Nick Taylor hoisted a bronze rooster Sunday in Jackson, Miss. after winning the PGA Tour Sanderson Farms Championship. The recently married 26-year-old Taylor is the first Canadian-born golfer to win a Tour event since Mike Weir in 2007, and the first Abbotsford golfer to ever win one. Taylor walked away with $720,000, a tidy sum for a man who made the PGA Tour by a whisker in the Web.com Tour championships in September.
Taylor finished 16-under par courtesy of eight birdies and two bogies in his final round. His closest competition, Boo Weekley and Jason Bohn, both finished at 14-under. Taylor shot rounds of 67, 69, 70, and 66 on his way to the victory, and credited his putting game for the achievement.
“I putted unbelievable today,” he said on Sunday. “Everything just kind of came together … It was a great day.”
Taylor compared his final round of the tournament to his final 18 holes of the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. back in September, a performance that guaranteed him a PGA Tour card. In that round Taylor hit a seven-under 63, the best round of the day by two strokes, and finished 18th on the Web.com playoff-only money list (the top 25 received PGA Tour cards).
Sunday’s victory in Jackson provides Taylor with two years of exempt status (he can’t be cut from the Tour), as well as 300 FedEx Cup points, which moves him into the top ten in the overall rankings.
“[It’s a] great victory for him, great victory for his family, great victory for Ledgeview, and a great victory for Canada,” said former PGA Tour pro and Abbotsford resident Ray Stewart. Although he picked up a number of second-place finishes in his career, Stewart never managed a tournament victory akin to Taylor’s.
“The first thing that he’s going to notice is that all his pairings will change,” said Stewart, after an enthusiastic congratulations for Taylor. “He’ll now play with all the tournament winners, which is a huge, huge difference. He’s going to get into a few more tournaments, he’s got some security out there, his contracts are going to grow, he’ll be more recognizable.”
Taylor, a Yale Secondary product, rose to No. 1 in the world amateur rankings in 2009 and won the Ben Hogan award as the NCAA’s top male golfer in 2010 for his exploits with the University of Washington Huskies. He and his wife Angie will travel to Mexico this week to prepare for the OHL Classic of Mayakoba, the final PGA Tour event of 2014.
Fellow Abbotsford golfer Adam Hadwin finished tied for 73rd overall with a final score of three-over.