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Taylor Wins on PGA Tour as Rookie

PGA Tour rookie Nick Taylor is charging out of the gate with a win at the tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship. Taylor, a native of Abbotsford, B.C., was the 2008 and 2009 PNGA Men’s Player of the Year. He had a standout collegiate career at the University of Washington, in which he finished his senior year as the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world.

Nick Taylor, hitting out of a bunker
Nick Taylor, hitting out of a bunker.

Here is a transcript, courtesy of ASAP Sports, of Taylor’s post-round interview following his PGA Tour victory.


MODERATOR: We’ll get started. Nick, congratulations on your victory at the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship. Very well played. Very well earned. 6-under 66 today in the final round. You came from behind and got the job done. And with all that said, just some comments on being the latest PGA TOUR winner.

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, it’s a weird feeling for sure. It’s something, you know going into the day, I felt good about my game.

But until it happened, you didn’t really expect it or kind of know — it’s very surreal.

I putted unbelievable today. Putted great the first two days. Yesterday, struggled a bit, but worked on it last night. And the putts seemed to drop my way.

I had a few good bounces today. And everything just kind of came together today. I tried to I just needed to do what I was doing and stay out of my on way. It was a great day.

MODERATOR: All right. With that we’ll open it up and take some questions.

Q. Have you ever had a day like that with your putter in a final round?

NICK TAYLOR: Probably not. The last round of Webb finals, at Sawgrass, it was one of those days where I wasn’t there, I think I had 7 or 8 birdies. Everything I looked at I was making. Actually, made a very similar putt for par. That round was for 17, this was for 16 year.

So I was kind of looking back on that round as well, but, yeah, today was definitely a day that I’ve never really had in a final round in that situation, for sure.

Q. What was going through your mind today on back nine?

NICK TAYLOR: I knew I was playing well. I wanted to get off to a good start and I did. Birdied the first hole. Made a good putt and got the confidence going.

And the second hole I actually made a really good par putt from five or six feet to kind of keep that going.

From there, I wanted to hit as many greens as possible, because I felt like he was rolling it really well.

I didn’t really have a goal, I thought if — I wanted to at least get to 14. I knew I would have to shoot under par to beat everyone or at least me. So once I had it going on, I wanted to keep making as many birdies as possible until the last hole.

I knew that they were still at 14 and I knew that once I was hitting the par putt on 18, just lining it up there. If it went in, great, just a tap in for bogey and force them to hole out on 18.

Q. (No microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: Unbelievable. I called my wife and she’s in tears. She doesn’t know what’s going on. I don’t really know what’s going on either. She’s going to be in tomorrow. We’re going to Mexico together.

It’s very exciting. I didn’t expect it this early, obviously. I always had the belief that I could win. It really sets up the rest of the year with the fast start. And it’s very surreal, yeah, for sure.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: It was really, the putter was the biggest issue. I felt like I was hitting it decent and just getting nothing out of my rounds.

I shot a 71, could have been 67 or could have been a 65 with a day like today. And those rounds where you kind of have to ground it out where 75 is a 70.

So it was frustrating. I thought I was playing well and wasn’t getting anything out of my rounds. And I started putting well around Boise, which is just I think five, six tournaments left in the year and kind of rolled that in the playoffs and it extended there. So, yeah, it was mostly the putter and that’s where it really turned around.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, it’s unbelievable. Graham De Laet and David Hearn played awesome out here the last few years. Adam is, obviously No. 1, was coming in here and he’s played great.

So it’s kind of following in the footsteps, Mike Weir, growing up watching him. So, again, it’s kind of hard to believe that I’m in that category and it’s exciting for Canadian golf.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: I would say seven or eight feet.

Q. What happened on that first putt?

NICK TAYLOR: All day, I obviously hit it too hard. It was in the shadows. A lot of people around the shadows.

I got tricked up on 18 as well. Left that probably seven or eight feet short. So it was one of those where you know your position, just try and hit it as close as I can and I hit it too hard, obviously, but it was a great putt to make and kind of kept the momentum going.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, for sure, I knew — I had seen, I think, Jason Bohn was through 17 and at 14-under. I didn’t see what John Rollins was.

So I wanted to hit it close, but again I didn’t want to blow it by again. I guess that was the thought. Because I did that on 16. So I left it short.

But I knew that putting my par putt today they’re both through 17 at 14-under, I thought if I posted up there, obviously they would have to hole out on a difficult hole, though, so that was kind of my mindset.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: It was awesome. It was the first time I’ve been out here. I played the pro-am Monday, which was huge for me to see the golf course early. And the greens, honestly, were faster on Monday than they were this week.

But you really had to be under the hole and if you were above the hole you were putting defensively.

And I felt like I was reading them well all week. I had the green book, it’s really helpful on the greens. Just worked on speed and everything just kind of lined up.

But tee to green I loved it. It fit my eye. A lot of holes from right-to-left that I tend to draw it, so it just really setup for me. I enjoyed it all week.

Q. (No Microphone.)


Q. (No microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I like it. So far, so good.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. One event left and this is the only first week after a break, so I’m fired up. I might as well play some other events.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: Obviously, yeah, it certainly opens doors for many possibilities that I wouldn’t have had with a top-10 or whatever. It helps my status this early in the year.

