Jhonnattan Vegas came from behind to win back-to-back titles at Glen Abbey in a sudden death playoff.
Jhonattan Vegas is keeping pace in a season of title defenses on the PGA TOUR. Vegas won the RBC Canadian Open over Charley Hoffman in a playoff, coming from behind to win for the second straight year. That makes the three-time PGA TOUR winner the third this season to defend alongside Justin Thomas at the CIMB Classic and Daniel Berger at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Coming off of five straight missed cuts, Vegas said in his post-round interview with CBS’ Dottie Pepper that he made some tweaks to his Mizuno irons.
Golf is a game of inches and subtle adjustments. Some changes don’t move the needle, while others make a world of difference.
The latter was evident with Vegas this week. On a small scale, his wedge from 121 yards out on No. 18 in the playoff was spectacular and allowed him to get up-and-down for the win with Hoffman in trouble on the par-5.
On a larger scale, Vegas was striping the ball with both his irons and woods all tournament.
For the week, Vegas gained over seven strokes on the field with his approach shots and 10 from tee to green. Really, his ball-striking has been fine all year as he’s in the top 50 on Tour in these categories.
The reason he’s slamming his trunk on Fridays has been around the green. Vegas hit 75 percent of greens in regulation (seventh in the field) this week to keep the wedge out of his hand enough to withstand a slight negative in his scrambling stats.
Although Vegas just missed a 15-footer for the win in regulation, his usually poor putting was a positive all four rounds. If the big man is making putts, he’s a dangerous player who can be a birdie-making machine (his 27 birdies co-led the field).
Now a top-50 player in the world, Vegas seems like a slam dunk for captain Nick Price’s International team at the Presidents Cup, despite his 17th position in the qualifying standings going into the week. A format like four-ball could be a feast for Vegas if he’s on point.
Coming back from five down to start the day, Vegas poured in eight birdies to catch Hoffman three groups ahead in the final pairing.
Hoffman has had a fantastic year, entering the week at No. 24 in the FedEx Cup and No. 10 in the Presidents Cup standings.
A win would have all but locked up his spot on the team one way or the other, but he wasn’t able to overcome a clumsy middle of the round. He made birdies coming in at No. 16 and 18 to erase Vegas’ lead, though those were the second and fourth easiest holes, respectively, on the course.
Hoffman’s made 10 cuts in a row, three of which are top-25s in majors. If you’re the wagering type, he seems like a good value play for the PGA Championship.