Abbotsford's Taylor Can't Wait 'Til Next Year... Starting Next Month

Abbotsford, BC's Nick Taylor Reflected On A Positive 2017 PGA TOUR Season And Is Already Looking Ahead To Next Year, Which Is Only A Month Away With The New PGA TOUR Schedule - Image Courtesy Sky Sports

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Nick Taylor says he will take many positives from his just-concluded 2017 PGA TOUR season and can’t wait until next year. He won’t have to wait long. The 2018 PGA TOUR campaign starts in just over a month at the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif., which goes Oct. 13-16.

Until then, Taylor will enjoy some down time and work on sharpening the one part of his game that he felt at times let him down this past season. That would be his putting. “On the greens I wasn’t great this year putting, so I think that is an area where I can get better,” Taylor said in an interview with British Columbia Golf.

“In some of those tournaments where I was in contention, if I could have putted a little better it would have made a real difference. Overall though, there were a lot of positives this year.”

Taylor’s season ended on Labour Day in Boston, where he tied for 56th at the Dell Technologies Championship, the second event of the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup playoffs. Only the top 70 players on the FedEx Cup points list after the Boston event advanced to next week’s BMW Championship near Chicago and Taylor finished 93rd. So his season is done.

It was a solid campaign for the 29-year-old Abbotsford native. Taylor had four top 10s, made 20 of 29 cuts and earned more than $1.25 million. More importantly, he finished well inside the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list to remain fully exempt next year.

“I definitely had a great stretch in the middle of the year from about April through June,” Taylor said. “I was very consistent and in contention quite a bit. The last couple of months I would have liked to have played a little bit better, but with all the breaks it was a little bit harder to get into a groove. But I think it was a very positive year.”

Taylor will spend much of the next month in Abbotsford, where he will hold his annual Nick Taylor Charity Pro-Am at Ledgeview Golf Club on Sept. 27. Taylor feels like he played more consistent golf this year. He not only made a lot of cuts, he made them comfortably, which put him in better position to contend on the weekend.

“There were a lot of great tournaments where instead of making the cut on the number or one or two shots inside, I made it pretty easily and I was in good position going into the weekend which is kind of the next step,” he said.

“I made a bunch of cuts the first couple of years out here, but a lot of them I was around the cut line, so I had to have great weekends to get a top 10 or 20. I was in better position the first couple of days this year.”

Taylor switched to Taylor Made’s M2 driver in early April and while it cost him four or five yards of distance, he began hitting more fairways. That allowed him to attack more pins. “It just gave me a little more spin so I lost a few yards but with more spin I was able to keep it in play more and my misses were much better. That was something I had been looking for. It’s not like I was driving really bad before, but a few of the misses were bigger than I wanted. Like I said, I have sacrificed a bit of yardage, but hitting more fairways has definitely been a boost.”

As for his putting, Taylor plans to focus on his speed control. He has been putting cross-handed since April and has been solid inside six feet. “Speed control is something I can definitely work on,” he said. “With all the best putters, their speed is always phenomenal.”

Taylor said he is delighted for and has been inspired by the play of fellow Abbotsford product Adam Hadwin. He and Hadwin grew up together playing Ledgeview. “I think it's great that he made the (International) Presidents Cup team,” Taylor said.

“It's great to see him play as well as he has. It was no surprise to me or anyone who has played with him much. But it is something I think I can achieve at some point as well. It is fun to see someone you know well do it. It kind of gives you a push to do the same thing.”

Like maybe in the 2018 season, for which Taylor already has some goals. “To win again is a huge goal,” he said. “Each year I have been in contention more often. This year I was in good position in some events every day. I had good first rounds, was in good position through two and three rounds. I am excited about this fall. The break will be nice, but I am definitely hungry to play well and get off to a good start this fall.”