Following A Career Year, Nick Taylor Has Some Major Goals Heading Into 2024

Abbotsford, BC's Nick Taylor Became The First Canadian To Win Our National Men's Open In 69 Years - Image Credit Bernard Brault/Golf Canada

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

It would be understandable if Nick Taylor was a tad reluctant to turn the page on 2023, which was a career-defining year for the Abbotsford native.

Who will ever forget that dramatic win at the RBC Canadian Open, sealed on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff at Oakdale Country Club by a putt from somewhere just north of Hamilton.

And Taylor was anything but a one-tournament wonder in 2023. In February, he almost won the WM Phoenix Open, finishing second to Scottie Scheffler. He and Abbotsford buddy Adam Hadwin were a solo second at the two-man team event in New Orleans. Taylor had six top-10s, 15 top-25s, finished 25th on the FedEx Cup points list and earned just over $6.2 million.

Professionally and personally — he and his wife Andie welcomed their daughter Harper into the world this past May — 2023 really couldn’t have been any better. He still has trouble coming up with the right words to capture what it all meant to him.

“I don’t think I could describe it in one word,” Taylor said in a year-end interview with British Columbia Golf. “Obviously, winning the Canadian Open would be under the category of dream come true. It was a career year, a major step forward in the direction I have wanted to go.

Photo courtesy Instagram (click on image to go to Nick Taylor's Instagram page)

“Personally, completing our family with a healthy little girl and being able to travel a little bit with them (the Taylors also have a four-year-old son, Charlie) has been a joy. You have to figure that out, too. It has been interesting travelling with two kids versus one. The reward of playing well has allowed me to have more time off to be with them, which has been great.”

Now that his magical 2023 season is fading into the rear view mirror, Taylor has begun preparing for the new year. And if you are wondering what the heck he is going to do for an encore, Taylor has some lofty goals for his 2024 season, which begins Jan. 4-7 at The Sentry tourney at Kapalua in Maui.

“A lot of big goals were reached this year,” Taylor said. “And I hope that it propels me into the massive events next year, like the Olympics and the Presidents Cup.”

Taylor said he has both of those events circled on his 2024 calendar. “Those are at the tail end of the season, all the majors will have already been played as well as a lot of other big events. So there will be ample opportunity to earn points and try to position myself to get in those.”


Photo courtesy Instagram (click on image to go to Nick Taylor's Instagram page)

Taylor would love to play his way onto the Presidents Cup team, rather than have to rely on International captain Mike Weir making him a pick to play at Royal Montreal Golf Club. “First and foremost for the Presidents Cup is to try and earn my way on and not give them an option to be a pick or not,” Taylor said.

“The Presidents Cup and the Olympics are definitely circled on my goals list of championships/tournaments that I want to be involved and play in. A lot of Canadians and Internationals are playing well right now, so it is not going to be an easy task.”

Taylor does not feel any extra pressure heading into a new year after such a successful 2023. “I think the most pressure I feel is from within,” he said. “Some of my most disappointing years on tour have been following a win. This past year has been different because even after Phoenix, which was a great week and almost a career moment as well, I kept improving.

"I feel like I am better than I was than the other two times that I won. I think the last year has made me a lot better. There will be pressure to play well playing in all of the majors, defending at the Canadian Open and trying to win those big tournaments. But you just have manage it and just do what you can control. …I know I can lean back on what I have done the past year, so I will just try and do the best that I can.”

Photo Credit: Golf Canada Archives

Nick Taylor Is No Stranger To Winning Canadian National Championships Having Won The 2007 Canadian Men's Amateur At Riverside GC In Saskatoon, SK

About the only disappointment of 2023 was Taylor’s play in the major championships. He missed the cut in the three majors he played. He will tee it up in all four majors this year and is determined to play well in them. “I haven’t played particularly well in them the last couple of years, so that will be a point of emphasis,” he said.

“Knowing that I will be in them heading into this year will allow me to be as prepared as I can possibly be. I think my game can suit the majors. It’s a fine line in those championships because they are so difficult. If you are a little bit off, it can make all the difference.”

Taylor’s strong play means he will get into all of the PGA TOUR’s lucrative ‘Signature’ events in 2024. He will once again have longtime friend Dave Markle at his side as his caddie. Markle joined Taylor in the summer of 2022 and Taylor said he has been one of the big reasons for his strong play of late.

Photo Credit: Bernard Brault/Golf Canada

Longtime Friend And Co-competitor Dave Markle Will Remain As Nick Taylor's Caddy In 2024

The two have known one another for a long time. They played against one another when Taylor won the 2007 Canadian Amateur, were teammates at the World Team Amateur Championships in Australia and toiled together on the Canadian Tour as young pros. “I think for a long time I thought I wanted to avoid having a good friend on the bag,” Taylor said.

“I thought it could potentially complicate things. I think it is probably something I have needed for a long time. The comfort out there is just at another level. I have had some good caddies in the past, but when you are out there with a close buddy he can just keep me loose more so than most.

“Dave’s golf IQ is very high because he is a great player. But his mental approach, his positivity, has been a difference-maker. He knows at just the right times how to release a little pressure if I am getting a little tight. He is constantly looking for the good things, the positivity and won’t let me get down on myself. I would tend to let things fester and I would say for the majority of the year I was much better at not doing that.”

Taylor will open the season by playing all of the PGA TOUR’s West Coast events except the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. He can’t wait to get started.