Clark's long voyage lands him second TOUR title
Overtakes Jim Furyk with a back-nine 30 to win RBC Canadian Open
July 27, 2014
By Adam Stanley, For PGATOUR.COM
- July 27, 2014
- Tim Clark earned his second TOUR victory on Sunday. He also owns 12 career second-place finishes. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
L’ILE BIZARD, Quebec -- Tim Clark stands a mere 5-foot-7, but what he lacks in height he makes up for in heart.
The 38-year-old South African suffered a myriad of injuries in 2011 – causing him to play only four events that year – and had struggled in 2013-2014 -- having previously made just 10 cuts in 20 events -- but he explained his one-shot victory at the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday will be a confidence booster.
“If I stay in this sort of frame of mind, there’s no reason why I can’t keep it going,” Clark said after picking up 500 FedExCup points to move to 27th in the standings. “The next two events are big for us, and I’d love to keep it going.”
From confidence boosting, to, perhaps, another blow to one’s confidence, Jim Furyk was unable to convert a 54-hole lead again. He’s now failed to convert seven straight 54-hole leads since his last victory in 2010 and said he has “no one to blame” but himself.
“It was a benign day, and 69 is not a bad round by any means, but by only making two birdies I let a couple guys back into the tournament,” he said.
The 44-year-old takes some solace in the fact that he is confirmed as a member of the United States’ Ryder Cup team, but that doesn’t quash the pain of this loss.
“I’m obviously disappointed,” he said. “I just didn’t putt well enough, and I didn’t convert the opportunities I had.”
Neither Clark nor Furyk were affected by the rain delay that caused a 15-minute break in play as inclement weather passed through the Montreal area.
“It was a really awkward break for everyone. It’s rare that we come off the golf course and then we’re not afforded a chance to go out and warm up, but we really weren’t in there that long,” Furyk said.
The break happened while the final pair was on the 15th hole, and Clark was in the midst of a 5-under-par 30 back nine.
“I knew I had to make birdies, and sometimes that can be easier when you know you have to be aggressive,” he said. “At that point (I had) nothing to lose. I suddenly just got hot, and I went with it.”
Clark has some existing Canadian connections – having won twice on what’s now PGA TOUR Canada in 1998, and, his wife was born in Toronto. Her father is from Montreal, so there will be some local celebrations tonight before Clark prepares for next week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, and the PGA Championship.
As Clark’s young son, Jack, ran across the 18th green to greet his father, there were tears in Clark’s eyes. It was a long road back from injury, but he is excited for what lies ahead.
“Today was just a dream day.”
Tim Clark rallies to seal the win at RBC Canadian
LOW CANADIAN: Although Graham DeLaet admitted the weekend wasn’t quite what he wanted, he still finished tied for seventh at 10 under, and captured the Rivermead Cup as low Canadian at the RBC Canadian Open. It’s DeLaet’s first time winning the award.
“You always do want to be the low Canadian, but going into the weekend I wanted to try to win the golf tournament,” he said. His finish on Sunday was his best in six starts at the RBC Canadian Open.
DeLaet matched the course record Friday, shooting a 7-under-par 63 to move into contention. But an even-par 70 on Saturday stalled him from getting any closer to the leaders. He finished seven strokes back of Tim Clark.
The 31-year-old now faces a very busy stretch of golf, playing in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and then the PGA Championship the next two weeks. But, he feels good about his game.
“It’s an important stretch obviously with Akron next week and the PGA, and then right into the Playoffs. Confidence is the biggest thing in this game, and I finally have kind of found a little bit of it.”
LOW AMATEUR: It was a forgone conclusion that Taylor Pendrith would be named the low amateur at the RBC Canadian Open – he was only one to make the cut, after all – but there were few who saw this fine of a performance from the 21-year-old.
Pendrith tied for 43rd place at 3 under, and will take a week off before heading to the Canadian and U.S. Amateur championships.
“This week gives me confidence, and I’m playing good golf right now,” he said. “The next couple weeks are pretty important tournaments for me in the amateur circuit.”
Like any bright-eyed youngster, Pendrith said his best memory was seeing his name on the first page of the leaderboard after a 5-under 65. There’s no rush to turn professional, he explained, but he knows he can play at that level.
“This week told me that if I play good, I could play with these guys.”
CALL OF THE DAY
BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA
So much fun playing in front of a home crowd this week at @RBCCanadianOpen. Thanks for all the support. Best country in the world!— Graham DeLaet (@GrahamDeLaet) July 27, 2014
From the cut line to one of my best finishes...a memorable @RBCCanadianOpen. Thanks to all for the belief and support. It means everything.— Brad Fritsch (@BradFritsch) July 27, 2014
Well Canada, it was fun!! Best finish since the start of my career 9 years ago!!! Thanks everyone for cheering me on!!— Michael putnam (@Michael__Putnam) July 27, 2014
COURSE RECORD PRIDE: In 2001, Dicky Pride held the course record at Royal Montreal for exactly a day, until David Morland IV and Scott Verplank shot matching 63s in the second round of the RBC Canadian Open.
Sunday, Pride got a little redemption.
He was in the first group, and shot a 7-under 63, tying the course record now held by four other other golfers – Morland IV, Verplank, Jim Furyk and Graham DeLaet (who shot matching 63s on Friday).
“I had to get the course record back,” Pride said. “I was thinking about it on 18, too, which is an idiotic thing to do, but I made the putt anyway.”
Pride tied for seventh at 10 under.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
“It's nice to see different guys do well. It just shows how deep the talent is in Canada” -- David Hearn on the success of his countrymen
“I felt lucky maybe playing with house money today and fortunately played really, really well” -- Brad Fritsch on his weekend performance, after making a 30-footer for birdie Friday to make the cut
“Yeah I hit it far” -- Taylor Pendrith, on the obvious
“I know how Phil and Tiger feel all the time because coming down 18, it was a special moment” -- Graham DeLaet on the fans’ support
“So if I dislike the guy it would be harder to stomach?” -- Jim Furyk on if he’d rather lose to a guy he liked
PHOTO GALLERY: Click on the photo below to check out the best images from Sunday's final round.
ODDS AND ENDS
Mike Weir was joined by fellow lefties Greg Chalmers and Tim Wilkinson. Having three lefties in a group is a unique situation on the TOUR. ... Royal Montreal received 0.30” of rain Sunday morning, causing the field to play off preferred lies for the duration of the final round. There was a 20-minute thunderstorm delay to start the day. ... Sunday was exactly 1,400 days since Jim Furyk’s last victory on TOUR. ... Fifteen players in the field at the RBC Canadian Open will be playing this week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. ... This is Tim Clark’s third win on Canadian soil – he captured two PGA TOUR Canada events in 1998. ... Clark also led the field in fairways hit (47 of 56) and was T1 in sand saves (7 for 7). ... He also becomes the fourth South African winner of the RBC Canadian Open, joining Bobby Locke (1947), Nick Price (1991, 1994) and David Frost (1993).