American Brandt Snedeker avoided disaster on the back nine and ran away with the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club Sunday outside of Toronto. Snedeker closed with two-under-par 70 to post 272, 16-under for his sixth victory on TOUR and second of this season. Americans William McGirt, Dustin Johnson, Jason Bohn and Matt Kuchar were three shots adrift in second place. Three more Americans shared sixth place one further shot back.
After heading into the weekend at five-under par Snedeker found himself eight shots off 36-hole leader Hunter Mahan as he teed off on Saturday. By the end of the day, Mahan had WD to head home to Dallas to be with his wife who had entered labor early and Snedeker had fired 63 to take the lead outright at 14-under. Sunday began solidly as he went out in one-under 34 to maintain his lead. He opened the back nine with a birdie on No. 10 to stretch his lead to 16-under. On No. 12, the par three, Snedeker flirted with OB but found his ball and made a solid bogey to minimize the damage. After Dustin Johnson, who tied the lead after a birdie on No. 16, made triple on No. 17 to see his chance to put pressure on Snedeker fly out the window. Snedeker righted the ship, added a final birdie at No. 16 and stayed out of trouble to win by three.
Snedeker, the choice of ALL of us in the preview column, did exactly what a RBC endorser should do: win the tournament! He joins RBC “teammate” Graeme McDowell in sweeping the RBC TOUR events on the season. 2013 has been an affirmation of what we saw in Snedeker between injuries last year. He showed that he would return, and produce, when healthy and this year has been more of the same. He adds this victory to his win at AT&T Pebble Beach, his seconds at Farmers and Waste Management and his third-place finish at the HTOC. He has been T11 or better at the three majors this season and will be one of the favorites in two weeks at Oak Hill for the PGA Championship. Weekly and season-long gamers have absolutely nothing to complain about this year and with the way he’s playing there is no reason to believe there isn’t more to come. Snedeker (five) now only trails Tiger Woods (seven) for the most victories on TOUR since 2011. All righty then!
With this victory, Snedeker collects $1,008,000 and 500 FEDEXCup points.
Déjà vu All Over Again?
Stretching back to 1994, Americans have won 15 of 19 RBC Canadian Opens. Only Nick Price (1994), Vijay Singh (2004), Nathan Green (2009) and Carl Pettersson (2010) have won this for the rest of the world
There have been 31 tournaments this season and the USA has won 26 of them.
There have been 11 first-time winners and now four multiple winners as Snedeker joins Woods, Kuchar and Mickelson on this exclusive list.
Now, 13 of the 54-hole leaders or co-leaders have gone on to win the 29, full-field, stroke-play events on the season as Snedeker converted his third 54-hole lead (or co-lead) in his last four tries into victory.
The winners on TOUR have been Johnson, D (28), Henley (24), Gay (41), Woods FOUR times (37), Mickelson (42) TWICE, Snedeker (32) TWICE, Merrick (30) Kuchar TWICE (34),Thompson, M (27) Brown (29), Streelman (34), Points (36), Laird (30), Scott (32), G-Mac (33), Horschel (26), Ernst (22), Bae (26), Weekley (39) English (23), Rose (32), Duke (44) Haas (31), Blixt (29), Austin (49) and 19-year old Jordan Spieth. The young folks (30 and younger) now have 12 victories; the 30-somethings have racked up 15 victories, and the “old folks” (40 and up) now have FIVE wins. Jim Furyk gave the old folks a charge this week as he racked up T9. Welcome back, Furyk!
A loo-k at the players who finished in the top 10
William McGirt: His best two finishes on TOUR, T2 each time, have both taken place at the last two RBC Canadian Opens. He should consider changing his passport! McGirt shouldn’t have been on the radar this week because his T2 last year was at another course and his best finish in his last 13 events was T26 last week at Sanderson Farms. He’ll be leading the lobby to the TOUR for having more events played in Canada.
