2017 RBC CANADIAN OPEN REPORT An Inside Fitness Online Exclusive By Tim Rigby
It came down to a thrilling playoff, but Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela successfully defended his RBC Canadian Open championship on Sunday, July 30 at Glen Abbey in Oakville. Vegas was tied with American Charley Hoffman after four rounds of play, each firing a blistering 21-under par, one ahead of Englishman Ian Poulter (who was making his debut at the RBC Canadian Open). The sudden death playoff required only one hole, as Vegas and Hoffman returned to the tee on the 18th hole, a par 5. Vegas would make birdie, while Hoffman made par. The victory was Vegas’ third on the PGA Tour, and he was the first competitor to repeat as champion since Jim Furyk’s back-to-back wins 2006-2007. With his victory, Vegas took home $1,080,000 of the tournament’s $6,000,000 total purse. Other top 5 finishers included Americans Gary Woodland (19-under, 4th place) and Tony Finau, Robert Garrigus and Brandon Hagy who each shot 18-under and tied for 5th. The number one ranked golfer in the world, American Dustin Johnson, was one shot further back at 17-under in 8th place. Rising Canadian Star The top Canadian finisher was Dundas, Ontario’s Mackenzie Hughes, one of Canada’s quickly ascending stars on the PGA Tour. The 26-year old is known for being a fitness and health buff, and his athleticism has clearly played a role in his blossoming success. Hughes finished the 2017 RBC Canadian Open at a very respectable 10-under par that gave him a share of 32nd place. Hughes is one of the new breed of young upcoming Canadian golfers following in the footsteps of Graham De Laet, David Hearn and Adam Hadwin. In 2011 and 2012, Hughes won the Canadian Amateur Championship. The product of Kent State University has one PGA Tour victory under his belt, which he won in November, 2016 at the RSM Classic. Of great significance is that Hughes was the first rookie to lead a PGA event from wire-to-wire in 20 years, since Tim Herron won at the 2016 Honda Classic. Hughes is continuing to seek his first Cut Made at major championships, but at the rate his game is improving, it would not be unrealistic to think it will occur in 2018. The RBC Canadian Open will be returning to Glen Abbey in 2018, which will mark the 30th time the event has been played at the fabled Jack Nicklaus designed course. In 2019 and beyond, the tournament will likely venture to a new location. The current sponsorship agreement between the Canadian Open and RBC runs until 2023.