PGA TOUR

International Team Captain Mike Weir announces captain’s assistants for 2024 Presidents Cup

Team Canada Co Captains
Trevor Immelman, Ernie Els, , Camilo Villegas & Geoff Ogilvy (Getty Images)

MONTREAL – International Team Captain Mike Weir announced Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman, Geoff Ogilvy and Camilo Villegas as captain’s assistants for the 2024 Presidents Cup, which will be played at The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Sept. 24-29. 

“I am excited to announce Ernie, Trevor, Geoff and Camilo as my captain’s assistants for the 2024 Presidents Cup,” said Weir. “The four of them each have their own special history with this event and today’s announcement is a mere formality, as we have been working closely together through the years to ensure the International Team continues its momentum from 2019 and 2022. The culture and close-knit nature tied to this team is foundational to everything we will do heading into Montreal, and I can’t wait work alongside them to deliver a great week of golf for our players.”

Els, a 19-time PGA TOUR winner, has appeared in eight Presidents Cups (1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013) and holds the record for most matches won by an International Team player (20). The South African amassed an all-time 20-18-2 record and is third overall in matches won, trailing Tiger Woods (27) and Phil Mickelson (26) and tied with Jim Furyk (20). Els served as a captain’s assistant to Nick Price in 2017 before being named International Team Captain in 2019. That year, he unified the team with the creation of the shield and led the team to its biggest lead in Presidents Cup history before falling to a Tiger Woods-led U.S. Team, 16-14, at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, in Melbourne, Australia. 

“Mike has been a longtime friend, is a true icon of sport in his home country, and it’s an honor to participate captain’s assistant as his captain’s assistant as he leads the International Team into Montreal in 2024,” said Els. “This team has built a lot of momentum over the past five years, and I am eager to get to work and ensure our players are prepared to compete in Canada.”

Immelman, the 2022 Presidents Cup International Team Captain, has been added to Weir’s roster of leadership. The 2008 Masters champion played a pivotal role in the continued development of the International Team following Els’ creation of the shield. With a combination of strategy, authenticity and planning by Immelman, the team was able create an extremely close-knit group of players at Quail Hollow Club and lay the groundwork for Captain Weir to continue building the team’s momentum. The 44-year-old returns to the team for his second stint as a captain’s assistant after first serving under fellow countryman Els in 2019. Immelman competed for the International Team in 2005 and 2007.

“Being a part of this team means a great deal to me and is something I have put my heart and soul into over the years,” said Immelman. “This team has been resilient through adversity and is building a foundation for the future that we have taken immense pride in. I could not be more excited to support Mike as he leads a team of guys into Montreal that are fully committed to playing for our shield and representing the International Team.” 

Ogilvy returns to the Presidents Cup for a fourth time in the role of a captain’s assistant (2017, 2019, 2022). The 46-year-old Australian played on three consecutive International Teams (2007, 2009, 2011), where he amassed 7-6-1 record. Ogilvy owns eight career PGA TOUR victories, including the 2006 U.S. Open and three World Golf Championships, in addition to winning two of Australia’s biggest titles – the 2008 Australian PGA and 2010 Australian Open. 

“Mike is the ideal leader for the International Team heading into Canada and I am very much looking forward to working alongside him,” said Ogilvy. “His passion for this event, this sport and the enthusiastic Canadian sports fans is second to none and will make for an incredible week for our players in Montreal. It’s an honor to return as captain’s assistant once again and I can’t wait to assist in delivering a successful week for the International Team.” 

Villegas, 42, will return in 2024 after making his debut as a captain’s assistant in 2022 at Quail Hollow Club. The Colombian represented the International Team at the 2009 Presidents Cup at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. In addition to being a five-time PGA TOUR winner, Villegas reached a career-best No. 7 in the Official World Golf Ranking and represented Colombia in the World Cup of Golf in 2006 and 2011. 

“It’s a tremendous honor to be named as captain’s assistant and I look forward to working alongside Mike and preparing our guys for a great week at Royal Montreal,” said Villegas. “I served in this same capacity in 2022 in Charlotte, and the camaraderie and competitive fire from that team is something I know will carry over this fall as we continue to build a road to success for the International Team.”

For more information about the Presidents Cup, or to purchase tickets, please visit PresidentsCup.com.