Dustin Johnson: After opening with 75 and learning via Twitter that Paulina Gretzky was in Canada, I regretted endorsing him this week. He proved my fears to be wrong as he went 40 holes without a bogey or worse before his triple on Sunday. His 63 on Saturday was excellent and he proved again he feasts on courses with par fives. He has seven wins on TOUR but he showed again he could be a little wobbly with the driver down the stretch as his OB tee shot on No. 17 was 60 yards right of the center of the fairway. Even though his driver bounced around this week, he still finished T5 in GIR and that’s why he’s in contention more times than not.
Matt Kuchar: His two-win season now includes two seconds as also showed no hangover from a tough Open Championship last week in Scotland. Kuchar, like Johnson and Snedeker, made his move on Saturday as well with a bogey-free 64 that took him from four-under to two shots off Snedeker’s lead. He couldn’t replicate the birdies he made on Saturday but he proved, again, to gamers why he needs to be in your lineup if he’s in the field. In his last six tournaments he’s finished T2, T15, T28, WIN and second stretching back to Colonial.
Jason Bohn: After MC in three events in a row in early spring, Bohn has bounced back to make the weekend in eight of his last 11. He backed up his season-best T9 last week at SFC with his best finish, T2, since he was second alone last year at SFC. I guess he’s a July player like William McGirt! After racking up 22 birdies last week Bohn still had more bullets in the gun as he posted 21 more this week. His formula for success was hitting a ton of greens (T3, GIR) and holing putts when he did so (T6 putts per GIR). He’s flying and he’s now into the top 100 (No. 93) in the FEDEXCup Playoff standings. He’ll be one of my favorites next week at Reno-Tahoe.
Roberto Castro: Welcome back, Roberto! Castro has now posted his second top-six finish in four weeks as his T6 joins his second-place finish at AT&T in early July. His 22 birdies were second best on the week and were the result of finishing third in fairways hit. Even though he made nine bogeys on Thursday and Friday, Castro only made three on the weekend leading to a solid 67-70 finish to rack up his second top 10 of the season. The question for Castro has been backing up his success. He followed his second with MC and T68 so this will be another step in the young player’s development.
John Merrick: After winning at the NTO in mid-February, Merrick had posted only one top 25 in his next 13 starts, thus driving gamers crazy. In his 14th event following his win his ball-striking returned as he finished the week T5 GIR and T10 in driving accuracy. Gamers beware as he only posted one round in the 60s this week but it was a doozy, 62 on Friday. His other rounds were 71-72-71 so digest that before you jump. He made eight birdies on Friday and nine in the other three rounds. Just sayin’!
Mark Wilson: He hits the top 10 for the third time in 16 events in 2013 and two of these were at RBC events (Heritage and Canadian). In between these finishes he missed the weekend four times in six chances but he likes Glen Abbey. In 2008 he was T22 (-7) and the following year he was T24 (-10). This year’s T6 saw him hit -12 so he’s trending up. He is also lobbying the TOUR to have the RBC Canadian Open annually at Glen Abbey. His key to success this week was hitting fairways (second) and pinging GIR (T13), his usual formula if he’s in the top 10.
Aaron Baddeley: It’s almost unbelievable to type this but Baddeley, who most recently was taking up occupancy in the “Pack Lightly” segment of the preview columns, missed 10 straight weekends heading into this week. Maybe all that was needed was a change of COUNTRY! In those 10 misses, 20 rounds, he played four of them in the 60s. He played three of his four rounds THIS WEEK in the 60s (68-68-73-68) on his way to T9 and his best finish since his T6 in San Diego in the last week of JANUARY. He’s now out of the “Pack Lightly” segment and I’ll take a look at him at Reno-Tahoe to see how he fits that Nicklaus course. This week, he was T70 in driving accuracy and T71 in GIR. Wanna guess what he finished in strokes gained-putting? Yep, No. 1. #stability
Jim Furyk: After finishing T9 Furyk returns to the wrap-up column for the first time since his T3 at Valero in the first week of April. He didn’t inspire any confidence as he opened with two birdies and two bogeys for 72 but he only made three bogeys the rest of the week to finish 11-under. A steady, if yet unspectacular, week of ball-striking and putting put him back in the top 14 at Glen Abbey for the third consecutive time. He won here in 2008 and was T14 in 2009. He is currently signing the petition that Mark Wilson has drafted to keep this event at Glen Abbey FOREVER!
