Nick Taylor At the Canadian Open
The following is a transcript of an interview today from the Canadian Open, which is taking place this week in Oakville, Ontario. There were practice rounds today and a pro-am tomorrow before the field tees of for real on Thursday
GoHuskies.com and the Dawg Blawg will provide coverage as All-America UW golfer Nick Taylor takes part in another major touranment this summer. Taylor finished second at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship last week and was the top amateur at the U.S. Open last month.
You can also follow along yourself on the tournament's official website.
First, here's a link to a video of this interview, and here's the transcript, which features Taylor, as well as another top Canadian amateur Matt Hill (North Carolina State), being interviewed by Doug Milne of the PGA staff (transcript courtesy of the PGA):
DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome two very distinguished young Canadian golfers here, Nick Taylor and Matt Hill. There's no real rhyme or reason as to who talks, who says what, so a couple of comments as you're heading into the week here, what it means to be given the sponsor exemptions and kind of assess the state of your games.
MATT HILL: Yeah. I'm really looking forward to this week, especially being in Canada, just being on the Tour is a whole lot different, just getting my feet wet pretty much. Haven't really played this golf course before, but I'm really looking forward to Glen Abbey, with all the tradition and with it being the hundredth anniversary, that's pretty special as well.
NICK TAYLOR: I'm very proud to be out here, having the experience on the PGA TOUR. Like Matt said, I have a few, it's cool to be in a PGA Tour event, but being back home in Canada with a bunch of people working and pulling for you, that's going to be fun.
DOUG MILNE: Who are some of the guys you look up to, mentors, if you will, I'm sure Mike Weir is probably at the top of the list, but some of the guys out on Tour who you watch week in, week out, emulate, like their game, their swing, that kind of thing?
MATT HILL: Obviously Tiger Woods is someone you look at and you idolize growing up and trying to do things like that, but also someone like Mike Weir, especially being from my hometown, and he really inspired me to keep getting better.
And me and Nick got a chance to play with Ian Leggett today, and he's also done quite a bit for Canadian golf. And he really helped us out there on a few different shots on the course, so that was pretty nice today.
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah. I've always looked up to Tiger, watching him in majors and stuff, but to Mike, following him and winning the Masters, and probably a lot of kids and us being one of them.
It's just been not even Mike Weir, but younger guys that have been on the Nationwide, Ian Leggett committed this year, and John Mills, got to know him a little bit last year. And those kind of guys I like to follow them and see how they're doing throughout the year and it's fun to watch them.
DOUG MILNE: We'll open it up for a few questions.
Q. You guys have known each other for years, and I'm just wondering, when you guys each had great seasons in college this year, and how closely were you guys following one another? Nick, you were out on the West Coast and Matt's on the East Coast. You guys were kind of keeping track of one another through papers, weren't you?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah. I was following what he was doing. I was watching, and the last two events we got to play in the same field, got to play each other in one round, but it's nice to see that we're doing well, so it's fun to watch.
MATT HILL: Yeah, the same thing. There's quite a few times where maybe I won an event on a Sunday and I saw Nick the next day on Live Scoring and then he'd end up shooting like 65 or something to win, and it's pretty cool seeing him right behind me.
Q. Were there any trash Emails going back and forth?
MATT HILL: Not so much. I'd say more support more than anything. We supported each other a lot and just kind of congratulated each other and rooted for each other.
Q. You guys have been roommates during the tournament. Is there a lot of trash talk going on during the tournament?
MATT HILL: We have different rooms. I sent some wake up calls to his room for about 3 in the morning. (Laughs) No. We're having fun.
Q. Nick, you talked about some of the guys out on the Nationwide Tour. I'm just wondering if you guys have been following Graham Delaet at all and what you think of what he's doing this year?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah. For him to win two events this year, and to win last week, he's playing well, played with guys like Davis Love, and probably the best ball striking I've ever seen.
I haven't played with Graham for a while, but it's cool to see him playing so well and coming in here.
