OAKVILLE — Nathan Green did all of Toronto proud yesterday by winning the RBC Canadian Open in the second playoff Monday over PGA Tour veteran Retief Goosen.
Toronto, New South Wales, that is.
After surviving a near-disastrous first playoff, where he hit his second shot from the fairway past the green and into the gallery, Green pulled out the win when Goosen’s second shot from the fairway in the second playoff hole on the 17th hole landed in the rough. The Aussie placed his second shot to within 12 feet of the pin and two-putted for the win.
Goosen, 40, had a glorious opportunity to win it in the first sudden death playoff, on the 18th, but missed a five-foot putt, which gave Green new life and, ultimately, his first PGA Tour victory.
Green was born in Newcastle, Australia, but makes his home in Toronto, NSW.
The 34-year-old Aussie certainly is a colourful character. Not only does he live in a town named after its Canadian counterpart (in fact, named in honor of world-champion sculler Ned Hanlan, who visited Australia in 1884), Green once worked in a crematorium that his parents manage.
The 40-year-old Goosen finished the fourth round with a minus-3 69, to finish at 18 under, picking up a birdie on 18 after scoring bogeys on 14 and 15. Heading into his final hole, Green needed a two-foot putt on 18 to tie and force overtime, which he did.
This year’s Open was plagued with rain and thunderstorms and organizers weren’t able to complete even the third round on Sunday, forcing the extra day of play yesterday. But the conditions were near-perfect yesterday and the players were able to get in 72 holes. In fact, 74 for Green and Goosen.
Goosen has won eight times on the Tour, his seventh at the Transitions Championship this March.
Canadian Open favorite, Mike Weir of Sarnia, had an inconsistent day, recording five birdies and four bogeys to go minus-1 on the day (71), leaving him at minus-10 under for the tournament. Weir was satisfied with his play but lamented the soft conditions left by the constant rain.
“A dart contest like this is not the way we want to have a championship,” said Weir. “They did have the golf course in really good condition earlier in the week and Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, so it played quite a bit easier than probably the way it should have.”
Calgary’s Stephen Ames finished at minus-12, after shooting his best score of the week, a minus-5 67 yesterday, posting seven birdies and two bogeys in the process.
Chris Baryla of Vernon, B.C. turned some heads on the Tour by finishing at minus-12, shooting a minus-6 66 yesterday. Graham Delaet of Weyburn, Sask. finished at minus-6, the fourth Canadian to make the cut.