Canada’s Nick Taylor playing best golf of his career heading into PGA Championship

Nick Taylor (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Nick Taylor believes he’s playing the best golf of his career. His results this season back that up.

Taylor is the highest ranked Canadian on the FedEx Cup standings, a position that’s earned him a berth in this week’s PGA Championship. He qualified for the second major of the men’s golf season based on his 22nd overall ranking in the PGA Tour’s points list.

The 35-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., hasn’t played in the PGA Championship for three years and has only appeared in one major – the 2022 U.S. Open – since 2020.

But given how Taylor’s been playing this season, he’s hoping for more.

“I’ve got a lot to accomplish this year. I’d really like to make the Tour Championship, that’s a big goal of mine,” said Taylor while travelling to Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., for the PGA Championship. “We have three majors left, this week being one, and playing those and hopefully being in contention at some point.”

Taylor’s consistency this season has put him in five top 10s and made him a runner-up twice after 18 events. He most recently finished second with partner Adam Hadwin, also from Abbotsford, at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on April 23.

Other highlights from this season include tying for sixth at the Fortinet Championship on Sept. 18, a tie for seventh at the Sony Open in Hawaii on Jan. 15, a runner-up finish at the WM Phoenix Open on Feb. 12, and a tie for 10th at the Valspar Championship on March 19.

“When I went to Hawaii, I felt like I was committed to what I was doing and I wasn’t going to be searching anymore,” said Taylor, who has been working with short-game coach Gareth Raflewski. “I think anybody can go down that rabbit hole and it never ends up working out.

“So being committed to that and knowing that everything that we were looking for (in my game) was good and sticking to it.”

A total of 13 cuts made has Taylor up to US$4.05 million in winnings near the midway point of the season, more than doubling his income from the 2019-2020 season, his most lucrative season until now.

“Keep putting myself in good spots,” said Taylor of his mindset. “I think this year, more than past years, I’m just sticking to process goals and doing the things that the results are reflective of, instead of focusing on the results and going backwards.”

Taylor and Hadwin – “Team Abbotsford” at the Zurich Classic – will be joined by another four Canadians at the PGA Championship. Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., are also in the field.

The six Canadians at this year’s PGA Championship matches last year’s U.S. Open for most ever at a men’s major, according to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

Taylor said that “it’s awesome” to have so many Canadians earning their way into majors as they are a pretty close group off the course.

“I think that drives us,” said Taylor. “It feels like we can go out and you can see a Canadian flag toward the top of the leaderboard every week.

“We’re going to keep getting better. I think a lot of us have the Presidents Cup circled on our calendar next year that’s in Canada. Mike Weir being the captain, that’s a big motivation for a lot of us.”