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PGA TOUR

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler won the rain-delayed RBC Heritage on Monday to continue his dominant play on the PGA Tour. Scheffler held a five-shot lead with three holes to play when the tournament was suspended due to darkness on Sunday night. He returned on Monday and made a bogey on the final hole for what officially ended up as a three-stroke victory. It was his fourth win in his last five starts and Scheffler becomes the first player in almost 40 years to win the week after the Masters. The bogey ended a streak of 68 consecutive holes of par or better. Sahith Theegala made birdie on No. 16 before closing out his round with back-to-back pars to give him sole possession of second place. Wyndham Clark was one of the golfers who managed to finish his final round before play was suspended. He made a charge with six birdies and an eagle through his first 11 holes before stumbling down the stretch to finish with a 65. He ended up tied for third with Patrick Cantlay, four strokes back. Tom Hoge was on the 18th hole when the horn sounded to stop play but he elected to finish his round rather than come back on Monday. After his tee shot sailed out-of-bounds, his fourth shot found the native area and his next shot ended up in the bunker. After his sixth shot found the green, Hoge needed three putts for a quintuple-bogey 9 that dropped him from a tie for sixth to a tie for 18th. 

POS SCORESTOTAL
T39Mackenzie Hughes66-66-75-71-6
T42Adam Hadwin67-70-70-72-5
T44Corey Conners69-71-66-74-4
T44Adam Svensson72-66-70-72-4
T49Nick Taylor71-70-69-71-3

NEXT EVENT: Zurich Classic of New Orleans (Apr. 25)

CANADIANS ENTERED: Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, Taylor Pendrith, Ben Silverman, Roger Sloan, Nick Taylor 

PGA TOUR

Billy Horschel ran off four straight birdies on his first five holes and played bogey-free the rest of the way for a two-shot win at the Corales Puntacana Championship. It was the eighth career win for Horschel but his first in almost two years. The victory earns him a spot in the PGA Championship next month and likely entry into the next $20 million PGA Tour signature event. Wesley Bryan, who got into the tournament on a sponsor exemption, led for the first 54 holes and was looking to become just the second wire-to-wire winner of the event until a bogey on No. 15 ended his chances. He finished runner-up, his best result since winning the 2017 RBC Heritage. …Taylor Pendrith notched his third top-15 result of the season and his best result since the end of January.

POS SCORESTOTAL
T11Taylor Pendrith67-69-65-73-14
MCBen Silverman73-70 
MCRoger Sloan72-75 

PGA TOUR AMERICAS

Matthew Anderson made back-to-back birdies over the final two holes for a come-from-behind win at the rain-shortened ECP Brazil Open. It is the first career victory for the Golf Canada National Team member in just his 14th start since turning pro. He became the first Canadian to win on the newly amalgamated PGA Tour Americas, which combined the Latinoamerica and PGA Tour Canada tours. The victory also moves Anderson into top spot on the season-long Fortinet Cup standings. He will earn conditional membership on the Korn Ferry Tour next year if he remains in the top two positions through the six-event Latin American swing. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes after rain delayed the start of the first round on Thursday due to unplayable conditions. …Joey Savoie picked up his second top-20 finish in three starts this season. …Jeevan Sihota recorded his third career top-25 finish as a pro 

POS SCORESTOTAL
1Matthew Anderson63-65-69-16
T19Joey Savoie65-70-68-10
T21Jeevan Sihota69-64-71-9
T34Chris Wilson66-67-74-6
T34Thomas Giroux68-65-74-6
T41Noah Steele71-67-70-5
T48Jimmy Jones69-68-73-3
T52Lawren Rowe66-69-76-2
MCMax Sekulic72-68 
MCJohnny Travale72-68 
MCChris Crisologo73-71 
MCStuart Macdonald72-73 
MCBrendan MacDougall78-70 

NEXT EVENT: Diners Club Pero Open (Apr 25)

CANADIANS ENTERED:  Matthew Anderson, Chris Crisologo, Thomas Giroux, Jimmy Jones, Stuart Macdonald, Brendan MacDougall, Lawren Rowe, Joey Savoie, Max Sekulic, Jeevan Sihota, Noah Steele, Johnny Travale, Chris Wilson (alternate)

LPGA TOUR

Nelly Korda became just the third player in LPGA Tour history to win five consecutive starts with a two-stroke victory at the Chevron Championship. It’s the second major title in three years for the world’s number-one ranked player who joins Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam as the only players to win five consecutive events. Korda started the final round one stroke back of the lead but vaulted to the top of the leaderboard after making birdies on two of her first four holes. She increased the lead to four with a birdie on No. 10 and despite bogeys on Nos. 11 and 15, those chasing her failed to take advantage. Maja Stark put on a late charge with birdies on her final two holes to pull within a stroke of Korda, who birdied her final hole for the two-shot victory. Lauren Coughlin made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 to get within two shots only to give it all back with bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes. Brooke Henderson, whose third-round 64 was tournament record and just one stroke shy of her best round at an LPGA major, had three birdies over her first six holes but a bogey on No. 2 and a double bogey on No. 4 cancelled out those gains and she ended up in a tie for third with Coughlin. It’s her eighth career top-5 finish in a major championship. 

