In an exhilarating finish that electrified the rowdy crowds at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course, Canadian Nick Taylor delivered in the clutch once again to capture a dramatic playoff victory at the 2023 WM Phoenix Open.
- Nick Taylor came from behind to force a playoff and win the 2023 WM Phoenix Open for his 4th PGA TOUR victory
- He birdied 2 of his last 3 holes in regulation to match Charley Hoffman’s 21-under and force a playoff
- Taylor has shown a knack for performing well in big moments, also winning the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and 2022 RBC Canadian Open
- His caddie and friend praise his competitive drive and ability to “lock in” under pressure late in tournaments
- The win projects Taylor to a career-high World Golf Ranking of #26 and builds his case for a Presidents Cup roster spot
Trailing midway through the back nine on Sunday, Taylor turned on the jets when it mattered most, making clutch birdies on two of his final three holes to force a playoff with Charley Hoffman. Both players finished regulation at 21-under par 263, matching the tournament’s 72-hole scoring record.
Showing the same steely resolve under pressure that fueled his wins at the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and 2022 RBC Canadian Open, Taylor stayed hot in the playoff. He rolled in clutch birdie putts on both trips to the drivable par-4 18th hole, the second from 11 feet to seal a memorable come-from-behind triumph.
“I just seem to get a little more locked in and zoned in and kind of relish those moments,” Taylor said of pressure situations. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Taylor’s longtime caddie and friend Dave Markle praised the Canadian’s innate ability to contend when the stakes are highest.
“When he gets himself in the mix, he knows how to do it, and it’s no different out here,” Markle said. “He’s just a competitor. He wants it, and he’s pretty good, and he just gets it done.”
Your 2024 WM Phoenix Open champion Nick Taylor! pic.twitter.com/RzxLBKWsfR
— WM Phoenix Open (@WMPhoenixOpen) February 12, 2024
Buoyed all week by vocal support from the hordes of fans who made the trek south from Canada, Taylor moved past last year’s runner-up finish at TPC Scottsdale in style. He stuck a 9-iron to 6 feet on the rowdy par-3 16th hole to keep his hopes alive, then sank clutch putts on the final two holes to force extra holes.
In the playoff, Taylor showed no fear. He ripped a drive on 18 and hit a wedge to 15 feet, pouring in theSlider to maintain pressure on Hoffman. On their second trip down 18, Taylor struck a perfect drive then hit a dart with a wedge to 11 feet. He calmly drained it, pumping his fist as fans serenaded him with “O Canada!” chants.
“Since [last year’s close call at the WM Open] he’s proven himself in the biggest moments,” said fellow Canadian pro Adam Hadwin, who was on site to congratulate his countryman. “I think he’s proven to be one of the best in the world in the last year, for sure.”
The latest clutch performance under the bright lights continues Taylor’s career ascent. The win projects him to a personal-best World Golf Ranking of #26 while further strengthening his case for a Presidents Cup International Team roster spot.
After years of struggling to maintain consistency, Taylor has broken through with elite golf at premier events. As he soaks in his newest trophy, more big moments likely await thanks to Taylor’s proven poise when the spotlight shines brightest.