Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor tees off on hole one at the UFV Cascades Pro-Am event on Wednesday. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor wins inaugural namesake tournament

Yale Secondary grad shoots 67, helps raise money for pair of Abbotsford charities

His name is on the tournament so he was a heavy favourite to win, but UFV Cascades golfer Daniel Campbell pushed Yale Secondary grad Nick Taylor to the limit at the inaugural Nick Taylor Charity Pro-Am event at Ledgeview on Wednesday.

The tournament, featuring 24 high-calibre pros from the Vancouver Golf Tour, saw Taylor and Campbell tied at three-under (67) after 18 holes, leading to a playoff on the par-four first hole.

Both players reached the green in two, and both were tight to the pin – in fact, Campbell’s deft chip from the left edge of the fairway landed just three feet from the cup, inside of Taylor’s ball, which was five feet away.

Taylor stepped up and drained his birdie putt, but Campbell’s ensuing effort rolled around the edge and lipped out, giving Taylor the victory.

The sold-out tournament at Ledgeview Golf Club – and the preceding gala dinner on Tuesday evening – raised funds for the Cascades golf program and a pair of charities selected by Taylor and wife Andie: the Starfish Pack food program, and the Holmberg House adult hospice facility. Final fundraising totals are yet to be calculated.

Taylor said the connection to the Starfish Pack food program, which helps provide food for elementary school children in the Abbotsford school district, came about through his work with the RBC Golf for Kids program a few years ago.

“I like that it’s Abbotsford-based and works with the food bank and I went to this school district and my mom is a teacher in the district so it all seemed to make sense to support it,” he said. “It’s a great program.”

He added that supporting Holmberg House was another easy decision, as both he and his wife are close with the Holmberg family. Taylor said this tournament and the support of the local charities help strengthen his family’s bond with Abbotsford.

“We spend our summers here and both me and my wife are from here and it’s just easy to support a community that has supported me,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer to support any causes around here and hopefully we can do it for a long time.”

Taylor is coming off a solid third season on the PGA Tour that saw him earn over $1.2 million and collect four top-10 finishes. His top finish was at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, when he finished tied for eighth. He said he was satisfied with his play this past season.

“I was hitting more fairways and basically everything outside of putting improved,” he said. “My ball striking was a lot better but my putting is something I’ve been working on and will continue to work on.”

Other results at the tournament included: Luke Bogdan and James Allenby tied for third at 68, and UFV’s Davis joined James Lepp, Brendan Dillon and Ed Tougas at 69.

Campbell’s foursome, also featuring Doug Neetz, Jason Cleveland and Brock Coutts, took the team title with a net score of -19.

Cascades golf head coach Chris Bertram said that Nick and Andie Taylor’s involvement this year has “taken the whole tournament to another level.”

“It was a humongous success for us,” he said. “We raised a lot of money for some good causes, and we raised a lot of money for our program. It’s just great to see the whole Fraser Valley golf community coming together and pitching in to help us do some good for some worthy causes.”

The Cascades golf team next heads to Victoria for the Camosun Invitational tournament starting on Saturday.