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Vegas defends crown at Canadian Open


OAKVILLE, Ont.—This year there were no video calls to be made when Jhonattan Vegas won the RBC Canadian Open.

He had 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 524-yard par-five No. 18 to win a playoff with Charley Hoffman yesterday and capture back-to-back Canadian Opens.

As soon as he had shaken 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 FaceTiming his family.

The Venezuelan closed with a seven-under 65 yesterday to finish the tournament at 21-under.

Hoffman, who entered the day 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.

That opened the door for Hoffman, who was in the day's final group—three pairings back.

While he waited for Hoffman to make his way through Nos. 17 and 18, Vegas retreated to the clubhouse to watch on TV with a PGA Tour official.

It was the same position he was in last year watching the final pairings complete their rounds.

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

Mackenzie Hughes (68) of Dundas, Ont. was the low Canadian at 10-under and in a tie for 32nd.

Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask. fired a 71 yesterday to finish at eight-under.

Glen Abbey, which has hosted the event 27 times, is slated to host the 2018 Canadian Open.

After that, though, the course's status is in doubt as it may be redeveloped as a subdivision.

“I'm going to be one of the biggest voices to keep this course open, especially if I keep winning here,” said Vegas with a laugh.

“I'll definitely make a statement on trying to keep Glen Abbey going.”

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