The winner of the RBC CANADIAN OPEN may not have been from our home and native land, but one member of the SSF Golf League was still feeling glorious and free after Sean O’Hair picked up his first win on the PGA Tour since 2009 on Sunday in Vancouver. O’Hair bogied the first playoff hole, but still claimed the title when Kris Blanks missed his 5 foot bogey putt.
Perhaps the bigger story than O’Hair was the play of Canadian amateur Adam Hadwin, a man who played in Winnipeg the week before at the Players Cup. Hadwin had the galleries roaring late Sunday afternoon, as the patrons were showing him some true patriot love, in hope the winner of the event would hail from the true north strong and free for the first time in nearly 60 years. Hadwin finished tied for fourth, two shots off the lead. Now to how the points panned out.
With the win, it was no surprise that Brent lead the league in points in the 28th week of play, but what was surprising that his points came from far and wide. With the win, Brent now has five career victories, making him the fourth fastest in league history to reach that total. The sad thing, though, is that with the win and the 125 points that come along with it, Sean O’Hair still only has 180 on the year. Another man who had a shot at the win was Geoff Ogilvy, who registered his first points since the Valero Texas Open (14 weeks ago!). However, key missed birdie putts down the stretch left him out of the winner’s circle, but still in a respectable fourth place. Luke Donald made a charge Sunday to register a top 25, while after being on the first page of the leaderboard the first two days, Ben Crane fell back on the weekend and could only muster 5 points.
Team Fuchs should be sending a letter of thank you to Jabob Zuma. Who is Jacob Zuma, you ask? Zuma is the president of South Africa, the country that accounted for 45 of Andy’s 55 points on the week. Cue Charl Schwartzel. Schwartzel has earned 150 points (including Osicki’s) since being picked up by Fuchs after the Masters, which is the most by any player not drafted. Schwartzel’s top ten leaves Fuchs just one behind Beast in that category. Meanwhile, another South African, Ernie Els, shot the low round of the day on Sunday (66) to earn his first points since the Masters. Top 50 finishes by American’s Hunter Mahan and Ryan Moore rounded out Fuchs lineup.
Contrary to what the standings say, Beast finished in third place this week (Dave’s line was not updated. He finished with five points on the week.) Long John had big hopes coming into Sunday, as his one of his most consistent players, Bo Van Pelt held the lead coming into the final round, and still lead at the turn. However, two bogies and double from holes 11 to 14 killed Van Pelt’s hopes, and ultimately killed the Beast’s hopes. Still, Van Pelt has been a key cog in Beast’s arsenal of late, averaging 29 points in his last six starts on North American soil. What was not a breath of fresh air was the play of the rest of the team, as the other 3 players all missed the cut, including Matt Kuchar. That makes it back to back missed cuts for the Kooch.
Our leader saw his grip on first loosen ever so slightly this week, but he still has a fair bit of breathing room, with a 325 point lead. Rickie Fowler was the only player on James roster this week, and he managed a respectable 15 points. James will be looking forward to this week, when the suddenly hot Phil Mickelson will tee it up at the Greenbrier Classic, a course that encourages low scoring. Right now – barring a late charge from Brent – all James needs to worry about is matching Beast the rest of the way, and he should have his second emerald jacket.
The last two in the standings were also the last two on the week. They both had one guy playing, and both scored 5 points. First Dave. Jim Furyk was able to get some points, but with only 145 on the year, it has to be a disappointment and it looks like Furyk will once again be available in next year’s draft. There’s not much of a doubt Kevin Na will be available at next year’s draft, but hey, I’m sure Bryce won’t mind the 5 points he BARELY got him this week at Shaughnessy Golf Club.
And now this update from the SSF Stats Desk. With RBC Canadian Open needing a 73r
d hole to determine a champion, there have now been 9 tournaments (out of 28) on the Spreadsheet Calendar that have required a playoff. Here’s a look at how the league’s members have fared in overtime.
Beast 0-1 (Palmer loss at Byron Nelson)
Brent 2-1 (Donald loss at Heritage; Choi win at Players; O’Hair win at Canadian Open)
Fuchs 1-0 (Snedeker win at Heritage)
Dave 1-0 (Watson win at Zurich Classic)