Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor holds high the trophy he earned for winning at Pebble Beach. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor wins at Pebble Beach

Ledgeview golf product becomes first Canadian to win at legendary event

Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor stared down one of golf’s giants on Sunday, outplaying Phil Mickelson and becoming the first Canadian to win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Ontario’s Mike Weir finished four strokes out of first place back in 2009, but the prize at one of golf’s biggest tournaments had eluded Canadians for 82 years until Taylor put it all together.

Taylor started the four-day event off with the lowest round of any player, shooting a 63 on Thursday and he continued his strong play atop the leaderboard for the remainder of the event. He shot a 66 on Friday, a 69 on Saturday and clinched the title with a 70.

His total score of 268 was four shots up on American Kevin Streelman, and five up on Mickelson – who he was paired with during the final round. Mickelson, a legendary golfer with 44 PGA Tour wins to his credit, was a challenge for Taylor and he entered Sunday just one shot up on “Lefty”.

“I was just curious, to be honest. And he hit some amazing shots,” Taylor said of the taking on Mickelson. “I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t know if he can keep that up. If he can, great.’ But if I keep doing what I’m doing, plugging along … then try to make the guys behind me try to beat me.”

His remarkable Sunday featured birdies on holes 15 and 17 as he outdistanced Mickelson, essentially sealing the win with a clutch chip shot to earn his first birdie on the 15th hole.

Mickelson, who was going for his sixth win at the event, was gracious in defeat.

“It’s disappointing certainly to have not won, but I got outplayed,” Mickelson stated. “I mean, Nick played better than I did. He holed a couple of great shots. That eagle on 6, the putts he made on 4, 5 and 7 … he just really played some great golf.”

Taylor hadn’t won on the tour in over five years, and said he will savour this one.

“I believed I could do it because I’ve done it before,” he said. “But to do it in that fashion, playing with Phil, gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

Over at Abbotsford’s Ledgeview Golf and Country Club, where Taylor honed his game and is still a member, many were watching and were thrilled to see him earn the win.

“The members at Ledgeview have had the pleasure of watching Nick play at a high level for a long time,” said Ledgeview president Chris Gaudet. “It never gets old. Watching him win at the famous Pebble Beach was a great treat. What stood out to me, watching Nick on Sunday, was how focused he remained as the ocean winds picked up and he made a few bogies. Up to the very end, his focus and demeanour never changed.”

Gaudet went on to congratulate the entire Taylor family and noted that he is looking forward to seeing him back on the local links, especially in September for the annual Nick Taylor Charity Pro-Am event.

The win comes with some massive benefits for Taylor, as he takes home $1.4 million USD, receives a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, gets an invite to the Tournament of Champions event next year and also perhaps most importantly means he qualifies for the 2020 Masters Tournament in April.

It will be Taylor’s first-ever trip to the Masters, considered by many to be the top tournament in the golf world.

“I’ve dreamt of playing that tournament my entire life,” he said. “That’s going to be a dream come true.”

The 2020 Masters will have a unique Abbotsford flavour, as Ledgeview product Adam Hadwin also qualified to compete at the event after finishing in the the top 50 of the world golf rankings for 2019.

RELATED: Canada’s Adam Hadwin qualifies for the 2020 Masters by finishing year in top 50

The Masters runs from April 9 to 12 in Augusta, Ga.

-With files from Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Goose in Abbotsford rescued after legs wrapped up in fishing line

Wildlife centre operator says people need to be more careful

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read