O'Hair wins playoff for Canadian Open title|
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Sean O'Hair turned a bad 2011 season into a
very good one.
O'Hair bogeyed the first playoff hole Sunday, but it was enough to defeat Kris
Blanks and win the Canadian Open.
It was his fourth PGA Tour title, but first since the 2009 Quail Hollow
Prior to the win, O'Hair's season had been disastrous.
He missed the cut in 10 of 17 starts, including five in a row in the spring.
O'Hair missed the weekend in his last two starts before the Canadian Open,
fell to 114th in the world rankings and 147th in FedEx Cup points.
But it all changed thanks to four days at the grueling Shaughnessy Golf &
Country Club track.
"I think this means a little bit something different for me than the other
three did," O'Hair said in a televised interview. "This is my seventh year on
tour. I've played well pretty much the first six. I had no real struggles.
"I think this just makes it that much sweeter. You just really appreciate
playing good golf now. Honestly, I'm a little bit in disbelief."
O'Hair shot a two-under 68 to finish four rounds at four-under 276. Blanks had
a 69 on Sunday to match O'Hair and force a playoff at the 18th hole.
Both players landed in the left rough off the tee. O'Hair played back to the
fairway with his second, while Blanks tried to reach the green, but instead
landed in the right greenside bunker.
O'Hair chunked his chip 25 feet short of the flag stick, but Blanks hammered
his bunker shot through the green to the fringe. O'Hair narrowly missed his
par putt, but tapped in for his bogey.
Blanks needed to chip in to win, but he hit his shot way too hard and the ball
ran five feet past the cup.
On the last hole of regulation, Blanks made a longer putt to save par than the
one he had in the extra session. With the added pressure of trying to win his
first PGA Tour title, Blanks missed right and the title was O'Hair's.
Andres Romero bogeyed the final hole to shoot an even-par 70 and miss the
playoff by a stroke at three-under 277.
Canadian Adam Hadwin delighted the home crowd on Sunday. Even though he shot a
two-over 72, Hadwin tied for fourth place with former U.S. Open champion Geoff
Ogilvy, who had a 70 on Sunday, at minus-two.
"It was kind of exciting. Big crowds all day, lots of cheers," said Hadwin.
"I can't put words to it. I felt like I was playing for my country out there."
Third-round leader Bo Van Pelt fell apart on the back nine. He carded a four-
over 74 and shared sixth place with Woody Austin (68) and Scott Piercy (69) at
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (69), amateur star Patrick Cantlay (69),
John Daly (72) and Spencer Levin (69) tied for ninth place at even-par 280.
For Daly, it was his first top-10 in a PGA Tour event in almost six years.
"I just didn't execute. Didn't hit enough greens today to give myself a
chance," said Daly, who got into the field next week at The Greenbrier Classic
as a result of his finish.
The stories of Hadwin, Daly and Cantlay were great, but Sunday belonged to
He got into the mix with back-to-back birdies at seven and eight, but made
bogey at the 11th. O'Hair rolled in a three-foot birdie putt at the 13th and
Blanks missed a six-footer for par. O'Hair was tied for the lead with Van
Pelt, but he imploded on that hole in the group behind.
O'Hair was one stroke in front of Blanks, but his approach at the 14th came up
40 feet short of the cup. His birdie effort came almost eight feet shy of the
hole and he missed his par save.
Both players reached the par-five 15th in two and both two-putted for birdie.
Tied at four-under par, O'Hair and Blanks both made six-foot par putts at the
par-three 17th to stay tied atop the leaderboard. Romero birdied three in a
row from the 14th to join them in first.
O'Hair made a fairly routine par at the last, but Blanks landed in the same
bunker that doomed him 30 minutes later. On the 72nd hole, Blanks blasted out
to 10 feet and holed the putt.
At the same hole in playoff, he couldn't make par -- or bogey, for that
"Very pleased with the putts I holed on 17 and 18 to get in the playoff,"
Blanks said. "Obviously right now I'm pissed and the more I think about it,
the more I'll probably get upset at the shots I gave away today.
"But all in all, it was definitely the week I needed. I can kind of relax and
not play so much because I've got my card locked up for next year."
Now O'Hair does, too.
"I had my doubts," admitted O'Hair. "I've had so much support from so many
different people. It means a lot for all of the hard work to finally come out
and pay off."
NOTES: O'Hair pocketed $936,000 for the victory...It was Blanks' best finish
on the PGA Tour...Cantlay has finished inside the top 25 in all four of his
PGA Tour starts this year...World No. 1 Luke Donald had a three-under 67 and
tied for 17th at two-over par...Next week is The Greenbrier Classic where
Stuart Appleby fired a 59 in the final round to win last year.
07/24 19:10:06 ET