OAKVILLE, Ont. — A week full of surprises at the RBC Canadian Open managed to deliver one more with its conclusion as Nathan Green outlasted Retief Goosen in a two-hole playoff.
It was the first PGA Tour win for the 34-year-old Australian, who entered the week 27 worldwide victories and 269 places in the world rankings behind Goosen.
Green clinched the title on the 17th hole after making a par and watching Goosen fail to get up-and-down from behind the green. He wore a look of disbelief when Goosen’s eight-foot putt to extend the playoff missed wide.
“It’s a huge surprise to finally win,” said Green.
Rain battered the Glen Abbey course for four days before giving way to sunshine on Monday morning, allowing golfers to complete what was left of their third round before playing the final 18.
Green finished a third-round 69 in the morning before shooting a 68 in the afternoon. He is a former winner on the Canadian Tour who spent the week talking about how much he loves playing golf in this country.
“This is where I started my pro career,” said Green. “I love coming up here. The people are great.”
Anthony Kim (73) and Jason Dufner (73) finished four shots out of the playoff while Lee Janzen (67), Brandt Snedeker (68) and Jerry Kelly (71) were another stroke back.
Chris Baryla of Vernon, B.C., shot a splendid final-round 66 to match Calgary’s Stephen Ames (67) as the low Canadian. They each tied for eighth.
“Being (tied for) low Canadian is a huge achievement for me, absolutely,” said Baryla, a regular on the Nationwide Tour. “It’s the difference between thinking that I have the ability and validation, and it’s nice to have that validation.”
Green got some validation of his own after spending three full seasons on the PGA Tour without registering a victory.
He moved to the top of the leaderboard on Monday afternoon as Goosen and Kim — two of the top-ranked players in the field — each made mistakes on the final nine, but failed to birdie the easy par-5 18th at Glen Abbey to win in regulation.
He also made par there during the first hole of the playoff, but Goosen missed a six-footer for birdie that would have won him the tournament.
Green became the second straight player to emerge from a soggy week at Glen Abbey with his first career PGA Tour victory. Chez Reavie won a year ago in another Canadian Open that featured several delays.
Even more rain fell this time around, forcing the first Monday finish at the tournament since 1988. The golfers were relieved to finally get the tournament in and bid farewell to a Glen Abbey course that many had visited on eight consecutive days.
“Eight? Oh, I thought it was two weeks,” said Ames. “Sorry. Yeah, it is a relief to get it over with. Finally.”
Notes: Mike Weir of Bright’s Grove, Ont., shot 71 and tied for 24th while Graham Delaet of Weyburn, Sask., had a 71 and tied for 46th … Kevin Sutherland aced the 7th on Monday, bringing the tournament to a PGA Tour record eight holes-in-one … The PGA Tour incorrectly listed Janzen as withdrawn on Friday night. He ended up tying for fifth … Next year’s Canadian Open will be held at Nearby St. George’s Golf and Country Club for the first time since 1968.