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Canadian hero Nick Taylor is aiming for a repeat at the RBC Canadian Open

In June 2023, Nick Taylor etched his name into Canadian sports history by sinking an unforgettable 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth hole of a playoff at Oakdale Golf & Country Club. The stunning victory made him the first Canadian to win the nationally prestigious RBC Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher in 1954.

With the 2024 RBC Canadian Open underway, Taylor is in the spotlight as she prepares to defend her title in front of a home crowd eager to see another historic performance.

Marquee Trio

Taylor finds himself in a star-studded group for the opening rounds, joining the 2019 and 2022 tournament champion Rory McIlroy and Canadian Taylor Pendrith.

Pendrith recently won the CJ Cup Byron Nelson, becoming the last Canadian to triumph on the PGA TOUR. The anticipation is palpable as these three talented golfers prepare to showcase their skills.

Inspiration and excitement

Pendrith admired Taylor’s victory last year and called it inspirational. “It’s a massive event and seeing Nick win last year was incredible; it was super inspiring,” Pendrith said during a pre-tournament press conference. «It’s amazing to see him do it and end the drought like that.» I still get goosebumps watching the video.”

McIlroy also shared his excitement about racing in Canada, recalling his first win in Canada in 2019. “The place was buzzing. The Raptors were going to win NBA Championship. McIlroy recalled that the first time he attended the Canadian Open, he was “blown away by just the enthusiasm of the fans; It was played in a great atmosphere.»

Canadian fan energy

McIlroy compared the energy of Canadian golf fans to a hockey game, despite admitting he’s never attended one. «It feels like you’re playing in that kind of hockey environment, especially with the Rink,» he said. «I feel like I get good support most places we go to play, but for whatever reason it’s a little bit extra here in Canada.»

Nick Taylor’s Confidence and Legacy

Taylor’s historic victory boosted his confidence significantly, leading to his victory at TPC Scottsdale in early February. Reflecting on his accomplishments, Taylor said, “I’ve seen enough of the footage that I almost have the visual now instead of my perception. Yeah, I’ve seen so many angles now; it’s great to see different people’s reactions.»

Golf Canada commemorated Taylor’s historic achievement with a limited edition Nick Taylor bobblehead, with proceeds supporting the First Tee program. Taylor is happy to relive his iconic putt, noting, «I feel like when my wife and I see it, we find another person to look at and see how they reacted, which is pretty fun.»

Accepting the challenge

As the defending champion, Taylor is ready to handle the pressure that comes with the spotlight. “The biggest change, I would say, from last year is recognized more in the context of the golf course. Now, especially at the Canadian Open — so yeah, it’s a lot of pictures and autographs,” Taylor said.

He remains focused and ready to take on a challenge, understanding that pressure is a privilege. “I think our crowds are going to be pretty big for the next couple of days with Rory – who always has such a following and playing with Pendy. So I’m really looking forward to it,» he added.

As the RBC Canadian Open gets underway, all eyes will be on Nick Taylor. With the confidence gained from his historic victory and the support of the Canadian fans, Taylor is ready to defend his title and continue his remarkable journey in professional golf.

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Information is taken from Yahoo News and Global News

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