Nick Taylor of Canada has become a national hero.
The 35-year-old Taylor sank an incredible 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth playoff hole to defeat Tommy Fleetwood of England and win the 112th RBC Canadian Open at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Taylor became the first Canadian to win their national championship since Pat Fletcher in 1954 at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, and the first player born in Canada to win it since Karl Keffler in 1914.
“I’m just speechless, seeing that last putt go in,” said Taylor, who claimed his third PGA Tour victory and first since the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. “This is for all the Canadian guys who have been close and haven’t won it. But with all the great players we’ve had coming up in the last few years, you just knew it was going to happen, sooner rather than later.
“I knew I had to get that last putt at least close to the hole, because I felt Tommy was going to make his birdie putt. We both played so well, and had some chances to win in the playoff, but I am so happy to get it done.
“The fans were simply great, chanting my name and cheering me on to keep me going, and it was wonderful to have all my friends and family here. I shot 75 in the first round and my wife (Andie) gave me a talking to that night which really helped me get going.”
Fleetwood and Taylor both had chances to win on the first three extra holes by going birdie-par-par, before Taylor sank the monstrous winning putt.
Taylor, coming off a course-record nine-under-par 63 in the third round, birdied five of the first 10 holes in the final round to take the lead and added the last two of his eight birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to shoot 66 and post a score of 17-under-par 271.
Fleetwood made six birdies, his last two on the 16th and 17th to pull even with Taylor, but could manage only a par on the last hole after making three birdies there earlier in the week and closed with a 67.
“I hit some poor shots there on No. 18 at the end of regulation and really didn’t have a chance to make a birdie,” said Fleetwood, who has won six times on the DP World Tour and nine times as a pro, but not yet on the PGA Tour.
“I was playing so well, and then I just seemingly couldn’t make a putt when I needed it after making a bunch of birdies earlier. But give credit to Nick, because he played so well and that was an amazing putt he made at the end.
“I came close again and I just have to keep working hard and I’ll get my first win over here.”
Tyrrell Hatton of England birdied the first four holes and the last four, added two more birdies while shooting 64 to finish one stroke back in a tie for third with third-round leader C.T. Pan of Taiwan, who didn’t make any of his four birdies until No. 14 in a 70, and Aaron Rai of England, who made three birdies on each nine in a 67.
Eric Cole tied the course record of 63 set by Taylor in round two by closing with four straight birdies to cap his bogey-free round and was three shots back in a tie for sixth with Mark Hubbard, who had two birdies and two bogeys in a 70.
Justin Rose of England, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, made his third birdie on the last hole to salvage a 71 and finished four down in solo eighth, while third-ranked Rory McIlroy, the two-time defending Canadian champion, had two birdies and two bogeys in a 72 and wound up five strokes behind in a tie for ninth with Brandon Wu of Danville and Stanford, who had a bogey-free 69, and Andrew Novak, birdied the last hole to salvage a 72.
Eighth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England birdied the last hole for a 70 to tie for 20th.
The PGA Tour will play its third major of the season, the 123rd United States Open, on the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard