2023 Canadian Open Recap

2023 Canadian Open Recap

Nick Taylor Becomes First Native to Win RBC Canadian Open Since 1954

It appeared that Nick Taylor would become the first Canadian to win its national open in nearly 70 years when he made a 12-foot birdie putt on 18 to put him a shot ahead of the other leaders at -17. 

Tommy Fleetwood, however, birdied two of the final three holes to force a playoff. After waiting since 1954 to see a native win the RBC Canadian Open, what would at least another hole?

It took four, but it finally happened.

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2023 Canadian Open Recap

On the par-5 18th, Fleetwood’s third shot landed about 12 feet from the cup. Taylor’s second shot left him about 72 feet from the hole. He said he figured the Englishman would make the birdie putt, so he had to try for the win.

Shockingly, the 72-foot putt hit the flagstick and dropped into the cup, marking the longest putt of Taylor’s career and sparking a wild celebration among the fans and fellow Canadian golfers at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto.

“I think it’s a tournament that we’ve circled on our calendar since probably junior golf. But ever since I’ve been on the PGA Tour, this is one that we want to do as well as we can in, and the crowd support was the most unbelievable thing I will probably ever experience in my life,” Taylor said. “To break that curse, if you want to call it … I’m pretty speechless.”

After he made the putt, Taylor tossed his putter into the air and jumped into the arms of caddie Dave Markle. Canadians Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, and Mike Weir all joined in the celebration. Hadwin was actually tackled by a security guard when he sprayed champagne onto Taylor. 

“He’s been building up to this all year,” said Markle. “I’m the least surprised of anyone to see this happen.”

It was Taylor’s third win on the PGA Tour and first since winning at Pebble Beach in 2020. Earlier this year, he was runner-up at the WM Phoenix Open and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

For Fleetwood, it was his third top-five finish in his last eight starts, but the first PGA Tour win for the six-time DP World Tour winner still eludes him.

“Nice moment for Nick and the fans here, so it’s great to be a part of that Sunday and that playoff,” Fleetwood said after the fifth runner-up finish of his PGA Tour career. “I had my chances, really; it wasn’t meant to be this time. Congratulations to him. I have a major next week, so can’t dwell on it too much.”

Tyrrell Hatton, another Englishman looking for his first win on the PGA Tour, finished tied for third at -16 with Aaron Rai and C.T. Pan, who was the leader going into the final round.

Eric Cole and Mark Hubbard tied for sixth, Justin Rose was eighth, and tied for ninth were Rory McIlroy, Brandon Wu, and Andrew Novak. 

Up Next

The U.S. Open, the year’s third major, takes place at the Los Angeles Country Club in California. Matt Fitzpatrick is the defending champion. He’ll be joined by the world’s best golfers, including Masters champion Jon Rahm and PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka. 

Check here the full 2023 RBC Canadian Open Highlights

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