Nick Taylor drains 72ft (!) eagle bomb to break Tommy Fleetwood's heart

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 12 Jun 2023
Nick Taylor drains 72ft (!) eagle bomb to break Tommy Fleetwood's heart

England's Tommy Fleetwood was left to rue a poor finish at the Canadian Open as home favourite Nick Taylor sank the longest putt in his PGA Tour career over extra holes to claim a stunning victory and send his fans into ecstasy.

Fleetwood, 32, had set up the perfect opportunity to claim his maiden victory on the North American circuit with consecutive birdies at 16 and 17 to tie for the lead at Oakdale Golf & Country Club. 

All he needed to do was make a birdie at the relatively straight-forward par-5 18th to nick the victory by one stroke but bizarrely missed the fairway with an iron off the tee and subsequently sent his layup into the thick, juicy rough. 

He salvaged a par to post a final round of 5-under 67 to reach 17-under and join Taylor. The two players embarked on a mammoth, four-hole playoff which was the longest playoff. It was the longest playoff in the tournament for 40 years.

Fleetwood miraculously got up-and-down at the first extra hole to extend the playoff. But in the end, it was 35-year-old Taylor who prevailed.

At the fourth playoff hole, Taylor found the green in two strokes despite his tee shot appearing to settle in a divot. Fleetwood found the fairway bunker and laid up but didn't even get the chance to putt as the Canadian drained a bomb from 72 feet. 

The crowd went absolutely ballistic for Taylor and he was immediately hugged by his caddie and doused in champagne. 

"Good pace," said Jim Nantz in the booth just after Taylor struck the putt, before adding: "Are you serious?!"

Watch the putt:

Fleetwood could only smile and acknowledge the incredible moment. 

A tearful Taylor said:

"I'm speechless, this is for all the guys, this is for all my family and friends. I'm very speechless, this is the most incredible feeling ever." 

Of his putt, he said he believed Fleetwood was going to make his putt and he was just trying to judge the pace. "I don't know what to say." 

Fleetwood said of his poor finish: "I was playing so well and just got a bit fast. I had a couple of chances in the playoff but I'm not going to take anything away from Nick, it was unbelievable."

Elsewhere, there were top-10 finishes for England's Tyrrell Hatton (64) and Justin Rose (71). 

Once again Rory McIlroy struggled in the final round. He was bidding to become the first player to win the Canadian Open three times in a row. 

McIlroy laboured on his front nine, carding two bogeys and was well out of it by the turn. In the end, he posted a level-par 72. 

Final leaderboard

T. Fleetwood, N. Taylor -17 

C.T. Pan, A. Rai, T. Hatton -16 

M. Hubbard, E. Cole -14

J. Rose -13

R. McIlroy, B. Wu -12

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