29 July 2014
South Africa’s Tim Clark captured the PGA Tour’s RBC Canadian Open on Sunday, storming to the title by carding five birdies on an inward nine of 30 to take a one-shot victory over third-round leader Jim Furyk.
The victory, achieved on the Royal Montreal Golf Club’s Blue Course, was Clark’s second on the PGA Tour. He previously won the Players Championship in 2010.
Furyk, a two-time winner of the Canadian Open, carried a three-shot lead into the final round, but couldn’t respond to Clark’s furious finish
‘Suddenly I got hot’
“It looked like Jim wasn’t going to make any mistakes. He was pretty solid, so I knew I had to make birdies. At that point, there was nothing to lose. Suddenly I got hot and I went with it,” Clark said afterwards.
“Any national Open to me is special and it’s an honour for me to be the Open champion,” Clark told reporters.
Victory was a very welcome result for the South African star, who had struggled for consistent form in recent times after undergoing major elbow surgery in 2011. With his confidence restored by the win, he was optimistic that he could build upon it. “If I stay in this sort of frame of mind, there’s no reason why I can’t keep it going,” Clark said.
All four of his rounds were comfortably in the sixties. He opened with successive 67s, followed by a six-under-par 64 and a 65 to finish on 17-under 263.
Furyk closed with a one-under-par 69 to end on 16-under 264, three shots clear of third placed Justin Hicks, who totalled a 13-under-par 267.
Els, Goosen on song
Clark was not the only South African on song in the Canadian Open. Ernie Els also showed some decent form and finished in a tie for twelfth, as did Retief Goosen.
“It is one of the oldest national opens in world golf and as a player you feel that sense of national pride from the fans and from the sponsors and the people running the tournament,” Els wrote on his website
“It’s fun to be a part of it and even more so when you play some good stuff, as I did on the way to finishing tied-12th last week. So pleased to see my old mate Tim Clark back in the winner’s circle, too.
“Anyway, that’s my best finish in a strokeplay tournament in 2014, which says a lot about my year, but never mind that, I’ll take some positives away from Montreal.”
Els tied with seven others on eight-under 272 after rounds of 70, 67, 69 and 66. Goosen went around in rounds of 69, 67, 69 and 67.
Charl Schwartzel shared 43rd position on three-under 277 after posting a 66, 72, 70 and 69 scorecard.
Thomas Aiken made the cut, but away in the last two rounds to end on five-over 285.