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July 29, 2013

GOLF: Brandt Snedeker wins Canadian Open

OAKVILLE, Ontario — Zoe Olivia Mahan can expect something special from Brandt Snedeker.

Snedeker won the Canadian Open on Sunday, a day after Hunter Mahan withdrew with the lead before the third round when his wife went into labor. Kandi Mahan gave birth to daughter Zoe Olivia early Sunday in Texas.

''Zoe will be getting a very nice baby gift from me,'' Snedeker said. ''I can't thank Kandi enough for going into labor early. I don't know if I'd be sitting here if she hadn't. But that is a way more important thing than a golf tournament. I missed a golf tournament when my first was born, and it was the best decision I ever made. I'm sure Hunter would say the same thing.''

Snedeker closed with 2-under 70 for a three-stroke victory.

''Just ecstatic right now,'' Snedeker said. ''This is a tournament I said early on in my career I wanted to win just because my caddie (Scott Vail) is actually from Canada and it's his national open. It meant a lot to him, meant a lot to me. 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 finished at 16-under 272. The six-time PGA Tour winner also won the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February.

''It feels great to get a win,'' Snedeker said. ''To validate all the hard work I've put in over the past three months where I haven't played my best and know that I'm working on the right stuff and able to hold up under some pretty serious pressure this afternoon. To win a tournament like this with those pivotal holes coming down the stretch means a lot.''

Snedeker had two birdies and a bogey on the front nine. He birdied the par-4 10th to move to 16 under, but gave the shot back on the par-3 12th. He birdied the par-5 16th and parred the final two holes.

''I hung in there really well and made the key putts I needed to and I was able to survive,'' Snedeker said. ''That's what today is all about.''

Dustin Johnson, William McGirt, Matt Kuchar and Jason Bohn tied for second.

Johnson was tied for the lead after a birdie on No. 16, then drove out of bounds and hit the lip of a fairway bunker en route to a triple-bogey 7 on the par-4 17th. He finished with a 70.

''I was playing really well,'' Johnson said. ''Really confident, swinging the driver really good. So you know, it's a driver hole for me, and I just blocked it a little bit. Made a poor swing. ... Not too happy, but I felt really good with my golf game. ... It's nothing, nothing to worry about. I'll go get them next weekend.''

McGirt had a 68, and Kuchar and Bohn shot 71.

David Hearn was the top Canadian, shooting a 73 to tie for 44th at 4 under.

''It wasn't the finish that I was really looking for. I had a nice chance today,'' said Hearn, a playoff loser in the John Deere Classic. ''I'll take away some positives from the week. I appreciate the support from everyone here this week and it always feels good to play at home.''

Mike Weir tied for 49th at 3 under after a 72.

''I'm playing fine. Just missing too many short putts,'' Weir said. ''I missed a number the last couple days inside 6, 7 feet, just missing way too many of those. You need those to keep your round going sometimes and I just didn't capitalize when I had opportunities.''

Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner, taking the 1954 event at Point Grey in Vancouver. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914. Albert Murray, a Canadian also born in England, won in 1908 and 1913.

The 2014 tournament will be played at Royal Montreal.

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