Snedeker Wins A "Home Game"
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/29/13
On Sunday, Brandt Snedeker won the 104th playing of the Canadian Open Championship outside Toronto, for equal parts of three reasons:
  1. Third-round leader Hunter Mahan withdrew after his wife went into labor; Mahan flew home to be present for the birth of daughter Zoe Olivia Mahan.

  2. Fourth round co-leader Dustin Johnson yanked his tee-shot hard right and out of bounds at 17, resulting in a triple-bogey 7.

  3. Snedeker escaped trouble of his own at 12 with a well-earned bogey, chugged away at the course, and earned a birdie at 16. Snedeker closed with 70 and a three-shot victory over a quartet of golfers who tied for second: The aforementioned Johnson, William McGirt, Matt Kuchar, and Jason Bohn.

Although Snedeker is from Tennessee, the Canadian Open is something of a "home game" for him:
"I'm just ecstatic. This is a tournament I said early on in my career I wanted to win just because my caddie is from Canada and it's his national open. It meant a lot to him and it meant a lot to me. It's the third-oldest tournament on tour and it's got some great history to it, and now to put my name on that trophy it means a lot."
Snedeker's caddie is Scott Vail, a native of Oshawa, Ontario, some 61 miles east of Glen Abbey Golf Club, where Snedeker and Vail partnered to win on Sunday. Vail got into the game while working at Oshawa Golf Club and was previously the caddie for Derek Gillespie, who plays on the Canadian Tour and won the Golf Channel's Big Break Prince Edward Island. Vail was caddying for Gillespie when he met Snedeker in 2006, when Snedeker was playing the PGA Tour's minor-league circuit. Vail's father is Eric Vail, who played 591 games for the NHL's Atlanta / Calgary Flames and the Detroit Red Wings.

For his part, Vail verified Snedeker's enthusiasm for Canada's national championship in a conversation last fall with CBC Sports:
"Brandt has become an adopted Canadian. He loves it. He tries to play in the Canadian Open if it fits in his schedule."
Now, as a Canadian Open champion, Snedeker will have to make it part of his regular schedule. And for good measure, Snedeker will play an event held on Monday at Oshawa GC — now that is a grand gesture!

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