GOLF

Jason Day rallies to win Canadian Open

Jul 26, 2015, 5:24 PM

Jason Day celebrates after sinking a birdie putt on the 18th during final-round action at the Canad...

Jason Day celebrates after sinking a birdie putt on the 18th during final-round action at the Canadian Open golf tournament in Oakville, Ontario, Sunday, July 26, 2015. Day won the tournament. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

OAKVILLE, Ontario (AP) — Jason Day made himself right at home in the Canadian Open — at David Hearn’s expense.

The Australian birdied the final three holes to win the national championship Sunday at Glen Abbey, spoiling Hearn’s bid to become the first Canadian winner in 61 years.

“I’ve never felt so much at home, and I’m not even from Canada,” Day said. “I’m looking forward to coming back and defending the title here next year because I know that when I get here next year it’s going to be the same. It’s great to feel like a Canadian for a week.”

Day made a 20-foot putt on the par-5 18th for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke victory over Bubba Watson. Hearn, two strokes ahead of Day and Watson entering the round, had a 72 to finish third — two strokes back.

“I’m real proud of the way I played and I’m really proud to be Canadian today,” Hearn said. “It was a pretty special day with all of the fans and the support that I had from beginning to finish.”

Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner in 1954 at Point Grey in Vancouver, British Columbia. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914. Albert Murray, a Canadian also born in England, won in 1908 and 1913.

“It was one focused mindset the whole day today to do something really special and win the tournament,” said Hearn, from Brantford — also hockey great Wayne Gretzky’s hometown. “It hasn’t been done in a long time, and I felt like I had the ability to do it today. I gave it my all. I didn’t quite have my best game.”

“It’s a matter of time,” fourth-place Jim Furyk said. “There are so many good Canadian players. I feel bad Mike Weir never won this golf tournament. But Graham DeLaet, David, there are a bunch of fine young players, so I’m sure it’s going to happen.”

Day was coming off a fourth-place tie Monday in the British Open at St. Andrews. The 28-year-old Australian also fought through vertigo symptoms last month to tie for ninth in the U.S. Open. He has four PGA Tour victories, also winning at Torrey Pines in February.

“This must feel like what Tiger (Woods) did for so many times, and it feels good,” Day said. “I’m going to try to do as much as I can and keep it the same and try and win.”

Day birdied three of the first seven holes, but dropped strokes on Nos. 8 and 9. Playing a group ahead of Watson and Hearn, Day parred the first six holes on the back nine, then birdied the par-5 16th and par-4 17th and stretched his lead to two with the downhill birdie putt on 18. He finished at 17-under 271.

Watson had a chance to force a playoff, but missed an eagle chip on 18 and settled for his fourth straight birdie and a 69.

Hearn birdied the first two holes, but gave back the strokes with bogeys on Nos. 3 and 7. He also bogeyed the par-3 12th, birdied the par-5 13th and closed with five pars.

“He was playing so good, he started off hot,” Watson said. “He putts unbelievable. There was so many putts that he hit that should’ve fell in. I don’t know how they stayed out. For him and Canada that would’ve been a great story. That would’ve been his first win. How amazing would that have been?”

Hearn was the first Canadian to have a 54-hole lead at the Canadian Open since Weir in 2004 at Glen Abbey. Weir led by three shots, but lost in a playoff to Vijay Singh.

“This one was pretty intense,” Hearn said. “I think every Canadian wants to see it so bad and we want to do it so bad that it does make it hard.”

Two-time winner Furyk had a 69 to reach 14 under. Stewart Cink and Tom Hoge followed at 13 under, each shooting 66.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Golf

Rory McIlroy looks on...

Dan Bickley

Golf once again at a crossroads with LIV Golf, PGA Tour still at odds

There are heavy consequences to the gold rush mentality currently infecting the sport of golf, writes Dan Bickley.

7 days ago

Jon Rahm, of Spain, puts the green jacket on winner Scottie Scheffler after the Masters golf tourna...

Associated Press

Scottie Scheffler unstoppable and wins another Masters green jacket

Scottie Scheffler won his second Masters in three years after a dominant performance on Sunday kept him far above the competition.

9 days ago

Scottie Scheffler...

Associated Press

Scottie Scheffler leads Masters by 1 shot; Tiger Woods hits career-worst 82

Scottie Scheffler made one last birdie and let out one big exhale Saturday on a wild day at the Masters, giving him a one-shot lead.

10 days ago

Sparky's Fairway at Mountain America Stadium...

Tyler Drake

Sparky’s Fairway golf takes over Arizona State’s Mountain America Stadium

ASU's Mountain America Stadium is trading in its hash marks for yardage markers as Sparky's Fairway takes center stage beginning Thursday.

2 months ago

Fans at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open...

Associated Press

Thunderbirds looking at ways to tame Phoenix Open after wild, muddy mess

The Thunderbirds, who operate the Phoenix Open, plan to spend the next 11 months looking for ways to implement changes to the tournament.

2 months ago

Adam Svensson of Canada putts on the 18th green during the continuation of the second round of the ...

Arizona Sports

WM Phoenix Open offering refund submissions for Saturday closure

The WM Phoenix Open is offering refund submissions to fans who were denied entrance on Saturday when the event's gates were temporarily closed.

2 months ago

Jason Day rallies to win Canadian Open