Nathan Green won the Canadian Open on Monday for his first PGA Tour victory, beating Retief Goosen with a par on the second hole of a playoff in the rain-delayed tournament.
After Green missed a 12-foot birdie attempt on the par-4 17th, Goosen’s 8-foot par try slid right, ending the first Monday finish in the national championship since 1988.
“It’s a huge surprise to finally win,” said Green, the 34-year-old former Canadian Tour player from Toronto — Toronto, Australia, that is. “This is where I started my pro career. I love coming up here. The people are great.”
In sunny conditions, Green completed a third-round 69 with an eagle on 18 and shot a 68 in the fourth round at saturated Glen Abbey. Goosen three-putted the 18th for par and a 67 in the morning, then eagled it in the afternoon for a 69.
“It’s been bizarre. A long week,” Green said a few minutes before another round of hard rain pelted the roof in the media tent.
Goosen had a putt to win on 18 on the first extra hole, but missed a 6-foot birdie try after leaving his bunker shot above the hole. Green saved par after his second shot bounced off a cart path, landing near the scoring trailer above the green.
“I dodged a bullet,” said Green, who also saved par on the 18th to force the playoff after hitting over the green and into the crowd.
Goosen had his fourth straight top-six finish worldwide. After tying for 16th in the US Open, the 40-year-old South African was third in the BMW International in Germany, tied for sixth in the Scottish Open and tied for fifth in the British Open.
“I’m very happy with the way I’m playing,” said Goosen, the Transitions Championship winner in March. “I’ve had chances to win in the last four tournaments I’ve played in. I’ve just got to keep going and hopefully it’s going to come my way.”
Anthony Kim (66-73) and Jason Dufner (70-73) tied for third, four strokes back at 14 under in the event soaked by nearly 5 inches of rain the first four days.
The playoff was the second of Green’s PGA Tour career. In the 2006 Buick Invitational, he was eliminated on the first extra hole in the event that Tiger Woods went on to win on the second hole with Jose Maria Olazabal.
“This was the last thing I was expecting to do,” Green said after earning US$918,000 to push his season total to US$1,282,017. “It’s been a tough year.”
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