So now, being able to pick schedule and kind of pick where I want to play, and kind of know where I want to play, and obviously, now, with over the two year exemption, it’s, it’s very surreal.

Obviously, starting the year, just trying to get as high up in the re-shuffle and play as many events as possible and you know, to take advantage of this is pretty amazing.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I didn’t think — I thought about someone at 17 for sure, 16.

Start of the day, with John at 14, I thought 16 would probably be pretty close. Obviously, he had been playing great, but to keep that up, that would be tough, and if he did, kind of hats off to him, but, so when I got it going I just wanted to keep making as many birdies as possible and I was able to do that.

Starting the week, the greens were so fast that it was, it was, I thought if you got to in the mid teens, I thought it would be very good.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: I did not. No. That’s the point, I guess.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: She was at work. Came home. I was running all around, so I wasn’t able it talk to her for 20 minutes or so. She was anticipating a call.

So, yeah, she’s very excited and I’m happy to see her tomorrow. Unfortunately, she wasn’t there for my first win, but hopefully she will be out here for more and more to come.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of your schedule, one of the perks of this win here is that you now have Hawaii to look forward to. Is that something that’s even registered or are you going to take advantage of it?

NICK TAYLOR: It won’t. Before this week I was like I would have to play well to get into Sony, so now I got two weeks there. So, yeah, it hasn’t hit me yet for sure. It won’t for a little bit. But definitely excited.

Q. (No Microphone.)

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I’ve been there quite a bit in college playing golf. The big island, Kona, and I’ve been to Oahu also. So excited to go back. It will be fun.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Well, Nick, congratulations on your win.

NICK TAYLOR: Thanks very much.

Q. Nick Taylor, 65 today — sorry 66. I’m not even going to count that bogey on 18 because it really didn’t matter. But amazing stuff. And what I find extraordinarily fascinating about this story is that you had to play well just to get into the WEB.COM TOUR finals and then shoot 63 the final day of the final tournament to just get your TOUR card. You got to just be on cloud 100 right now?

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah. At least. It’s been a whirlwind of a summer. Six months ago I was struggling and I kind of kept at it and kind of got hot. Putter started cooperating and today I putted unbelievable and first two days I did, too, so, yeah, it’s pretty surreal. I’m in shock, but I’m certainly happy about it.

Q. I got to say, it was fun watching you kind of out there your composure out there was fantastic. Did you feel any nerves playing with David Toms and Lucas Glover, both past Major champions?

NICK TAYLOR: I was lucky enough to play with David yesterday and he was awesome to play with. We chatted yesterday and obviously chatted today. So I felt more comfortable today than probably yesterday, because they were both very well coming and very nice, so I felt very comfortable today.

Obviously, the last few holes I had some nerves and I was able to make some putts, but they were great guys to play with. So I was happy I was with them.

Q. At what point did you look at the leaderboards and know where you stood in the tournament or if you did an at all?

NICK TAYLOR: It was a little bit. I kind of had a feeling where I was. Coming up 17 and 18 I wanted to know. On 18 I knew that, putting for par, that they had both were through 17 at 14-under, so I was lagging that one as well, so.

Actually, I hit a good putt it just didn’t go in. But it doesn’t matter now.

Q. Congratulations on your first win.

NICK TAYLOR: Thanks a lot.

Q. 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship winner. 300 FedExCup points. Two-year exemption. Can you tell us how you feel right now?

NICK TAYLOR: A little bit of shock, to be honest. It was a week coming in where I was just trying to play well and kind of move up in the priority and obviously did a lot better than that.

So it’s not going to sink in for a long time and it feels great. It’s obviously a great start to the FedExCup and it’s just such a great event. I’m happy to be here and even happier to be the champion.

Q. 66 today, eight birdies, two bogeys, you really hit it so well off the tee. I think that seemed like it took a lot of pressure off any kind of nerves. You just were never in trouble.

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, certainly. I worked a bit on it last night. Yesterday I hit the ball pretty well off the tee, but was a little sideways, and worked on a bit of posture. And just came out and hit it really, really well. So, I was happy with this and obviously made it a lot easier when your in the fairways on this golf course.

Q. I was talking to your caddie, and you were so relaxed, so calm, was there any peeking at any score boards on the way around?

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, it’s tough for me not to look at them. The last few holes I certainly was. But the front nine I tried not to look at them. It didn’t really matter there was still so much golf left. But I had a feeling where I was. The last few holes, I knew where I was and I just kind of wanted to make some pars, hit some greens and luckily the 3-putt didn’t matter on 18.

Q. And it you have really helped to get off to a good, solid start, good solid shots into the greens and good putts?

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I hit some great drives on the par-5s.

5, I was able to go for the green which I didn’t think was possible for me, so I was able it make an easy birdie there and kind of keep momentum going and made some good par putts, especially the one on 16. And, yeah, it was a really good day on the greens for sure.

Q. And quite telling first person to congratulate you was Adam Hadwin at the back of the scorers tent. Tell us how important that is for Canadian golf?

NICK TAYLOR: It’s great. We’re staying together this week. Adam had such a great week. I’ve been rooming with him a lot, it was awesome to see.

And I saw David Hearn as well and he had a great year last year. So, yeah, it’s fun for us all to kind of get together and root for each other. So it’s nice.

Q. Wonderful performance. Go enjoy tonight.

NICK TAYLOR: Thank you.