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Taylor's victory at RBC Canadian Open 'monumental' on multiple levels

Nick Taylor Nick Taylor - The Canadian Press
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Nick Taylor tossed his putter having realized what he had accomplished.

That moment on Sunday was followed by thunderous cheers and jumping from the fans at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto, which coincided with the reaction from fans at home across Canada, including some of Taylor's family.

Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., became the first Canadian to win the RBC Canadian Open since 1954 when he made a walk-off 72-foot eagle putt to defeat Tommy Fleetwood of Southport, England in a four-hole playoff.

"You can't do anything but cry and hug," said Nick's father, Jay, who watched from home and was preparing to fly to Los Angeles for this week's U.S. Open event.

"We've talked to some family and some close friends since then and I still don't think we have our head around it.

"We were fortunate enough to be at the tournament when Nick won the Canadian Junior (championship) and then we were fortunate enough to be at the tournament when Nick won the Canadian Amateur (championship). So for him to finish this off now and be able to say he has his name on all three trophies, that's the kind of stuff that we think is so special.

"Just super, super proud of him."

Brad Clapp, general manager of Ledgeview Golf Club in Abbotsford — Taylor's home course — said "the club was quite energized" Sunday.

"The clubhouse was busy and had a lot of people there and cheering them on and I'm sure at their houses, too," he said. "This is monumental. Obviously for the nation, but to look at it from a Ledgeview Golf Club standpoint this is, yeah, it's incredible.

"There's not many other courses that can lay claim to this."

Taylor, who won his third career PGA Tour event Sunday, was filled with emotion.

"I'm speechless," he said on the CBS broadcast. "This is for all the guys that are here, this is for my family at home.

"I'm very speechless, this is the most incredible feeling ever."

Ian Leggatt tweeted about the difficulty to explain what it meant for fellow Canadian golfers such as himself.

"Tough to explain what it means as a Canadian PGA Tour player to see my buddy, Nick Taylor win the @RBCCanadianOpen. Extremely proud of him and what that means to all of Canadians that have played in the PGA Tour."

Asked of the impact the win may have, Jay Taylor traced back to Mike Weir's Masters win in 2003.

"The boys and I watched when Mike Weir won the Masters and that was my reaction to Mike winning the Masters," he said. "The effect this is gonna have for the Canadian kids and it has, and it takes a while for the whole thing to work its way through the system.

"The young children that were watching today, that were there, the teenagers, all the golfers that are in junior golf programs watching this right now — a Canadian kid won. They know it can be done."

Former Canadian men's soccer player Craig Forrest referred to Taylor's putt as one for the Canadian history books.

"Nick Taylor! No question one of the greatest moments in Canadian sports history. Forever known as THE PUTT! #RBCCanadianOpen Congratulations," Forrest tweeted.

The Toronto Blue Jays, meanwhile, posted a photo of Taylor tossing his putter alongside Jose Bautista's iconic bat flip from the 2015 playoffs in commending him for the victory.

"That looked familiar. Congrats to Nick Taylor on winning the Canadian Open," the team tweeted.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2023.