Summer of 65
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/27/14
Sports fans in Montréal and throughout Québec have been used to seeing upset victories over the last several decades — mostly by the Montréal Canadiens and the Québec Nordiques.
On Sunday at Royal Montreal Golf Club, tournament spectators at the RBC Canadian Open saw another unexpected upset victory when Jim Furyk, the 2006 and 2007 champion, and the 54-hole leader on Saturday, could not hold onto a three-shot lead. Although he carded a creditable 69, he made only two birdies all day — first at the par-3 7th, then at the penuiltimate 17th.
"I kind of controlled my own destiny. I've got to shoot three or four under and it would have been impossible to catch me, or darn near it. I left the door open with even par on the front nine and Tim took advantage and shot 30 on the back."Tim Clark, the gritty South African who has struggled through injuries since 2011 and putts with a broomstick-style putter because of forearm and elbow problems, forced his way into contention.
"Once [Furyk] missed his putt, I didn't want to have to go into a playoff, knowing he can take it over the water [off the 18th tee] and I have to play over to the right. So, it was huge for me to get it finished right there. I got hot with the putter on the back nine. To stand over that putt and still feel confident was really nice."Did he ever:
Afterward, Clark considered not only his victory, but also the short-term future, with the ban on anchored putting less than two years away:
"The irony of it is Canada could be the location of my first win and my last one. To come back here, it's full circle. That was 16 years ago, when I was just cutting my teeth as a professional golfer and I was fortunate enough to be given some starts up here, so I have fond memories.Michigan native Justin Hicks shot 66-67-70-64=267 to finish alone in third — his best-ever performance on the PGA Tour. Matt Kuchar, Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, and Tacoma-area native Michael Putnam finished tied for fourth at 269, six shots behind Clark.
At last year's event at Glen Abbey, Brandt Snedeker's victory was a "home win" for his caddie, Scott Vail. This year, Tim Clark can make a similar sort of claim; his wife Candice is a native of the Toronto area and has relatives in the Montréal region.
On that note, Saskatchewan native Graham DeLaet finished as "low Canadian" in a tie for seventh with the decidedly non-Canadian Dicky Pride at 270.
As for the formidable Furyk, it is quite surprising to learn that, since he last won at the 2010 Tour Championship, he is 0-for-7 after holding a 54-hole lead. One note of consolation for the Pennsylvania native is that, by virtue of his solo second-place finish, he has sewn up his spot on the 2014 United States Ryder Cup team. It will be his ninth consecutive appearance at the Ryder Cup.
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