The cameras were ready and phones were out as fans were ready to witness history; the crowd buzzing in silence as they knew what was at stake and everyone holding their breath as Canadian golfer Nick Taylor was on the precipice of history as he approached the final fourth playoff hole against English golfer Tommy Fleetwood.
Taylor approached the final hole focused and confident, which you saw in his body language and form. When he hit from 72 feet on the 18th green, as the ball rolled, the crowd started roaring, knowing it was good before it eventually dropped in and the atmosphere went into pandemonium… History was just made!
Taylor’s 72-foot eagle made him the 1st Canadian in 69 years to win the RBC Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher did it in 1954 at Point Grey in Vancouver, but he was born in England; Karl Keffer was the last Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914.
Taylor jumped into his caddie Dave Markle’s arms to celebrate one of the most iconic historic moments in Canadian sports and sports history after he put in the 72-foot eagle that strayed left-to-right before it dropped into the hole.
“I blacked out when that ball went in with Dave. So I’m curious to watch that, what we did,” Taylor said.
Taylor continued with: “It’s a tournament that we’ve circled on our calendar since probably junior golf, to kind of break that curse, if you want to call it, is — I’m pretty speechless. I don’t think it’s going to sink in for quite some time what happened today.”
Canadian contemporaries such as Mike Weir, Corey Conners, and Adam Hadwin were there in attendance to celebrate the moment with Taylor, with Taylor’s best friend Hadwin being tackled by security for spraying a champagne bottle around.
The crowd serenaded Taylor with “O Canada” as he hit an 11-foot birdie on the 18th hole to finish 17-under par 271 at Oakdale and shooting 6-under 66 on Sunday.
Taylor expressed his gratitude for the atmosphere: “It was the most incredible atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of and it’s not even close. I think even walking the first tee today, walking to the first green, there’s ovations on every single tee and green. “When Tommy would miss and they would cheer, I kind of felt bad for him. But I knew just how pumped they were and they were trying to put every ounce of energy into it to help me pull it through.”
Fleetwood put up a great battle against Taylor until the very end, needing a birdie on the par 5 to win in regulation, but ended up missing the tee shot to the right which ultimately set the groundwork for what transpired afterward with Taylor.
Taylor, the three-time PGA Tour champion now adds this incredible accomplishment to his trophy case in what should be a confidence booster for him for future upcoming tournaments.