Nick Taylor helping out Humboldt
April 12, 2018
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Nick Taylor is doing his best to support the Humboldt Broncos. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Nick Taylor is not from a town as small as Humboldt, Saskatchewan, but he knows what it’s like for a tight-knit community to come together.
Taylor, from Abbotsford, British Columbia, will be donating $500 for every birdie – and $1,000 for every eagle – he makes this week at the RBC Heritage to the GoFundMe page set up by the small Canadian town as it recovers from a horrific tragedy less than a week ago
A bus carrying 28 people – players of the Humboldt Broncos (a hockey team from the town of approximately 5,500 about 4 1/2 hours from the U.S. border) along with support staff and coaches – collided with a transport truck. Fifteen people were killed and the remaining 13 were injured, some still in critical condition.
Taylor, who teed off at 8:40 a.m. ET Thursday, said the initiative was a no-brainer.
“Not that I need more motivation to win a tournament, but to have this in there to help out is something else,” he said. “I know the support they’ve already had on the GoFundMe page has been incredible, so for me to get some golf fans to maybe throw some money in there … anything helps, and that’s the mentality.”
The GoFundMe page was originally set up by two members of the community to help pay for parking for the parents of the victims (the junior hockey team featured players aged 16-20) and buy some coffee and donuts, with a moderate goal at first. Online fundraising efforts have since reached more than $8.1 million ($6.4 million U.S.), making it the most successful GoFundMe campaign in Canada, and the third-most successful in the platform’s history.
Taylor, who played hockey for about five years until he was 15 years old, said he never got to the level of hockey where he would be traveling around, but he enjoyed it a lot growing up. In talking to people who have lived with another family while playing for a team away from home – like many members of the Humboldt Broncos – Taylor said that community would be so close.
“There’s a huge family network in hockey life,” he explained.
Graham DeLaet has not yet returned to action on the PGA TOUR after a procedure on his back in January, but he is from Weyburn, Saskatchewan – about 3 1/2 hours from Humboldt – and has ties to the area.
When wildfires raged through Fort McMurray, Alberta in 2016, it was DeLaet who originally challenged his fellow Canadian TOUR pros, including Taylor, to donate to the recovery efforts there.
Corey Connors is also in the RBC Heritage field and has #HumboldtStrong on his cap and is marking his ball with “HB.”
Although Taylor’s hometown is much larger than Humboldt, it only has a population of 141,000. Both he and Adam Hadwin played out of the same golf club growing up, so that special moment was a big deal in their community. On the other end of the spectrum is this terribly sad event, he says, but he knows what it’s like to have a whole town rally around a singular event.
“In a town of that size, everyone knows each other even more,” he said.
Taylor is 66th on TOUR in total birdies in 2017-18 with 151. He’s made two eagles so far, and is hoping to increase that total at Harbour Town Golf Links this week. He finished T22 last year, shooting 69-66 in the first two rounds. It was his best result at the RBC Heritage.
He comes into the week having missed his last three cuts, but said he put in a lot of hard work on a handful of “little things” that were adding up to some big misses of late. He said he feels refreshed, is ready to go on a good run, and is excited for a good week for both himself and the small Saskatchewan community that has been impacted in a big way.
“It seems like the whole hockey world, the whole country of Canada and even in the U.S. has rallied (for Humboldt),” he said. “It’s been pretty amazing, the rally around it.”