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Nick Taylor secured a dramatic victory over Tommy Fleetwood at the RBC Canadian Open by delivering a remarkable eagle on the fourth extra play-off hole.
During an exhilarating final day at Oakdale Golf & Country Club, Taylor staged an impressive comeback by erasing a three-stroke deficit. With a superb six-under 66, he established a clubhouse target of 17 under, a score later equaled by Fleetwood.
In regulation, Fleetwood couldn’t secure a birdie on the final hole for a victory but managed to sink a 15-foot putt to match Taylor’s birdie on the first play-off hole. The subsequent two extra holes witnessed both players making pars, prolonging the contest.
On the fourth play-off hole, Taylor delivered a sensational 70-foot putt, making him the first Canadian in 69 years to win the event. The victory ignited exuberant celebrations among the home crowd, while Fleetwood had to settle for his fifth runner-up finish in his PGA Tour career.
Tyrrell Hatton and Aaron Rai, representing England, secured a shared third place alongside CT Pan, the overnight leader. Eric Cole, on the other hand, impressed with a round-of-the-day 63, finishing in sixth place at 14 under. Unfortunately, Rory McIlroy’s hopes for a third consecutive Canadian victory diminished as he ended with a disappointing 72, leaving him tied for ninth place.
Playing alongside overnight leader CT Pan in the final group, Fleetwood made a strong start by birdieing his first two holes, propelling him into a shared lead. However, he and Pan both bogeyed the following hole, briefly creating a seven-way tie at the top.
Despite starting three strokes behind, Taylor swiftly separated himself from the tightly contested group. After a birdie on the second hole, he gained further momentum by sinking a 25-foot putt on the fourth and securing consecutive birdies from the sixth. This exceptional performance propelled him into a two-shot lead.
After narrowly missing an eight-foot birdie opportunity at the ninth, Taylor swiftly bounced back by sinking a 10-foot putt on the next hole, starting his back nine with a birdie. This extended his lead to three shots as Aaron Rai, in the group ahead, encountered a setback by three-putting the 11th and falling back to 13 under.
Eric Cole finished his final round with a flourish, birdieing his last four holes and carding a remarkable 63. This strong finish allowed him to come within two shots of the lead. Meanwhile, Tommy Fleetwood’s birdie at the eighth hole narrowed the gap to just one shot as Nick Taylor encountered a three-putt from long range at the 11th hole.
In response, Taylor confidently secured a two-putt birdie on the par-five hole, reestablishing a two-stroke lead. However, Tyrrell Hatton then made an impressive run with three consecutive birdies from the 15th hole, while Fleetwood delivered a remarkable 20-foot putt at the 11th to bring both players within one shot of the lead.
Hatton capitalized on the final par-five hole, completing a remarkable back-nine score of 30 and setting the clubhouse target at 16 under. This momentarily placed him in sole possession of the lead as Taylor encountered a bogey on the 16th hole. Additionally, Rai birdied the last hole, matching his fellow countryman’s score to share the lead at the clubhouse.
Taylor took a significant lead by executing a superb birdie at the 17th hole and following it up with another birdie from 12 feet at the final hole. However, Fleetwood responded strongly by securing consecutive birdies from the 16th hole, bringing him to 17 under. In a remarkable display of skill, Fleetwood managed a brilliant two-putt par on the last hole, despite missing the fairway off the tee, thus forcing the match into extra holes.
The competitors reconvened at the par-five 18th hole, where both Taylor and Fleetwood achieved birdies, prompting an emotional reaction from the Englishman. However, during the second round on the same hole, Fleetwood missed an opportunity from approximately 12 feet.
On the third extra hole, which took place on the par-three ninth, both players successfully two-putted from the fringe. Fleetwood had a chance for birdie during his most recent attempt on the par-five 18th hole, just before Taylor’s sensational tournament-winning eagle.
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