Q. How about you, Matt?
MATT HILL: Yeah. I heard he played great at the World Cup and played really well in South Africa, and just everything he's done, and not a lot of Canadians here this year. He's been pretty phenomenal. I don't know if we've ever seen a Canadian do that, and that's pretty special. And hopefully he'll get on the Tour pretty soon because he's really good.
Q. Maybe if you guys could talk about your recent play. Matt you won the Ontario Amateur, and Nick, you did really well scooting through the field until the last match at the Pub Links. I'm wondering how you look at your current play and how it might translate from amateur golf to here you guys have some experience at pro golf already obviously.
NICK TAYLOR: You know, I think just playing in a tournament and being able to shoot low scores and win definitely builds up a lot of confidence coming into this week and making a lot of birdies.
Obviously the course might not be set up quite as tough, but at the same time gives you a lot of confidence going in, good things should happen. And I think just playing a little bit more careful out here and smarter is just a little bit more of a challenge, and it's different than amateur golf.
MATT HILL: For me, I played 6 days of golf and end up only losing to one guy, so leaving that event you have some confidence with how you were playing. It was a long week, so last few days I've been playing catchup and rest. So that's the biggest thing.
But when you come to these events, you're not trying to change anything you're doing. The courses we play in college are tough out there, too. So you just come in and play your own game. Don't try to change anything for these guys because it's the same golf course.
Q. Obviously during a week like this, you guys wearing the Canada logos and stuff are going to be recognized a bit more. I'm wondering in general, do you feel as though people are watching you and wondering if you guys will be the next big player, because it seems like in Canada we tend to be looking for one of those guys.
MATT HILL: Yeah. I don't know if we necessarily think about that too much because we're not trying to put extra added pressure on ourselves, especially when we're playing there. We're just trying to get the ball in the hole the best we can and keep calm and not put too much pressure. So it's obviously really nice to play in front of the home crowd, in front of Canada, but we just gotta play our own games and not really worry too much about that stuff.
Q. Nick, you touched on this about 2003 and Mike Weir and being inspired somewhat by that when you guys were younger. Could you both maybe offer a thought about what you remember, what you were doing, and you know, your observations about how you were more or suddenly motivated by golf after that event?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah. I grew up watching. I think it was kind of off and on in the morning, but I think when I first started watching he was making a bunch of birdies, and the last few holes Mike was stiffing it in on the par 5s, and he made that clutch putt on the last hole to get into the playoffs.
And you've never really seen it before with a Canadian golfer out there, and I remember the Air Canada championship watching on TV, when Mike I think he holed out to win his event there. But being that kind of high profile event and win the Masters, it's just something you want to do, if you're a Canadian, you want to follow in his footsteps and have that kind of success.
So it's kind of inspired us to I guess build dreams and want you to kind of follow up.
MATT HILL: Yeah, I think pretty similar to what Nick said. I grew up in the same town as Mike, grew up around the corner from him, so I got a chance to go watch him clinic at the nearby golf course, when he just started to get in on Tour, and from there on, just watching how he conducted himself and how he hit the ball has inspired me a lot. And I think I was probably about eight or nine at the time, and just from there I just kind of dreamed that I wanted to be on Tour.
And another, I guess, event was obviously him winning the Masters made it even better for that, and just the dreams and stuff like that you get from watching him is pretty good.
Q. You both have had what I would call busy schedules this summer. How are you trying to marshall your energy or get yourself ready for this event, having that in mind? I mean you've had travel, you've had lots of tournaments. Are you prepared for this tournament given that?
NICK TAYLOR: You know, I finished Saturday night, and it was a super long week with the heat and how many holes I was playing, but I had a few days in there. You come here and practice a bit and do your business, but we're not really doing much.
We go back to the hotel and kind of hang out and watch TV and relax and go to bed at a pretty early time. So it takes a few days to kind of recharge your battery, but I think we'll be ready.
MATT HILL: I feel like college golf has kind of helped prepare me for just playing a lot of weeks in a row in amateur golf. We've played probably 6 out of 7 weeks out there and traveled quite a bit, so I think that really helps prepare you, and helps you keep energized for a week like this.
DOUG MILNE: All right. Nick, Matt, thanks, guys, for joining us and good luck this week.
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