HAMILTON– Nick Taylor knows what’s at stake heading into the weekend at the RBC Canadian Open. To make his country proud? Well, that’s a given. But the pressure that is on Nick and all the six Canadians who made the cut is to win their national open on home soil. A feat that has not been completed since Patrick Fletcher in 1954.
Last year, Nick Taylor was in a similar position but it was snatched from his grasp. He hopes things will be different heading into the weekend at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.
“This year is redemption from last year,” stated Taylor after his second round 65. “I felt like I was in a decent spot and let it slip away. I feel more prepared, so hopefully I can play well.”
Nick Taylor Continuing Year of Consistency
There are many positives to take from Nick Taylor’s year thus far. One of them is consistency. In the tournaments he has played, the Winnipeg native has flashed glimpses of brilliance as he moved up the leaderboard. He would finish tied for 16th at his inaugural PLAYERS Championship and secure his lone top-10 at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.
But having two solid rounds back to back is a reality Taylor hasn’t experienced yet. His 64 and 65 set a new career-low 36-hole score at 129, with his previous being 132 at the 2018 Wyndham Championship. With Hamilton Golf & Country Club yielding soft greens, the scores would inevitably be low. And Nick Taylor took advantage of this both days.
Through two rounds, the Canadian has hit 64.3 percent of his fairways and 77.8 percent of his greens in regulation. In his second round, he was able to convert the medium range putts on the Front 9, including an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. And then on the back 9, he conquered the adversity of the expectations, closing out with three birdies on the last four holes. Scrappy, one would say, but Nick Taylor was eager to close out the way he did.
“The back nine was a little scrappier than the previous 27 holes,” said Taylor. “But I hung in there and made a couple nice pars. It was really nice to be able to back up a good round with another one, which is something that has been missing in my game this year.”
Nick Taylor Leading Charge of Canadian Contingent Heading into the Weekend
Nick Taylor was the leader of the plethora of Canadian golfers who would make the weekend at the RBC Canadian Open. Any fear that these national players could not handle the moment was quelled when six would make the cut, four being within favourable striking distance to the top of the leaderboard. Hometown hopeful Mackenzie Hughes, currently tied for seventh, has won the previous two Rivermead Cups as the low Canadian in the field. Adam Hadwin, despite a disappointing season, is only three back of the lead with a second round 66.
And Ben Silverman, who shot the second lowest round of the day with a 61, would get two eagles for the first time in his career. The Thornhill, Ontario native made golf look so easy in his second round, particularly in his ability to hit fairways. The second round saw Silverman hit 14 fairways, compared to his first round, where he found five.
“I think it’s exciting,” said Silverman after his round. “It’s my second straight Friday in a Canadian Open shooting 9-under. Pretty pumped about that.”
As the Canadian patrons congregate to the illustrious amphitheater at Hamilton Golf & Country Club, there is no doubt that they will be loud and boisterous. For Nick Taylor and the entire Canadian golf group, they hope to feed off that energy and enthusiasm, providing the impetus to get them into contention come Sunday.
“The crowd will be buzzing,” affirmed Taylor. “If we keep staying up in contention, hopefully all four of us have a chance coming into Sunday.”