johnson would probably put the hammer down and come out on top. Or maybe Brandt Snedeker would putt like there's no tomorrow and make good on his third round lead. Or maybe John Rahm would get his first PGA Tour victory, since he's been playing so well. Or maybe, just maybe -- a long shot I know, but still possible -- amateur Jared du Toit would play the round of his life and break the decades-old drought of Canadian winners at his national championship.

But we should have suspected something might happen when Geoff Ogilvy posted a 63 to tie the lead before the leaders even teed off. Or perhaps when Ricky Barnes surged to the top of the leaderboard. Or Martin Laird, or Steve Wheatcroft, or Alex Cejka, or... well, you get the picture. Year after year, that final stretch of three holes, with two par-5s and the potential for two eagles, makes predicting the outcome almost impossible.

And yet, while there was no way that anyone watching would fall asleep, the fact remains that after Jhonattan Vegas posted a 64 a full hour before the leaders hit the home stretch -- and did it in style by posting three straight birdies to finish his round -- no one else could get the job done. Player after player reached the 16th with his 12-under score within reach, only to find the task undoable:
  • Rahm went -2 on the final stretch but started the day too far back.
  • DJ went -3... but that was his score for the whole round.
  • Laird and Sneds went -1 but it was too little, too late.
  • And du Toit never factored after a slow start to his round.
And Vegas wasn't really a surprise. He shot a 60 last Friday at the Barbasol but an even par weekend kept him from the win. He talked Saturday about the problems of learning to trust his swing after a rash of injuries... and the joys of having a new 4-month-old son and qualifying for the Olympics.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming.

But whether we saw it or not, it's here. And so is Jhonattan's first Limerick Summary in around five years.
A charge with a strong 64
Gave Jhonny a 12-under score.
He was chillin’ in first
While the leaders seemed cursed—
But the finish let nobody snore!
The photo came from this page at the Albany Herald website.

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