POS SCORESTOTAL
T3Brooke Hendeson71-71-64-72-10
MCSavannah Grewal76-73 

NEXT EVENT: JM Eagle LA Championship  (Apr 25)

CANADIANS ENTERED:  Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Savannah Grewal, Alena Sharp (reserve), Maddie Szeryk (reserve) 

KORN FERRY TOUR

Sweden’s Tim Widing made par on the second playoff hole to defeat Patrick Cover and Steven Fisk and win the LECOM Suncoast Classic. It was his first career win and Widing became the eighth straight first-time winner to start the season. It was also the fifth straight event that had to be decided in a playoff, the longest streak in Tour history. After becoming the youngest player to make the cut on the Korn Ferry Tour, 15-year-old amateur Miles Russell finished in a tie for 20th to become the youngest player in more than 40 years to record a top-25 finish on the PGA or Korn Ferry Tours …Myles Creighton posted his second top-10 finish in his last three starts. …Étienne Papineau picks up his third top-20 result of the season

POS SCORESTOTAL
T8Myles Creighton68-67-65-67-17
T20Étienne Papineau69-66-66-69-14
T37Sudarshan Yellamaraju66-66-69-71-12

NEXT EVENT: LECOM Suncoast Classic  (Apr 18)

CANADIANS ENTERED: Wil Bateman, Myles Creighton, Étienne Papineau, Sudarshan Yellamaraju

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Paul Broadhurst edged David Toms by a single shot to win the Invited Celebrity Classic. It was the Englishman’s first win in five years on the Champions Tour. The tournament, which included 40 celebrities in a separate division, was shortened to 36 holes after heavy rains wiped out the second round on Saturday. Prior to Sunday, Broadhurst’s previous best finish this season was a tie for third, which also came in a rain-shortened event – the Chubb Classic in February which was won by Stephen Ames. Former tennis player Mardy Fish won the celebrity portion of the event for the second time in three years, edging former baseball player John Smoltz. Two other baseball players – Josh Donaldson and Bud Norris – finished tied for third with World Golf Hall of Fame member and former LPGA great Annika Sorenstam in fifth. There were no Canadians entered in the event.

NEXT EVENT: Mitsubishi Electric Classic (Apr. 26)

CANADIANS ENTERED:  Stephen Ames

ASIAN TOUR

John Catlin went wire-to-wire to win the Saudi Open by seven strokes, becoming the first back-to-back winner on the Asian Tour in five years. Australian Wade Ormsby finished runner-up followed by American Peter Uihlein and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat. Catlin, who became the first player to shoot 59 while winning in Macau last month, just missed becoming the first player in Tour history to play 72 bogey-free holes, missing a seven-foot par putt on No. 14.

POS SCORESTOTAL
T33Jared du Toit73-67-67-72-5

NEXT EVENT: GS Caltex Maekyung Open Golf Championship (May 2)

CANADIANS ENTERED: Yonggu Shin, Richard T. Lee, Jared du Toit (reserve), Jake Lane (reserve)

asian tour DP World Tour LPGA Tour PGA TOUR

Canada’s Jared Du Toit finds immediate success in Asian Tour debut

Jared Du Toit

Jared Du Toit was planning the next phase of his golfing career last summer, casting a wide net by entering qualifying for the Korn Ferry Tour, the DP World Tour, and anything else he could think of. 

But a friend from his days playing at Arizona State University nudged him toward the Asian Tour.

Fast forward to now and Du Toit, from Kimberley, B.C., sits seventh on the Asian Tour’s order of merit after earning a top-10 finish in his first-ever tournament on the men’s golf circuit.

“I was talking to him a little bit in the summer and he just said ‘you’re crazy if you’re not giving Asia a try. The competition is solid, the events are great, and the money is pretty good,'” said Du Toit. “That sparked some interest so I gave it a try, not thinking much of it. 

“But (the DP World Tour and Korn Ferry Tour) didn’t work out so I went to Asia, got status that way. Now we’re here and enjoying it, enjoying it a lot so far.”

The 28-year-old Du Toit tied for seventh at 17 under on Sunday at the IRS Prima Malaysian Open at The Mines Resort & Golf Club, six shots back of winner David Puig of Spain. 

Du Toit was in a position to miss the cut halfway through his second round but rallied to shoot a 64 and see the weekend. He then fired a 62 in the third round to rocket up the leaderboard before a 71 settled him into seventh.

