BC golfer Nick Taylor 1st Canadian to win Canadian Open

Nabil Anas

Global Courant

Canadians have waited 69 years for this moment. So what are another four holes?

Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, BC, won the RBC Canadian Open at Toronto’s Oakdale Golf and Country Club on Sunday, becoming the first Canadian man to win at home since Pat Fletcher in 1954.

“To break that curse a little bit, if (that is) you want to call — I’m pretty speechless. I don’t think it will sink in for quite some time what happened today,” Taylor said.

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What happened was 22 holes of golf filled with highs and lows – and a career-defining putt at the end of it all.

LOOK | Taylor makes 72-foot eagle putt to win RBC Canadian Open:

Nick Taylor makes 72-foot eagle putt to win RBC Canadian Open

Taylor put down the longest putt of his career and won the tournament on the fourth playoff hole.

Tied at 17-under, Taylor, 35, dueled England’s Tommy Fleetwood over four playoff holes – they matched each other with birdies and pars playing the 18th hole twice before each paring on the ninth.

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And so they went back to the 18th. Fleetwood’s tee shot landed in a bunker, but Taylor’s opted for the first shot.

It enabled the Canadian to attack the green, and he did, leaving a long eagle putt behind. Fleetwood, meanwhile, laid down and stood at a putt for a birdie.

Taylor wouldn’t let him hit – he nailed his own putt from 22 yards, the longest of his career. The crowd around the 18th green jumped for joy.

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“It was a big surprise, but a great one,” said Taylor.

Adam Hadwin, a native of Abbotsford, BC, tied for 12th in the tournament, couldn’t contain his excitement and hurried across the green with a bottle of champagne in hand – only to be tackled by an unwitting guard.

Elsewhere, tears flew and cheers poured into the skies of Toronto, which had been pouring rain for most of the playoff.

Together with Hadwin, there was Canadian golf royalty: 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, who himself lost a play-off at this tournament in 2004, was there and celebrated on the green.

“It means everything. I feel like we’re all so supportive of each other, they stick around. I think we’ve said it all this week, if individually we weren’t the people to win then we really want another Canadian does.” it and break this long drought.”

Corey Conners, the 18-hole leader who struggled to tie for 20th on Sunday, was also there to hug Taylor.

“Obviously it’s an exciting moment for Canadian golf,” Conners told CBC Sports during the celebration. “It’s been way too long and I’m so happy for Nick. He’s such a great guy and plays great, so much fun to watch.”

The play-off took on the feel of an international competition. As the Canadian contingent followed Taylor, Fleetwood’s compatriots Justin Rose, Shane Lowry and Tyrell Hatton were there to cheer on their man as he pursued a highly anticipated maiden PGA Tour victory.

Fleetwood was greeted with applause as he left the green to sign his scorecard.

The crowd, meanwhile, was firmly on Taylor’s side – booing Fleetwood’s bad shots and politely applauding his good ones.

“Great moment for Nick and the fans here,” said Fleetwood. “So it’s great to be a part of that Sunday and that play-off. I really had my chances. It wasn’t supposed to be this time.”

LOOK | Nick Taylor wins Canadian Open and ends drought in Canada:

BC golfer Nick Taylor wins Canadian Open

BC’s Nick Taylor won the Canadian Open golf tournament in a playoff on Sunday, becoming the first Canadian man to win the title since 1954.

‘Incredible moment’

For Taylor, it was unbridled support mixed with nerves.

As Taylor maintained his place at the top of the leaderboard through the final regulation holes, the crowd around him gradually grew.

The Canadian was serenaded with the national anthem and many hymns with variations of his name.

And the discharge when that jarring putt rattled the cup was reminiscent of a hockey audience watching his team win a playoff game in the fourth overtime.

“I knew how excited they were and they tried to put every ounce of energy into helping me get through it,” Taylor said.

“To have that moment – ​​I passed out when that ball went with (caddie) Dave (Markle). So I’m curious what we did. I don’t even remember what we did. But that was an incredible moment.”

Taylor becomes the fourth Canadian to win the PGA Tour this season – the most ever. He joins Conners, Mackenzie Hughes and Adam Svensson in the winner’s circle. The latter two both missed the cut in Oakdale.

“That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!!!! Congratulations @ntaylorgolf59! 20 years ago @mweirsy inspired a bunch of Canadians like Nick to chase their dream, and now Nick has done the same. What a moment for the Canadian golf,” Hughes tweeted.

It is Taylor’s third career PGA Tour win. He also won the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2015 and the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2020.

He now moves on to the US Open next week at Los Angeles Country Club. In April he also plays in his second ever Masters.

Hatton, England’s Aaron Rai and Taiwan’s CT Pan finished tied for third with 16-under, while American Eric Cole fired a 9-under 63 to tie Taylor’s track record on Saturday to finish tied for sixth .

LOOK | Taylor sets course record in 3rd round:

Canada’s Taylor sets new course record at Oakdale Golf and Country Club after 3rd round at Canadian Open

Born in Abbotsford, BC, Nick Taylor fired a 9-under 63 at Oakdale Golf and Country Club on Saturday, setting a new course record after his third round of the Canadian Open.

Playing alongside Fleetwood and Conners on Thursday, Taylor struggled to a 3-over 75, requiring an uphill climb to make the cut.

“I was on the seventh hole, I remember the first day, my 16th hole, 10 feet for par and made that and made a birdie of 8 and parred the last one to be somewhat in sight. So to be there. And then sitting here today is quite remarkable,” Taylor said.

On Friday, he cut his score by eight strokes – more than enough to make the cut, but still had an early start time on Saturday.

Taylor credited a “conversation with” wife Andie, who was home for the turnaround.

“I was just kind of getting in my way,” he said. “I knew I was in shape, but a kick in the butt didn’t hurt.”

Then he kicked things into high gear, setting a course record of 63 on Saturday to go into contention.

Taylor said he spoke briefly with Andie and three-year-old son Charlie after his win.

“(Charlie) was probably shocked. What the hell is going on? ‘I got a great shot,’ that’s what he said.”

LOOK | Inuit art once played a major role at the Canadian Open:

Inuit art once played a major role at the Canadian Open

For years, the winner of the Canadian Open golf tournament received a unique trophy carved by an Inuit artist. They became treasured collectibles for the winners.

The tournament started under a cloud of smoke – both literally and figuratively. On Tuesday, the PGA Tour made a bombshell announcement that it was partnering with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which backs rival tour LIV Golf.

Pre-tournament press conferences were dominated by the blinding news, with players admitting it was a distraction.

At the same time, the smoke from the wildfires in northern Ontario and Quebec was not too pervasive, especially the deeper the tournament went. There were no delays and golfers said it didn’t bother them.

By Sunday, Taylor made sure the entire focus was on golf.

During his third round, playing partner Greyson Sigg, stunned by the crowd following Taylor, asked Taylor if he was famous in Canada.

Taylor said no.

Now that will change. And he will forever be in the history books.

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The golf world is once again rocked as the PGA Tour and its European counterpart, the DP World Tour, have announced plans to merge with rival LIV Golf – the Saudi-backed upstart who snatched top players like Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman with the promise of huge paychecks.

BC golfer Nick Taylor 1st Canadian to win Canadian Open

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