Not so long ago, there were no PGA Tour players from Abbotsford, B.C. As a matter of fact, there were none from British Columbia just a few weeks ago.
One guy from Abbotsford, Adam Hadwin, began to change all of that when he and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., earned PGA Tour status by finishing in the top 25 on the Web .com Tour money list before the four-event Web. com Finals got underway.
The other guy from Abbotsford, Nick Taylor, assured himself status on the PGA Tour in style on Sunday when he shot a final round, seven-under 63 to finish in a tie for 21st at three under at the Web .com Tour Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
That moved Taylor to 37th on the priority list through the Web .com Tour Finals and earned him status for next season on the PGA Tour.
“To be honest, this year, if you talked to me in June, July or August, I wouldn’t have seen this at all. I was struggling for a bit,” said Taylor, who missed six consecutive cuts in May and June in a season that saw him miss 11 of 23 cuts.
Timing, however, was on his side.
“The last four or five weeks this season, I started to play really well and I kind of just came into the playoffs and took advantage of it,” he said.
In the opening event of the Web .com Finals, he tied for ninth at the Hotel Fitness Championship, before tying for 27th at the Chiquita Classic, which was won by Hadwin. However, a missed cut in the next event, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, put Taylor in a precarious situation.
It was felt by many that making the cut at the Web .com Tour Championship would be enought to send Taylor on to the PGA Tour, but he says he wasn’t sure of that.
“That was unknown,” he said.
“There were a lot of guys playing well up top that could pass me. If that was the case, I was never told that,” said Taylor, who finished the third round with a four-over 74 that must have seemed like a flashing neon number considering the uncertainty in his mind.
“On Friday, when I made the cut, I knew that my odds were good, but then, obviously, after (Saturday), I was near last place, so that’s the worst I could possibly do, so I kind of opened the door for a few guys. It don’t think it was guaranteed by any means,” he said.
Nothing like a timely 63 to fix the problem.
“The weather was brutal (Saturday). It was tough for everyone and I just didn’t hit it great, just missed a bunch of greens and couldn’t make any birdies and struggled to make pars,” he said.
“(On Sunday), we had perfect conditions. I was second tee time off with Brad Fritsch and we played fast. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions or somebody to play with, so everything just kind of worked out,” he said.
Witnessed an all time pressure round by @ntaylorgolf59 for his PGA Tour card. Amazing. Awesome.
— Brad Fritsch (@BradFritsch) September 21, 2014
A former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world and the low amateur at the 2009 U.S. Open, Taylor made it to the Web .com Tour after a 2013 season that began with him winning five consecutive events on the Vancouver Golf Tour.
He went on to post five top-10s on PGA Tour Canada to finish seventh on the Order of Merit, which gave him an exemption into the Web .com Tour Q-school finals, where he tied for 11th. He says the experience of the past couple of seasons was important.
So was was the help of the other PGA Tour-bound Abbotsford guy, who Taylor shared a house with during the winter in Phoenix. Hadwin helped him with adjustments to the Web .com Tour such as travel to foreign destinations in South America.
“I traveled with Adam the first six events. He’s in his third year. He has a lot of experience, obviously. It was more the small things. Adam’s very good with travel, so he helped me a lot with that,” said Taylor.
“That helped out a lot and we hung out a lot during the year. Just being comfortable with someone out there was definitely a help,” said Taylor, who is planning a quick recharge before heading right out on the PGA Tour, which gets underway in early October.
“It should get me enough starts in the fall. where if I play decent enough, I should be okay for the West Coast swing,” he said.