“Going from basically the cutline to three or four inside the number and in the thick of it a little bit I felt like I was on the house money bit and just had a great round three, which got me right into it,” said Du Toit. “Unfortunately, I didn’t play my best on the last round, but all things considered going from the cutline to contention to finishing top 10 was a solid start to the year and I’m excited to get going over here.”

His next target is to earn his way into some of the co-sanctioned events like next week’s New Zealand Open or one of men’s golf’s majors, like the British Open.

“I was pretty close last week being in contention in Malaysia. There was three spots for the Open,” said Du Toit. “It might be a little tougher to do that, don’t think they just give away spots so I definitely lost a bit of an opportunity last week, but I’d love to do that.

“I just still try and play my best, make as many cuts as I can.”

Du Toit has his next chance to do just that this week at the International Series Oman at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat, Oman. Toronto’s Richard T. Lee is also in the tournament.

PGA TOUR — Five Canadians are in the field at this week’s Mexico Open at Vidanta Vallarta in Vallarta, Mexico. Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., is the top-ranked member of the Canadian contingent, entering the week at 62nd in the FedEx Cup standings. Mackenzie Hughes (72) of Dundas, Ont., and Ben Silverman (99) of Thornhill, Ont., are also in the field, as are unranked players Stuart Macdonald of Vancouver and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C.

OUTSPOKEN HUGHES — Hughes, who is on the PGA Tour’s player advisory council for another year, remains outspoken about the upstart LIV Golf circuit. He spoke to CBS while on the course of last week’s Genesis Invitational about the ongoing rivalry.

“Now we’re in a place where I think fans are just generally a little bit fed up with it, to be honest,” said Hughes. “Those are the people that drive our sport so I’d love to appeal to the masses a lot more.

“Certainly, the way we’re going right now, to me, isn’t quite it.”

DP WORLD TOUR — Aaron Cockerill of Stony Mountain, Man., is the lone Canadian in this week’s Kenya Open at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi. He finished second at the event in 2022.

LPGA TOUR — Brooke Henderson of Smiths Fall, Ont., is the lone Canadian in the field at Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club’s Old Course in Chonburi. She sits sixth in the Race to CME Globe standings after placing third at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions on Jan. 18 and tying for 16th at the LPGA Drive On Championship.

MEN’S NCAA — Calgary’s Hunter Thomson won his season opener with eight birdies in the final round of the Palmas del Mar Collegiate tournament in Humacao, Puerto Rico. He won the event by two strokes on Feb. 13, helping the University of Michigan to a fourth-place finish. 

PGA TOUR

Clutch Player: Canadian Nick Taylor thriving under playoff pressure on PGA Tour

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor is developing a reputation as one of the PGA Tour’s most clutch players, and he’s loving it.

Taylor drained an 11-foot putt for birdie on the second playoff hole of the WM Phoenix Open on Sunday to beat American Charley Hoffman for his second victory in nine months. 

The fourth win of Taylor’s PGA Tour career mirrored his historic victory at the RBC Canadian Open last June, when he sank a 72-foot eagle putt in the fourth round of a playoff against England’s Tommy Fleetwood.

“You always relish being in those positions, but being able to pull off shots, now I can draw on that a lot,” Taylor, from Abbotsford, B.C., said of his growing confidence. “I want to be in those positions more and more. 

“My game has followed that, so hopefully I’m in those positions more and when I get in that kind of spotlight I’m comfortable. The hard part now is getting there as much as I can.”

He’ll have another chance at being in the spotlight at this week’s Genesis Invitational at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The 35-year-old Taylor said that he’s worked to solidify his game over the past two years.

“Really, since the fall of ’22 we had a road map of where we wanted to get to, and since then it hasn’t really been changes, it’s been sticking to the same things that we know will get me to where I want to be,” said Taylor. “It’s been the deliberate practice of doing the same boring stuff, which sounds easy at times but sometimes you can wander away. 

“That’s why my team will reel me in if I try to do something different because they know what we’ve been doing has been working, so just sticking to the basic stuff.”

One thing that hasn’t changed for Taylor is his ability to clear his mind and perform under pressure. 

Taylor won the Canadian Junior in 2006 and the Canadian Amateur Championship in 2007 as an amateur and then also won on the PGA Tour at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2014 and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2020. 

He said that more than a decade of playing in high-leverage situations has forged him into a clutch performer.

“You work on mindset, you work on breathing at times, but I think dating back to even junior golf when I’ve been in those positions, I want to be in that position,” he said. 

