Green lifts Canada gloom with first PGA Tour title

The Canadian Open provided golf fans with gloomy weather, a record birdie barrage, delays, a play-off and, at the end of it all, an Australian winner.

Nathan Green defeated South African Retief Goosen on the second play-off hole to capture his first US PGA Tour title.

The 34-year-old closed with a four-under-par 68 to finish on 18-under 270 for the tournament along with Goosen, who finished with 69.

The competition had to be extended into a fifth day after heavy rain had fallen over four days – up to 10 centimetres had flooded the course.

Green then parred the second play-off hole at the Glen Abbey Golf Club while Goosen could only bogey.

The Australian, who has previously won the on European Tour, said it was worth waiting five days for his US$900,000 triumph. He said in an AFP article:

“It’s a huge surprise to finally win. This is where I started my pro career. I love coming up here. The people are great. I’m over the moon.”

Anthony Kim and Jason Dufner each shot 74 to finish four shots back of the leaders on 274 while Lee Janzen, Brandt Snedeker and Jerry Kelly tied for fifth on 275.

Earlier in the tournament, Mark Calcavecchia set a PGA Tour record with nine straight birdies.

In the second round, 2005 champion Calcavecchia was on fire after parring the first two holes of his round, though he felt he could have done better than his score of 65.

He subsequently finished tied for eight on 276.

In Europe, Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez won his fourth Tour title with victory at the SAS Masters in Malmo, Sweden.

Known as “The Axeman”, Gonzalez birdied five of the last six holes on the longest course of the Tour to snatch victory – his first in five years.

His final round of 69 gave him a total of 10-under-par 282 for the tournament and a two-stroke victory over Welshman Jamie Donaldson.

This was despite shooting 77 in the third round. Denmark’s Jeppe Huldahl, winner of the recent Welsh Open, was third after his closing 74, four strokes behind the winner.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Ai Miyazato ended her four-year wait for victory on the LPGA Tour when she won the Evian Masters in France, becoming the second first-time winner for the 2009 season.

She sank a birdie on the first play-off hole to beat Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson, who had forced extra-time by tapping in for birdie on the 18th.

Both players finished on 14-under-par 274 after Miyazato closed with 69 and Gustafson returned 70.

Meena Lee shot 65 in the final round to share third place with Cristie Lee, one stroke adrift of the leaders.

Tied for fifth on 11-under were Helen Alfredsson, Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb. World number one Lorena Ochoa was joint 40th on 286.

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