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Nick Taylor, Corey Conners in position to break RBC Canadian Open drought

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Nick Taylor, Corey Conners in position to break RBC Canadian Open drought

Nick Taylor broke the course record with a 9-under 63 on Saturday

    Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley

    TORONTO -- Walking down the first fairway, Nick Taylor told playing partner Greyson Sigg that he wasn’t actually that famous of a Canadian.

    Four hours later, that changed ever-so-slightly. And he’ll have a pretty bright spotlight on him for Sunday’s final round as he’s the low Canadian through three rounds looking to break a near 70-year drought.

    Taylor, of Abbotsford, B.C., shot a 9-under 63 on Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open, breaking the course record at Oakdale Golf and Country Club. He’s tied for eighth at 11 under and just three shots back of the lead held by C.T. Pan.

    Nick Taylor’s Round 3 highlights from RBC Canadian

    “You could see the crowds growing and growing, and he did a pretty good job of it,” Sigg said of how Taylor handled the day. “I looked at him in scoring and said, ‘Now you’re a famous Canadian.’”

    Taylor began the day with five birdies on the front nine – which is playing nearly three shots harder than the back nine for the week – before adding another on the par-4 10th.

    Nick Taylor uses the slope to set up birdie at RBC Canadian

    The two-time TOUR winner birdied No. 13 and set the Canadian crowds abuzz with a birdie on the par-3 14th (“The Rink” hole this week) before adding one last birdie on No. 18. He hit his approach into the greenside bunker, but rolled in an eight-footer to secure the course record.

    Tyrrell Hatton shot the composite-course record at Oakdale on Friday, an 8-under 64. That matched the regular course record at Oakdale, shot by member Bruce Berdock in 1986. That matched the regular course record at Oakdale, shot by member Bruce Berdock in 1986. Taylor’s career low on TOUR is a 62, shot earlier in the year at the Sony Open (ironically, when he was paired with Sigg, too). “I’ve only played with him twice,” Sigg said with a laugh, “and I think he’s the best golfer in the world.”

    In another example of golf is the wildest of games, Taylor was tied for 120th after an opening-round 75. He managed to reset himself for Friday and shot 67 to make the cut with just one to spare.

    “My wife gave me a talking to Thursday night,” Taylor said with a big smile. “I was just kind of getting in my own way. I probably had a very poor attitude when I was hitting shots maybe weren't ending up like I wanted to. So, I knew my game was there, but a little kick in the butt didn't hurt.”

    Nick Taylor’s interview after Round 3 of RBC Canadian

    Taylor’s ball-striking was elite on Saturday, gaining nearly three-and-a-half strokes on the field. He was 148th in Strokes Gained: Putting on Thursday losing just over three strokes to the field; however, he turned things around in an impressive way – gaining over three strokes to the field with the flatstick on Saturday.

    “It's kind of a continuation of yesterday. I drove it really nice yesterday. Did that again today. Just started making putts,” Taylor said. “I feel like I've been putting really nice this year. The last three or four weeks just haven't seen the ball going in. I made a couple at the end of first day, when I was struggling, to see the ball finally go in the hole.

    “Driving it well, keeping it out of the rough as much as I can and making putts is always a good recipe around here.”

    Nick Taylor sends in 25-footer for birdie at RBC Canadian

    While Taylor zipped up the leaderboard Saturday, countrymen Corey Conners – who was in the penultimate pairing for the third round – stalled with a 2-under 70. He’s at 10 under through three rounds and sitting alone in 10th.

    “Obviously the RBC Canadian Open's a big event to me. I left some shots out there probably on the second nine today. But it's nice to be in contention,” Conners said. “I start every week trying to get yourself into the mix with an outside chance on Sunday. That's where I find myself.”

    Corey Conners cozies approach to 1 foot, setting up birdie at RBC Canadian

    The pair of Canadians are within shouting distance of the lead, and although they’ll need another low one Sunday, they have both given themselves a good chance to become the first Canadian to win the RBC Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher in 1954.

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