“I feel more locked in, whatever it is. I’ve been able to pull off shots in those scenarios and I think maybe I’ve been doing it long enough where I have confidence that I can pull it off and I don’t have the sidetracking thoughts or negative thoughts in there.”

Taylor will be joined this week by Adam Hadwin, also from Abbotsford, Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., and Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C.

The win rocketed Taylor up the FedEx Cup standings to sixth overall, putting him into an excellent position to represent the International Team at this year’s Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

“That’s on the top of the list along with the Olympics,” said Taylor, who wants to play for International captain Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., at the Presidents Cup. “There are things on my goal list, but I also just try to focus on my golf and if I play well I feel like it’s going to take care of itself. 

“This is obviously a good start, but it’s a long ways away. If I keep playing good golf, I think it will take care of itself.”

CHAMPIONS TOUR — Calgary’s Stephen Ames and Weir will tee off on Friday in the Chubb Classic at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla. Ames is coming off of an incredible 2023 season where he won four events on the seniors’ circuit.

TEAM CANADA — Golf Canada announced the names of 19 professional players that will be part of its 2024 men’s and women’s squads on Monday. Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., and Selena Costabile of Thornhill, Ont., were named to the women’s team. A.J. Ewart of Coquitlam, B.C., Calgary’s Brendan MacDougall, Chris Crisologo of Richmond, B.C., Étienne Papineau of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., Hamilton’s Johnny Travale, Jared du Toit of Kimberley, B.C., Victoria’s Jeevan Sihota, Joey Savoie of La Prairie, Que., Matthew Anderson of Missssauga, Ont., Max Sekulic of Rycroft, Alta., Myles Creighton of Digby, N.S., Noah Steele of Kingston, Ont., Vancouver’s Stuart Macdonald, Sudarshan Yellamaraju of Mississauga, and Thomas Giroux of Georgetown, Ont., were named to the men’s group.

PGA TOUR Presidents Cup

WM Phoenix Open victory pushes Canadian Nick Taylor up to No. 3 in International Team standings

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 11: Nick Taylor of Canada celebrates with the trophy after winning in a two-hole playoff during the final round of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 11, 2024 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

International and U.S. Teams starting to take shape for 2024 Presidents Cip

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada – Canadian Nick Taylor notched the fourth win of his PGA TOUR career on Sunday by defeating Charley Hoffmann with a birdie-3 on the second playoff hole at the WM Phoenix Open. With the victory, the 35-year-old moved up 11 spots in the Presidents Cup’s International Team standings to No. 3, trailing only Tom Kim and Jason Day with just over seven months until the event returns to The Royal Montreal Golf Club.

The victory was Taylor’s first since his dramatic walk-off playoff win at the 2023 RBC Canadian Open, where he became the first Canadian to win the national open in 69 years. With the win at TPC Scottsdale, he moved up to No. 6 in the FedExCup, but also inside the top-5 of the International Team standings, with an eye on playing for Captain Mike Weir in Montreal this September.

“Yeah, this fall, again, looking at goals for the season, what I’ve done so well I think the last year has been process goals, but you want something to look forward, and the Olympics and the Presidents Cup were big time on the top of my goal list,” said Taylor when asked about his goals for representing Canada later this year.

The 2024 International Team will be comprised of six (6) automatic qualifiers and (6) Captain’s picks, with the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) being used to determine the former. The automatic qualifiers will be the top six eligible international players in the OWGR after completion of the 2024 BMW Championship. There are currently six Canadian players inside the top 20 in the standings: Taylor (3), Corey Conners (10), Adam Hadwin (13), Adam Svensson (16), Mackenzie Hughes (18) and Taylor Pendrith (20).

“It was an exciting finish to the WM Phoenix Open yesterday and to see the clutch play of Nick down the stretch to close in on Charley for the win was tremendous,” said Weir. “As captain, to have players who embrace the moment like he did yesterday is big for us, and these things can build momentum for Nick as well as the International Team.”

Top-6 International Team standings:

1. Tom Kim

2. Jason Day

3. Nick Taylor

4. Sungjae Im

5. Emiliano Grillo

6. Ryan Fox

For the U.S. Team, Sahith Theegala and Sam Burns made the biggest moves at the WM Phoenix Open, using top-5 finishes to move up to No. 5 and No. 10 in the standings, respectively.

The 2024 U.S. Team will be comprised of six (6) automatic qualifiers and six (6) Captain’s picks, with a weighted system based on FedExCup Points from January 1, 2023, through August 25, 2024. The automatic qualifiers will be the top six eligible U.S. players in the OWGR after completion of the 2024 BMW Championship.

