As three of the four Canadians tee off together at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot for the first two rounds, it’s a celebratory culmination of some of the best golf played on the highest level by the countrymen in history.
Adam Hadwin, Corey Conners, and Mackenzie Hughes were grouped together for Thursday and Friday in New York, while fellow Canuck – who played Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds with the aforementioned trio – Taylor Pendrith, played a little later in the day.
Hadwin, a longtime Callaway Golf staffer, is a winner on the PGA Tour, same with Conners and Hughes – both longtime Ping users. Pendrith, meanwhile, is having a magical run on the Korn Ferry Tour where, earlier in the summer, he finished T3-2-T2-T2 and zipped up that Tour’s Order of Merit.
Adam Hadwin, Canadian PGA Tour Player
But while we’ve already talked about the four Canadians who are teeing it up at the U.S. Open, there’s one who isn’t even mentioned – Nick Taylor, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February in a Sunday duel with Phil Mickelson.
Nick Taylor, Canadian PGA Tour Player
The inspiration that’s been felt by each of the men on the PGA Tour (and with Pendrith on the cusp of earning his PGA Tour card, too) has seen a Canadian flag enter leaderboards nearly every week since the PGA Tour returned from its COVID-19 break.
“I saw Nick Taylor win in February and I was sitting at home after a missed cut and I’m like, ‘Man, I want to do that. I want to feel those things he’s feeling,’” Hughes told Sportsnet.ca in July. “It inspires you."
Hughes went on an inspiring run himself during the FedExCup playoffs, finishing 14th at the Tour Championship – the highest such result by a Canadian in the year-end rankings in history.
Mackenzie Hughes, Canadian PGA Tour Player
While Hughes was the top Canadian, rankings-wise, last season, it was Taylor who notched his second career Tour win – something Hadwin, Conners, and Hughes are all still looking for.
In history on the PGA Tour only six Canadians have won more than once, meaning Taylor, at just 32, is in elite company. He has, very likely, locked up a spot in the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
Taylor will join Hadwin, Conners, and Mike Weir in the Masters field in November, marking the first time four Canadians will tee it up at Augusta National.
Canadians also had four Canadians to cheer for at the World Golf Championship in Memphis (a first), and four at the PGA Championship (not to mention the four at the U.S. Open).
There were also four – Hughes, Hadwin, Conners, and Taylor – all inside the top-100 in the Official World Golf Ranking this summer, which was the first time that happened, too.
But despite the success of the men, they can’t help but notice how well Brooke Henderson has been doing in terms of leading the way.
The 23-year-old is already Canada’s winningest golfer on either the PGA or LPGA Tour.
Brooke Henderson, LPGA Tour Professional
"It feels like she’s in contention every week," said Taylor this summer. "We’re getting so deep and with Brooke leading the way and being able to watch her, she pushes us all along."
So while 2020 was an odd year for everyone – not just professional golfers – the Canadian men of the PGA Tour can look back on it with pride. They, as a collective group, were able to do something no other cohort of Canadians had ever done.
And now it’s time to build off that success.
Written and intended to the GlobalGolf.ca audience by Adam Stanley