Golfer Nick Taylor finds good form and consistency during rest periods

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ROCHESTER, NY — With four top-ten finishes, including a second place, in 17 events this PGA Tour season, two-time winner Nick Taylor feels good about his game at 35.

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The Canadian was practicing on the driving range ahead of the PGA Championships at Oak Hill this week and told Postmedia the key to his current consistency is definitely not sleep. Taylor and his wife Andie gave birth to their second child less than two weeks ago.

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“She’s 10 days old today so it was hard to leave her,” said Taylor, who also has a three-year-old son at home with his wife. “In my practice, now is nap time, not my nap time. I find that the more structured I am, the better I am. When I’m at home, it’s imperative that I manage my time as efficiently as possible. I can no longer be in class 10 hours a day.”

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PGA Tour fans know the Canadian as an affable, successful and veteran pro, but savvy fans and many north of the border remember Taylor as a former college hotshot and the world’s No. 1 amateur. It came as a bit of a shock to everyone involved when the Abbotsford, BC native took four years to get his PGA Tour card after turning pro in 2010.

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In fact, his early difficulties as a pro led Golf Canada to reconsider its entire system of training young players, apparently realizing that if Taylor could have trouble taking the next step, anyone could. The current Golf Canada system offers much more support to young pro golfers, and many of them probably don’t realize they have Taylor to thank.

“When I turned pro, I picked up some bad habits on the golf course,” Taylor said. “It’s definitely found a way back to why I was successful and I feel like we’re on target. All facets of my game are in a good place, which is nice. If one part slips a little, I know the other parts are there to keep me going, which is probably why this year has been my most consistent year.”

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Taylor says the entire game of golf has changed so much since he arrived that every player is being forced to adapt. What has changed about his game in recent years, the fact that he has had less time to practice, was possibly a blessing.

“I’ve been working very diligently on the same things, not just looking when I got to the range,” he said. “I have my own exercises and I know they work for me and I know my tendencies like never before. It’s easy to just get to the area and search and I had a hard time with that. We just determined what we need to work on.”

The short game that stood out for him as an amateur is once again a strength.

“Not that it was necessarily bad, but it didn’t save me as much as it did this year,” he said.

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Three years ago at Pebble Beach on Sunday, Taylor defeated Phil Mickelson to claim his second PGA Tour win, a win that came six years after his first. The golfer even had some advice for Leafs fans reeling over their team’s recent disaster.

“I’m sure everyone is disappointed but they won a round for the first time in 20 years so you have to take some positives from that,” he said.

Whether there was sarcasm behind it was hard to say, but Taylor knows a thing or two about patience.

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