Top-6 U.S. Team standings:

1. Scottie Scheffler

2. Wyndham Clark

3. Chris Kirk

4. Collin Morikawa

5. Sahith Theegala

6. Eric Cole

To view the complete 2024 Presidents Cup standings for both teams, please click here.

For more information about the Presidents Cup, please visit PresidentsCup.com.

PGA TOUR RBC Canadian Open

Canada’s Nick Taylor wins Phoenix Open on second playoff hole

Nick Taylor (Ben Jared/ Getty Images)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., made an 11-foot birdie putt to beat Charley Hoffman on the second hole of a playoff after birdieing three of the last four holes in regulation Sunday, capping another wild week at the Phoenix Open with his second memorable victory.

Taylor closed with a 6-under 65 to reach 21-under 263, with the Canadian forcing the playoff with a nine-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th.

Both players birdied the extra hole and hit the green on No. 18 a second time — Taylor from the right rough, Hoffman from the left fairway bunker. Hoffman left his birdie putt short and Taylor birdied the hole for the third time in less than an hour as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Taylor won his PGA Tour title to end a chaotic week of weather delays and the rare decision to close the gates — and, gulp, cut off liquor sales — when things started to get out of hand Saturday.

Taking advantage of the first pleasant day of the week in the desert, Hoffman moved into contention by finishing off a 64 on TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium in the morning to complete his weather-delayed third round.

Hoffman was 4-under in a three-hole stretch on the back nine and had a three-shot lead when he finished.

Taylor wouldn’t let him grab the trophy just yet.

The 35-year-old had an emotional finish at the 2023 RBC Canadian Open, making a 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth playoff hole to become the first Canadian in 69 years to win his national open.

Taylor shot a course-record 60 in the opening round in the desert for a five-shot lead that matched the largest after 18 holes on the PGA Tour since 1983.

Taylor finished off a third-round 68 in the morning, but stagnated after a birdie at No. 9. He came to life with consecutive birdies starting on No. 15 and finished with a flourish after just missing a birdie putt on No. 17.

Two-time defending champion Scottie Scheffler surged into contention with five straight birdies to complete his third round, shooting 66 in the morning despite putting off the green into a bunker for a bogey on No. 18.

The world No. 1 briefly held the lead early in the final round before his putter went cold, ending his bid for the PGA Tour’s first three-peat in 13 years. Scheffler nearly aced the par-3 stadium 16th hole, but was too far behind to catch Hoffman. He shot 66 to tie Sam Burns for third at 18 under.

PGA TOUR

Nick Taylor ties PGA Tour record for largest 18-hole lead in a stroke event at WM Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 09: Nick Taylor of Canada plays his shot from the fourth tee during the continuation of the weather-delayed first round of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 09, 2024 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Canada’s Nick Taylor tied a PGA Tour record for the largest 18-hole lead in a stroke event with a bogey-free 11-under 60 in the weather-delayed first round of the Phoenix Open on Friday.

Taylor’s five-shot lead ties Jim Gallagher Jr. at the 1993 Tour Championship for the largest 18-hole lead in a stroke-play event since 1983. He also broke the largest 18-hole lead record at the Phoenix Open of four, set by Phil Mickelson in 2013.

A 3 1/2-hour weather delay in the first round forced about half the field to finish their first rounds at TPC Scottsdale on Friday morning. A frost delay of more than 90 minutes pushed back the resumption of the first round even more.

Taylor was 4 under through six holes after starting on No. 10 to start Thursday’s first round and returned to reel off four straight birdies starting on No. 18. He added three more birdies, including from nine feet on the par-4 ninth, to shoot 29 on the Stadium Course’s front nine.

Taylor’s 60 matches the course record set four previous times, last by Mickelson in 2013. Taylor leads overnight leader Sahith Theegala and three others by five shots heading into Friday’s second round.

Andrew Novak, Doug Ghim and Maverick McNealy also shot first-round 65s.

PGA TOUR

Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes worries PGA-LIV rivalry is alienating golf fans

Mackenzie Hughes (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)
Mackenzie Hughes (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

The rivalry between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf has Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes deeply worried about the state of men’s professional golf.

Hughes tweeted about his concerns in early December, hours after world No. 1 Jon Rahm announced that he was leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. Although Rahm’s departure moved Hughes up to No. 50 on the PGA Tour’s rankings and into the circuit’s US$20 million signature events, he still felt that men’s golf was in “a sad place.”

The 33-year-old from Dundas, Ont., expanded on those thoughts this week ahead of The Sentry, the first tournament of the 2024 PGA Tour season, an event he only qualified for because of Rahm’s defection. He said that it feels like 2019 was the peak of men’s golf and the PGA-LIV rivalry has put the focus on money and potentially alienated fans.

