Rookie rules the Abbey

Chez Reavie celebrates after winning the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey on Sunday. SUN MEDIA/Dave Abel

Chez Reavie celebrates after winning the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey on Sunday. SUN MEDIA/Dave Abel

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

OAKVILLE -- Chez Reavie not only had no trouble going to sleep the night before the biggest round of his life, he had no trouble going back to sleep the morning of the biggest round of his life.

Talk about having ice water in the veins.

Reavie, who captured the RBC Canadian Open yesterday at Glen Abbey, the first golfer to win the Open in his first try since Jerry Pate in 1976, had a 1:45 p.m., final-round tee off time yesterday.

But before that, the Wichita, Kan., native had to journey to the Glen Abbey course from his hotel and finish the third round.

Because of numerous rain delays during the week, play at the Open constantly was suspended, and many golfers were unable to finish their rounds as scheduled.

Reavie, a 26-year-old PGA Tour rookie, teed off on the 17th in Saturday's third round, but walked off the course with his ball just two feet from the hole because of darkness. He returned to Glen Abbey at 7:27 a.m. yesterday morning to finish the 17th, putted for par, and then birdied the 18th to take a one-stroke lead -- at 16-under -- over fellow American Anthony Kim.

He then returned six hours later to shoot a 1-under 70 to win the Open with a four-day total of 267, 17-under-par.

Veteran Billy Mayfair shot a 68 yesterday to make a charge, but fell short, finishing three strokes behind Reavie. One stroke behind Mayfair were Americans Sean O'Hair and Steve Marino. Canadian Mike Weir finished five strokes behind Reavie at 12-under.

UNSPECTACULAR

Reavie's final round was unspectacular, but it was the way he handled himself throughout the week, and yesterday especially, that bordered on sensational -- like being thrown by having to finish the third round first thing in the morning and then having to return six hours later to start again.

"I just changed my shoes and went right back to my hotel and took a nap for an hour and a half," Reavie said. "Then I woke up, took a shower and did the exact same routine I do every morning.

"I showered twice, I shaved twice," he said, with a laugh.

He even ate breakfast twice.

There was nothing funny about winning for the first time on the Tour.

For winning, Reavie, whose full name is William Chesney Reavie, collected $900,000 US, more than his previous combined earnings of $746,414.

It also means that he will receive a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and invites to several invitational tournaments, including next week's World Golf Championship and the PGA Championship a week after that. He also earned a spot in the '09 Masters.

"I was actually surprised at how calm I was out there today. Obviously that was my goal, but I had never been in that situation, so I didn't know what to expect," he said. "I think hitting the good tee shot off the first tee was crucial, but then I three-putted for bogey. But I managed to stay patient. I never pressed."

Reavie became only the ninth player in Canadian Open history to win after holding or sharing the first-round lead. He shot a first- round 6-under 65 to share the lead with six others, including Weir.


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