BC's Nick Taylor Finishes Second In Phoenix Earning Career Best Payday

Abbotsford, BC's Nick Taylor - Image Credit Bernard Brault/Golf Canada

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Nick Taylor went head to head with two of the best players in the world and never blinked. And while the Abbotsford native had to settle for second place, he earned one heck of a nice consolation prize at the PGA TOUR’s WM Phoenix Open.

Taylor took home $2.18 million as he finished the star-stacked $20-million event at TPC Scottsdale at 17-under par, two shots behind new world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler...

Playing in the final group with Jon Rahm and Scheffler, Taylor played exquisite golf as he closed with a six-under 65. He pulled even with Scheffler early on the back nine, but the American grabbed the lead for good when he eagled the par 5 13th hole. His lone bogey came on the par 3 16th, when he couldn’t get up and down for par and Scheffler did.

“I played great today,” Taylor said. “I felt like I didn’t make any mistakes maybe until 16. But I really felt like that was a great swing off the tee there . . .I would love that chip back. I felt like that was one I could actually hole. It was a still a tricky chip, but one I would like to do a bit better. But I putted great all day, hit a lot of great shots, so I don’t have a lot of complaints.”

While he has displayed good form of late, Taylor did not have a great history at TPC Scottsdale, despite practicing there regularly. In eight previous starts at the WM Phoenix Open, Taylor had finished no better than tied for 49th. But he got off to a nice start, playing the back nine in 30 shots en route to a 66 in the first round.

He fired four rounds in the 60s and never looked out of sorts. “I have been playing well, but my track record here is really not that great,” Taylor said.

“I’ve worked a lot on my putting. Kind of changed my grip (to a claw) over the fall. I putted great this week. That has kind of been my Achilles heel out here. I have always hit it pretty nice, but just wasn’t able to read the greens that great. Once I saw some putts going in I definitely got some confidence and rolled a lot of nice putts.”

He rolled what looked to be a nice birdie putt on the par 4 17th, only to see it lip-out. “That would have made things a little more interesting on 18,” Taylor said.

Fellow Abbotsford product Adam Hadwin also contended all week. Hadwin was just three back to start the day and birdied his first hole before fading in the middle of his round. He rallied to finish tied for 10th at 10-under par and made $485,000. Hadwin and fellow Canadians Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes were greenside to congratulate Taylor after his round. “To show their support and show up is great,” Taylor said.

“It would have been nice if I was holding the trophy with them there, too.” Taylor, Hadwin and fellow British Columbian Adam Svensson of Surrey, who missed the cut in Phoenix, are all in the field for this week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Golf Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.