“Our economic model was sustainable. The LIV threat came along and all of a sudden we started to double the purses, and we’re asking sponsors to double their investment, and we’re giving them the same product,” said Hughes at a news conference from the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii. “Fans also, I think, are left wondering, ‘Do guys even love playing golf anymore? Or are they all just concerned about money?’

“All these guys going to LIV have made it pretty clear that it’s all about money. I mean, growing the game, but also money. So, to me, that’s disappointing.”

The PGA Tour introduced big money “signature events” last year to entice golfers to stay with the circuit. Hughes said that model is not sustainable because it means tournament sponsors have to double their financial undertaking without the product changing in any significant way.

“It would be silly for me not to play in these events, they are great opportunities, but, I just don’t think it’s right,” said Hughes, who is a member of the PGA Tour’s player advisory council along with Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont. “Again, we have the same product that we had in 2019, yet we want this increased investment, not just increased, but increased in a big way.”

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced on June 6, two days before the RBC Canadian Open teed off, that the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — which owns LIV Golf — had agreed to a merger. The details of that agreement were supposed to be finalized by Sunday, but that deadline came and went with no update except that negotiations had been extended.

“(Fans) don’t know where certain guys are playing and there’s spats between the LIV and the PGA Tour, and it’s not unified in any way, shape, or form,” said Hughes. “There’s negotiations going on that are unclear, they have been dragged on for a long time.”

Hughes said on Tuesday that he felt compelled to speak up because he thinks the whole process could alienate viewers.

“The fan just wants to watch golf,” said Hughes. “I think you watch sports for an escape from other nonsense, but I think golf has brought a lot of nonsense onto its plate, and now you don’t get just golf, you get a lot of other stuff going on. It’s a bit of a circus.”

Hughes and Conners are joined at the Sentry this week by Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., as well as Adam Hadwin and reigning Canadian Open champion Nick Taylor, both of whom are from Abbotsford, B.C.

Taylor, who will be making his third appearance at The Sentry, said he took most of December off to spend Christmas back home in Canada. 

“I’m going to be as prepared as I possibly can be, but I’ve probably played my best at times with low expectations,” said Taylor. “I’m trying to win this week, but knowing it’s the first event of the year there’s going to be a little bit of rust, I’m sure, for a lot of people. 

“I’ve been here since the 29th, I played nine every day, so that’s going to help me kind of ease into the tournament. It’s always a treat to be here, I don’t care how many times you come.”

Amateur PGA TOUR Team Canada

Canadian golf reached new heights in 2023 with more wins than ever and a curse ended

TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 11: Nick Taylor of Canada celebrates with his caddie after making an eagle putt on the 4th playoff hole to win the RBC Canadian Open at Oakdale Golf & Country Club on June 11, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Nick Taylor’s putter flip after winning the RBC Canadian Open was the exclamation point on arguably the best year in Canadian golf history.

Taylor drained a 72-foot eagle putt to end a four-hole playoff with England’s Tommy Fleetwood at the Canadian national men’s championship on June 11, the first time a Canadian had won the title in 69 years. But Canada’s success on the course went beyond that, with Canadians winning at every level of the professional game including four wins on the PGA Tour and one on the LPGA Tour.

“I think the state of Canadian pro golf, especially on the PGA Tour, has never been better,” said Taylor, the first Canadian to win the RBC Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher did it in 1954. “Our goal, as players, with Golf Canada is to keep that number growing of Tour members.

“The more players that we can get out here, obviously, it gives us a greater chance of winning more and more.”

Taylor, from Abbotsford, B.C., joined Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., and Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., as winners on the PGA Tour in the 2022-23 season. It was the most wins by Canadians in a single PGA Tour campaign to date.

“The camaraderie is great,” said Taylor, whose victory at Toronto’s Oakdale Golf and Country Club was the fourth win by a Canadian in the season. “I feel like we play a lot of practice rounds together, houses often have dinners together, so we all rally together.

“I think we push each other to be better and I think that’s why we’ve continued to get better and reach new heights.”

Conners, who won the Valero Texas Open for a second time on April 2, said that winning is the best feeling you can have in professional golf.

“That was definitely a highlight for me,” said Conners. “I think another highlight, and something that I’m always very proud of, was making it to Eastlake — the Tour Championship — and being in the top 30 of the FedEx Cup rankings and having a chance to win the FedEx Cup. 

“Looking back on the year as a whole I would have liked to improve on some things, but making it there is a nice bonus because it means you had a great year.”

Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., won the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions on Jan. 22 for her 13th victory on the LPGA Tour, the most of any professional player in Canadian golf history regardless of gender.

“It was a little bit up and down year for me,” said Henderson, assessing her 2023. “But it was nice to try to defend my title at the Evian Championship with a runner-up finish this year, it was really fun to be back in contention. 

“Then same kind of thing to be in our Tour Championship in November, it’s always a big goal when you start the season is to be in contention to try to win that, that big money and the race, the CME Globe in November.”

Canadian success wasn’t limited to the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, however.
Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., both won on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour to earn full-time PGA Tour status in 2024. That means there will be eight Canadians on tour with Silverman and Sloan joining Taylor, Conners, Hughes, Svensson, Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford.

Hamilton’s Alena Sharp won an Epson Tour event and had five top-10 results on the second-tier tour, not missing a cut in 14 tournaments played. She also won Canada’s second-ever golf medal at the Pan American Games, winning bronze in Santiago, Chile. 

Sharp once again earned LPGA Tour status through final qualifying, as did Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., and Savannah Grewal of Mississauga, Ont. They’ll join Henderson and Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., on the LPGA Tour in the new year.

Two more Canadians won on the PGA Tour Canada, a feeder circuit for the Korn Ferry Tour, with Etienne Papineau of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., and Vancouver’s Stuart Macdonald each claiming a victory. Papineau finished fourth on the season-long points list to earn conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Myles Creighton of Digby, N.S., won on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, another third-tier circuit in the PGA Tour system. Calgary’s Stephen Ames won a remarkable four times on the Champions Tour.

On the amateur side, Lauren Kim of Surrey, B.C. earned the 109th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship and Ashton McCulloch of Kingston, Ont. won the 118th Canadian Men’s Amateur, marking only the third time both tournaments were won by Canadians in the same year since 2011. Monet Chun of Richmond Hill, Ont., became the first Canadian to make the cut at the Augusta Women’s National Amateur.

With the Paris Olympics coming in July and the Presidents Cup returning to Royal Montreal Golf Club in September, Taylor expects 2024 to be an even bigger year for Canadian golf.

“Those two are at the top of the list of things I want to be involved in, participate in, this coming year,” he said.

Korn Ferry Tour PGA TOUR

Yellamaraju, Papineau, Creighton earn 2024 Korn Ferry Tour status

Three Canadians have earned 2024 Korn Ferry Tour membership following the final round of the PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry on Monday in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

Sudarshan Yellamaraju of Mississauga, Ont. finished T14 at 4-under. Étienne Papineau of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que. finished T38 at 1-under, and Myles Creighton of Digby, N.S. finished T45 at even par. They will join fellow Canadian Wil Bateman on the Korn Ferry Tour to start the 2024 season.

Yellamaraju recorded rounds of 71-69-68-68-276 to earn Korn Ferry Tour membership for next season after successfully making his way through both second stage and final stage of Q-School.

Papineau previously earned 2024 Korn Ferry Tour membership by finishing fourth overall in the 2023 Fortinet Cup standings on the PGA TOUR Canada (now PGA TOUR Americas). Papineau’s T38 finish at Q-School with rounds of 74-67-68-70-279 improves his Korn Ferry Tour status for the coming season.

Creighton also previously earned his 2024 membership by finishing second on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica (now PGA TOUR Americas) season point rankings. Creighton shot rounds of 70-68-72-70-280 to finish inside the cut line of players who are awarded Korn Ferry Tour cards through Q-school and improve his status for 2024 as well.

Three other Canadians were competing in Ponte Vedra at final stage including, Stuart Macdonald who finished at 7-over, Thomas Giroux at 9-over and Jared Du Toit at 10-over. They will have conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour for 2024.

Harrison Endycott of Australia finished atop the leaderboard at 15-under, Americans Trace Cowe (11-under) and Brian Hale Jr. (9-under) finished second and third, while Raul Pereda of Mexico and Hayden Springer of the United States finished tied for fourth at 8-under to earn their 2024 PGA TOUR cards.

The top five players and ties earned their full status for 2024 on the PGA TOUR. The next 40 finishers and ties earned exempt status through multiple reshuffles of the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour season, with the first 25 finishers and ties being subject to the third reshuffle (12 guaranteed starts), and any remaining finishers within the category being subject to the second reshuffle (eight guaranteed starts).

This marked the first time since 2012 that PGA TOUR cards were awarded during the Final Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School. The field of 168-players played two rounds at TPC Sawgrass’ Dye’s Valley Course and two rounds at Sawgrass Country Club. The final round was originally scheduled for Sunday but was postponed due to heavy rain in northern Florida.