Canadian Nick Taylor emerged victorious in the RBC Canadian Open after defeating Tommy Fleetwood in a four-hole playoff. Taylor’s 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth playoff hole secured his win, making it the longest putt of his career on the Tour. This triumph marks the first Canadian victory in the event since 1954. Taylor’s previous wins include the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2020 and the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2014.
Yahoo Sports: Canadian Nick Taylor rallies for historic win in a playoff at RBC Canadian Open with a 72-foot eagle
Ryan Young; June 11, 2023
For the first time in nearly seven decades, a Canadian has won the RBC Canadian Open.
Nick Taylor held on and beat Tommy Fleetwood in a four-hole playoff in the PGA Tour’s only Canadian event on Sunday afternoon. He posted a 6-under 66, and then defeated Fleetwood to win at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto.
Pat Fletcher was the last Canadian to win the event in 1954. Taylor is now the fifth Canadian to have three or more wins on the Tour.
Taylor beat Fleetwood with a wild 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth playoff hole — which prompted a huge celebration from his fellow Canadian Tour members on the green. It was the longest putt Taylor has made in his career on Tour.
“I’m speechless,” an emotional Taylor said on CBS. “This is for all the guys that are here. This is for my family at home … I’m very speechless. This is the most incredible feeling ever.”
The celebration got so crazy that at one point, a security guard tackled fellow Canadian Adam Hadwin on the green.
Taylor nearly got Fleetwood on the first playoff hole after sticking his third shot to just about 5 feet from the edge of the bunker as rain started to fall. But Fleetwood drained a 20.5-foot birdie putt of his own to extend the playoff.
Fleetwood’s approach landed in the grandstands on the second playoff hole, which forced him to drop in the rough well below the green.
Taylor, who landed shy of the green on the far side, then chipped up and set himself up with a 20-foot birdie putt — which he narrowly missed. Fleetwood popped his chip up and left himself with about an 11-foot birdie putt, but he missed too. So, the pair went off to the third playoff hole, this time at the par-3 ninth.
Both golfers left their tee shots just off the front edge of the green and settled for par, so they returned to the 18th for a fourth playoff hole.
Finally, Taylor pulled it off. After landing his drive in a divot just off the fairway, Taylor stuck his second shot on the green on the par-5. That led him to the 72-foot eagle putt and the win.
“I mean, nice moment for Nick and the fans here,” Fleetwood said. “So it’s great to be a part of that Sunday and that playoff. I had my chances, really. It wasn’t to be this time. But, yeah, congratulations to him.”
Taylor holds on after Fleetwood forces playoff in Toronto
Taylor’s week in Toronto didn’t start out great. After a tumultuous start for the Tour in general — with Tour commissioner Jay Monahan’s surprise announcement about a merger with LIV Golf and an emergency players meeting at the course — Taylor carded an opening-round 75. By the end of Moving Day, however, Taylor was just three shots back. He matched the course record Saturday with a 9-under 63.
He then quickly flew ahead to a two-shot lead on Sunday, thanks to five birdies in his first 10 holes of the day. He was draining putts left and right, including a nearly 25-footer on the fourth hole and a 17-footer at the sixth.
Though Taylor slipped with a bogey at No. 11, he reached the green in two on the par-5 12th to instantly offset it. Just like that, he was back up by two. By the time he reached the 14th, he was met with a huge rendition of “O Canada” by fans at The Rink.
Meanwhile, Tyrrell Hatton was in the middle of a run of his own to threaten Taylor’s win. Hatton made 10 birdies and went 8-under Sunday to match Taylor when he got into the clubhouse. Hatton even made a double bogey on No. 8, but ended his day with four straight birdies.
And, thanks to a bogey at the 16th, Hatton even briefly had the lead.
Taylor, however, played the last two holes perfectly. He sank a 17-foot birdie putt at the 17th to take a share of the lead again as he stepped up to the final hole.
Taylor then reached the back edge of the par-5 18th in two, which set up his birdie to briefly retake the solo lead.
Fleetwood, after back-to-back birdies of his own to get within a share of the lead by the final hole, parred the 18th to force a playoff. He entered the round just two shots back himself, and finished the day with a 5-under 67.
Fleetwood was searching for the first win of his career on Tour. The Englishman has won six times on the DP World Tour, most recently at the Nedbank Golf Challenge last year. Hatton, Aaron Rai and CT Pan finished in third at 16-under. Hatton had 10 birdies in his round and offset a double bogey to jump 10 spots up the leaderboard with his final-round 64.
Taylor has now won three times on Tour. His last win was at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2020, which came almost five years after his inaugural win at the Sanderson Farms Championship early in the 2014-15 season.