Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor wins Cascades Pro-Am

PGA Tour pro earns top spot on home course

Abbotsford's Nick Taylor practices his putting prior to the UFV Cascades Pro-Am event at Ledgeview on Friday.

Abbotsford's Nick Taylor practices his putting prior to the UFV Cascades Pro-Am event at Ledgeview on Friday.

Nick Taylor didn’t disappoint on his home course.

The PGA Tour pro shot a blistering 31 on the front nine, en route to a five-under 65 to take home top spot in the UFV Cascades Pro-Am at Ledgeview Golf and Country Club on Friday.

Taylor birdied four of the first nine holes and eagled another to set a pace that no other golfer could match. The back nine saw the Abbotsford product shoot one eagle and one bogey, while hitting par on the other seven holes.

He beat out Vancouver’s Andrew Rasmussen (68) and Cascades alum Brett Stewart (69) to earn top spot.

Chad McAdie (70) was solo fourth, while Cascades assistant coach Brad Clapp, defending tournament champ Kevin Stinson and Chris Lee tied for fifth with matching rounds of 72.

The tournament was a fundraiser for the UFV golf program, and doubled as an official Vancouver Golf Tour event. Taylor said it’s always nice to compete on his home turf.

“I’ve known Chris Bertram [Cascades golf head coach] for a long time and I’ve known a lot of the guys that have played on the team so if I can help out in any way then it’s nice to be back here and be able to do that,” he said.

Taylor said the good start buoyed him to victory.

“I got off to a good start, and I was driving well,” he said. “I was greenside on one, had a pitch on two, eagled five, birdied six. So I was five-under through six, and I coasted my way in from there. It was fun. The course is in great shape, and it’s been fun to play the last couple weeks.”

He earned $1,200 with the win, to add to the nearly half a million dollars he has earned this season professionally. His highlight of the season thus far was a -10 tied for fifth place showing at the Puerto Rico Open in March, in which he earned $109,500. He also finished tied for 21st at the Texas Open in April.

“I think I’m playing pretty well,” he said of his season. “The results haven’t quite been there for a lot of events but it’s just been a few mistakes here and there that have cost me. I feel like I’m pretty close to having some good finishes this summer and I’m excited to get back out there.”

Taylor, who trained at Ledgeview as a junior, said it was jarring to see the condition of the course’s clubhouse, which was destroyed by a fire earlier this year.

“It’s a shame but I think they’re doing the best that they can,” he said. “Having the trailers come in and having the new deck on top, it’s coming along. When the old building eventually gets torn down, it’ll be a little sad. I think it won’t be easy for some members, but when they see something new come in it’ll be pretty cool for them.”

He continues with the Quicken Loans National tournament this week, along with an event in Reno next week.

Also on the horizon is the 2016 Summer Olympics. Only the top two world-ranked Canadian male and female golfers can qualify for the Games in Rio de Janeiro, and Taylor currently sits in fifth place. Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin ranks third.

The cut-off date for the team selection is July 11, and Taylor said with a good month he can make his Olympic dreams come true.

“If I have a couple good finishes I can definitely get in that conversation quickly,” he said. “I would need a win or at least some top-three finishes to get close but it’s doable. It would be awesome to make it on the team; that was a goal of mine at the start of the year.”

For complete results from the Cascades Pro-Am, visit golfleaguegenius.com/pages/291656.