Sports

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

Nick Taylor’s putter flip after profitable the RBC Canadian Open was the exclamation level on arguably the most effective yr in Canadian golf historical past.

Taylor drained a 72-foot eagle putt to finish a four-hole playoff with England’s Tommy Fleetwood on the Canadian nationwide males’s championship on June 11, the primary time a Canadian had received the title in 69 years. However Canada’s success on the course went past that, with Canadians profitable at each degree of the skilled recreation together with 4 wins on the PGA Tour and one on the LPGA Tour.

“I feel the state of Canadian professional golf, particularly on the PGA Tour, has by no means been higher,” mentioned Taylor, the primary Canadian to win the RBC Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher did it in 1954. “Our aim, as gamers, with Golf Canada is to maintain that quantity rising of Tour members.

“The extra gamers that we are able to get out right here, clearly, it provides us a larger likelihood of profitable an increasing number of.”

WATCH | Taylor wins in Toronto:

Nick Taylor makes 72-foot eagle putt to win RBC Canadian Open

Taylor nailed the longest putt of his profession to clinch the event on the fourth playoff gap.

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 within the 2022-23 season. It was essentially the most wins by Canadians in a single PGA Tour marketing campaign so far.

“The camaraderie is nice,” mentioned Taylor, whose victory at Toronto’s Oakdale Golf and Nation Membership was the fourth win by a Canadian within the season. “I really feel like we play loads of follow rounds collectively, homes usually have dinners collectively, so all of us rally collectively.

“I feel we push one another to be higher and I feel that is why we have continued to get higher and attain new heights.”

Conners, who received the Valero Texas Open for a second time on April 2, mentioned that profitable is the most effective feeling you possibly can have in skilled golf.

“That was undoubtedly a spotlight for me,” mentioned Conners. “I feel one other spotlight, and one thing that I am at all times very pleased with, was making it to Eastlake — the Tour Championship — and being within the prime 30 of the FedEx Cup rankings and having an opportunity to win the FedEx Cup.

“Wanting again on the yr as a complete I might have favored to enhance on some issues, however making it there’s a good bonus as a result of it means you had an incredible yr.”

Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., received the Diamond Resorts Match of Champions on Jan. 22 for her thirteenth victory on the LPGA Tour, essentially the most of any skilled participant in Canadian golf historical past no matter gender.

“It was somewhat bit up and down yr for me,” mentioned Henderson, assessing her 2023. “Nevertheless it was good to attempt to defend my title on the Evian Championship with a runner-up end this yr, it was actually enjoyable to be again in rivalry.

“Then similar form of factor to be in our Tour Championship in November, it is at all times an enormous aim once you begin the season is to be in rivalry to attempt to win that, that huge cash and the race, the CME Globe in November.”

WATCH | Henderson wins Match of Champions:

Brooke Henderson takes LPGA Match of Champions title

The Smith Falls, Ont. native led the event in spite of everything 4 rounds. She received by 4 strokes, and completed 16-under general.

Canadian success wasn’t restricted to the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, nonetheless.

Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., each received on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour to earn full-time PGA Tour standing in 2024. Meaning there will likely be eight Canadians on tour with Silverman and Sloan becoming a member of Taylor, Conners, Hughes, Svensson, Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford.

Hamilton’s Alena Sharp received an Epson Tour occasion and had 5 top-10 outcomes on the second-tier tour, not lacking a lower in 14 tournaments performed. She additionally received Canada’s second-ever golf medal on the Pan American Video games, profitable bronze in Santiago, Chile.

Sharp as soon as once more earned LPGA Tour standing by way of last qualifying, as did Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., and Savannah Grewal of Mississauga, Ont. They’re going to be a part of Henderson and Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Ont., on the LPGA Tour within the new yr.

Poised for greater issues in 2024

Two extra Canadians received 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 every claiming a victory. Papineau completed fourth on the season-long factors checklist to earn conditional standing on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Myles Creighton of Digby, N.S., received on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, one other third-tier circuit within the PGA Tour system. Calgary’s Stephen Ames received a outstanding 4 instances on the Champions Tour.

On the novice aspect, Lauren Kim of Surrey, B.C. earned the 109th Canadian Girls’s Beginner Championship and Ashton McCulloch of Kingston, Ont. received the 118th Canadian Males’s Beginner, marking solely the third time each tournaments had been received by Canadians in the identical yr since 2011. Monet Chun of Richmond Hill, Ont., grew to become the primary Canadian to make the lower on the Augusta Girls’s Nationwide Beginner.

With the Paris Olympics coming in July and the Presidents Cup returning to Royal Montreal Golf Membership in September, Taylor expects 2024 to be an excellent greater yr for Canadian golf.

“These two are on the prime of the checklist of issues I wish to be concerned in, take part in, this coming yr,” he mentioned.

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