Patrick Reed: After making only two bogeys in his first 54 holes, Reed sat just four shots out of the lead heading into Sunday. After five bogeys and six birdies on Sunday, he still found himself in T9, his third top 10 in six events. He now has posted back-to-back top 10s for the first time in his career. His flat stick carried the load as he finished third in strokes gained-putting and was first again in “best-looking caddy”…
“Hey, what ever happened to…”
I take a look back at what happened to the chalk
Hunter Mahan: He was 13-under and cruising along into the weekend when he received a phone call from his wife on the practice range Saturday late morning. She was heading into labor three weeks early and Mahan was heading home immediately! He’s made over 24 million in 10 years on TOUR but you only have your first-born once! Sorry gamers, (sh)it happens!
Charl Schwartzel: He made the cut on the number and tried to force himself back into things early Saturday with 66 but he ran out of gas. He rattled off six birdies in seven holes before a bogey on the next hole sapped his momentum for Sunday. The good news in his T28 finish was his putter was ice cold. He’s a great putter so I’ll chalk this up to unlucky as well. He’ll be rolling them in next week, no problem.
Daniel Summerhays: We discussed him in the chat in detail on Wednesday and it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that “it” finally caught up with him. Over the last two weeks he was 38-under and that train eventually runs out of gas and this was the week. You couldn’t ignore his current form but after being punched in the gut in consecutive weeks, Summerhays proved he is human by missing the weekend by a shot. I’m guessing he’s off for a break after the streak of T9, T4 and P2 leading into this week.
Matt Jones: Mystery WD as he didn’t show up for his tee time on Thursday. Stay tuned to Rotoworld.com if there is any more information as to why down the road. It was no fun playing the GolfChannel.com Fantasy game with only three players. Snedeker softened the blow, though.
Billy Horschel: After sitting four-under through Friday, I thought Horschel would have a Snedeker-Johnson-Kuchar type of Saturday but the tank was out of gas. His 72-77 weekend never saw him mount a charge. These young guys don’t care and will bounce back so I’m not worried in the least bit about Horschel.
Morgan Hoffmann: After four events with finishes of T9, T8, T23 and T15, Hoffmann continued his streak of playing weekends but never got it going low enough to contend as he finished T52. He played all four rounds 70 or worse but, like most youngsters, are just seeing these courses in tournament shape for the first time in their careers. The future is bright for this one.
Hideki Matsuyama: His T16 finish is nothing to scoff at as it backs up his T6 at The Open and his T10 at the U.S. Open. He was T7 off the tee in accuracy and 16th in strokes gained putting so that tells me his iron game was lacking this week. He’s 21. He’s really good, as evidenced by the numbers above, and will continue to turn heads, some faster than others…
Graham DeLaet: The highest-ranked Canadian in the field, DeLaet couldn’t make enough birdies coming down the stretch on Friday to have a shot to become Canada’s first winner since 1954 on the weekend. This was his first MC in 10 events dating back to RBC Heritage after the Masters. He obviously hates the RBC…IT’S A JOKE, PEOPLE! He loves EVERYTHING Canadian!
Chris Kirk: My cheeky pick for OAD this week was right in the hunt of it this week before fading to T21. He turned at 10-under on Sunday with scoring holes in front of him but double at No. 17 for the second time this week saw him chalk up 39 of them on the back. See, you all listen to Bolton and now you know why!!!
Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at NOON ET at Rotoworld.com. We will be breaking down the field at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the Reno-Tahoe Open while answering all your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter. Don’t forget that you can follow Rob (http://twitter.com/RobBoltonGolf) and Glass (http://twitter.com/GlassWGCL) on Twitter!