News

South African Tim Clark wins Canadian Open

South African Tim Clark wins Canadian Open

Tim Clark tees off the 12th hole during the third round of the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal GC - Blue Course on July 26, 2014. Photo: Reuters/USA TODAY Sports/Eric Bolte

(Reuters) – South African Tim Clark clinched his second PGA Tour title when he sank a six-foot par putt to beat American Jim Furyk by one stroke at the Canadian Open on Sunday.

Clark knocked his clutch putt in dead center to edge Furyk in a battle between two players who badly needed a victory to shed the bridesmaid tag.

Clark has finished second 12 times on tour and had major elbow surgery in 2011, so he exuded a mixture of excitement and relief as he greeted his Canadian wife and two young children next to the 18th green at Royal Montreal.

“Any national Open to me is special and it’s an honor for me to be the Open champion,” Clark told reporters after storming home in 30 strokes with five back-nine birdies, one-putting eight holes in a row on his way to a five-under-par 65.

He finished at 17-under 263, while Furyk shot a 69 for second place on 16-under.

Furyk has won 16 times on tour but is winless in his last seven attempts when leading (or co-leading) into the final round.

This was his sixth runner-up finish since his most recent tour victory nearly four years ago, and the latest near-miss clearly stung.

He had a 15-foot birdie chance at the last to force, at the very least, a playoff, but read too much break and missed on the high side.

That took some pressure off Clark, whose long first putt had come up well short, and he pounced on the opportunity.

Earlier, Clark was four strokes behind after bogeying the first hole but the slow start perhaps eased some of the pressure.

“The front nine I was a little out of sorts but making the turn I was only three back,” he said. “At that point there’s nothing to lose and suddenly I got hot with the putter.

“To stand over that (winning) putt and feel confident was very nice.”

Clark notched four birdies in five holes from the 11th to take the sole lead with three holes to play, and preserved his advantage when he matched Furyk’s birdie at the par-three 17th.

Clark, 38, is the third South African to win the Canadian Open, and he earned $1.026 million as well as a spot in the PGA Championship in two weeks.

Meanwhile, the home drought will stretch on after Canadian Graham DeLaet finished seven shots behind in a tie for seventh.

Pat Fletcher was the most recent Canadian winner in 1954.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene Cherry)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

NFL ‘on track’ to field London team

nfl

The NFL plans to field a team in London and could have a franchise there by 2022.

in National

Travelers quarantined as U.S. steps up Ebola checks

ebola

The U.S. has started new restrictions on those coming from the countries hardest hit by the deadly virus.

in National

Sears to close stores, lay off thousands of employees

sears

Sears will lay off at least 5,457 employees and close more than 100 stores, many before Christmas.

in Sports

Thursday’s Sports Minute

sanfran

A look at the big sports stories you'll be talking about today, Thursday, Oct. 23.

in National, World

U.S.-led air strikes kill hundreds of militants

airstrikes

Air strikes by U.S.-led forces have killed 521 Islamist fighters and 32 civilians during a month-long campaign in Syria.