Tuesday, May 5, 2015

O'Hair wins Canadian Open, first Tour win since '09

Sean O'Hair of West Chester won the first hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday and captured the RBC Canadian Open in Vancouver, his first victory on the PGA Tour in more than two years.

O'Hair wins Canadian Open, first Tour win since '09

Sean O´Hair won the Canadian Open PGA golf tournament in a sudden-death playoff. (Darryl Dyck/AP Photo/The Canadian Press)
Sean O'Hair won the Canadian Open PGA golf tournament in a sudden-death playoff. (Darryl Dyck/AP Photo/The Canadian Press)
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Sean O’Hair won the first hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday and captured the RBC Canadian Open in Vancouver, his first victory on the PGA Tour in more than two years.

The 29-year-old O’Hair, from West Chester, made a bogey at the playoff hole, a 472-yard par-4 at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, but prevailed when Kris Blanks missed a 6-foot putt that would have continued sudden death.

O’Hair entered the tournament ranked 147th in the FedEx Cup points race and 143rd on the money list.

The victory moved him into 43rd place on the FedEx Cup list, assuring him a berth in the playoffs, and the $900,000 first prize was almost three times what he had won this year up to this weekend.

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O’Hair played a solid final round Sunday, shooting a 2-under-par 68. He offset two back-nine bogeys with birdies at the 13th and 15th holes, and made a 5-foot putt at the par-3 17th to save par.

The birdie at the 15th, a par 5, came on a two-putt after O’Hair blasted a 346-yard drive.

Blanks shot a 69 on Sunday and finished tied with O’Hair at 4-under 276.

On the playoff hole, O’Hair drove his ball into the left rough and laid up to the center of the fairway, about 50 yards from the green. He pitched 20 feet short and 2-putted for his bogey.

Blanks, 38, who was seeking his first career PGA Tour victory, drove his ball near O’Hair’s and knocked his second shot into a greenside bunker. But his bunker shot rolled past the pin and into the collar behind the green, and his chip ran 6 feet past the hole.

O’Hair’s last victory came at the 2009 Wells Fargo Championship. His win Sunday was the fourth of his career.

O’Hair has endured perhaps his worst season on the PGA Tour. He had missed the cut nine times in his previous 12 tournaments coming into this weekend. He had fired Sean Foley as his swing coach and changed caddies.

In an interview with CBS-TV after he won, a teary-eyed O’Hair called his year “humbling.”

“It’s been a tough road,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of people help me get to this point, people who have been on my team all the way. I love you all. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

--Joe Juliano

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Golf Inq. is a golf blog written by the Philadelphia Inquirer's sports department.

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