Nick Taylor will never have to buy a Molson at a Canadian 19th hole for the rest of his life.
After a playoff with Tommy Fleetwood, the 35-year-old from Winnipeg captured his third PGA Tour victory on Sunday at the 2023 RBC Canadian Open. Along the way, he became the first Canadian to win a national championship since Pat Fletcher in 1954.
Taylor shot a course-record 9-under 63 on Saturday to get within three shots of the lead going into the final round, having missed the cut by just one shot. With eight holes remaining, Taylor had a three-shot lead at 16 under after making five birdies in a row. However, when he tapped in for his first bogey of the day on the 11th hole, his lead was only one.
After signing for a 63 of his own, Eric Cole was in the clubhouse at 14 under par. Soon after, he was joined in second place by Tommy Fleetwood and Aaron Rai, who both made birdies on Nos. 8 and 12 in each case. After birdying his final four holes and recording his second 8-under 64 of the week, Tyrrell Hatton joined the party and tied Taylor for 16 under. With a birdie on the 18th, Aaron Rai entered the race, leaving Taylor and three other players tied for first place on the par-5 hole.
His way to deal with the green went long into the harsh, and his chip gave left a six footer for birdie. Taylor made a couple of strides and allowed out a legendary clench hand to siphon as his putt nestled into the right half of opening to take the clubhouse lead with a 6-under 66. Fleetwood birdied two of his last three yet made a frustrating standard because of two terrible shots on the 18 th opening and constrained a season finisher at 17 under with a 5-under 67.
The two players found the fairway on the primary season finisher opening, No. 18, yet each blew the methodology and missed the green to one side. Taylor hit a beautiful pitch that left just a few feet for birdie, despite his awkward stance with one foot in the bunker. Taylor made his birdie putt just as it started to rain to send the playoff back to the 18th tee after Fleetwood juiced his shot from the rough but got up and down with a long one to put pressure on Taylor.
On the second playoff hole, Fleetwood missed his approach from the fairway even further to the right, so far that it hit the hospitality tent. Taylor capitalized and played his approach from the first-cut rough, which was to the left of the green but far from the back right pin. Taylor’s chip came up short as it missed the mark on the pin, leaving a 20-foot birdie putt. Fleetwood hit one inside Taylor to 11 feet after getting a drop in the thick, wet rough. Fleetwood missed high and left after Taylor missed low and right, sending the playoff to the par-3 ninth.
Fleetwood’s shot clung to the edge of the green just a few feet closer while Taylor missed the green with a short putt from the fringe. The marathon match was relegated to the par-5 18th for a fourth playoff hole after both players failed to par.
Taylor’s found the front half of the green from the first cut, leaving a 72-foot putt for birdie after Fleetwood had to lay up due to a bad tee shot. Fleetwood’s methodology missed the mark on the pin, leaving 12 feet from a comparative area as one of his past missed birdie putts. With his country watching, Taylor covered the putt and sent the group into a craze.
After winning the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship, Taylor now has three wins in his career. He had missed the cut in his last two beginnings yet presently has six top 10 and 2 second place completes this season.
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