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Tommy Fleetwood reflects on RBC Canadian Open loss: ‘like the Ryder Cup’

Tommy Fleetwood had a front row seat to Nick Taylor’s epic 72-foot eagle putt that etched his name into the Canadian glory hole.

When that now-famous putt was sunk, Taylor became the first Canadian in 69 years to win a Canadian Open. He won on the fourth hole in a playoff, and Fleetwood narrowly missed out on his first PGA Tour victory.

But now, a year later, Fleetwood is looking back on that moment and describing the experience as comparable to a Ryder Cup.

“I wish things had gone my way but I’m still very happy to be participating and the support I’ve received from the fans here and tournament officials has been fantastic so I’m very grateful,” Fleetwood said Wednesday.

“People are still [last year’s tournament] And likely will continue to do so for a long time to come.”

When the putt dropped, people across Canada celebrated. Toronto Star was declared as National Sports Moment of the Year.

“In fact, this was on its way to becoming a Ryder Cup,” Fleetwood further explained.

Tommy Fleetwood congratulates Nick Taylor at the 2023 RBC Canadian Open.
Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

“There were some really great things that happened for me. First of all, the support for Nick. He had the support of the whole country, which I think is great. I know what that feels like and it’s great. They weren’t all that nasty with me, they just didn’t want me to win at all, so that was nice.”

Interestingly, a month later, in Royal Liverpool, England, Fleetwood, just an hour away from Hoylake, was getting the support of the home crowd. So if anyone knows that feeling, it’s definitely Fleetwood. You might remember how, despite Brian Harman dominating the Open Championship field, chants of “Go Tommy Rudd” rang out throughout Royal Liverpool.

Still, Fleetwood didn’t have the support of their fans at Oakdale a year ago, but a few players stayed behind to support them.

“I thought it was one of the best moments when the European players came to watch the play-offs and saw them come out and got the support from them,” Fleetwood said.

“For me, it was a really emotional moment because they came out to watch me play and cheered me on. They knew what the atmosphere was like.”

Fleetwood, who secured Team Europe winning points in Rome last year, felt the significance of that moment last June.

“I think that tournament and that atmosphere is a big part of why we do what we do,” Fleetwood said.

Nick Taylor, PGA Tour, RBC Canadian Open

Nick Taylor throws down his putter after holing a 72-foot eagle putt to win the 2023 RBC Canadian Open.
Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

“That event and that moment lives on in the memory of all the players. It’s been really, really cool. It was fun.”

As soon as the putt dropped, Fleetwood knew he had to get out of the way, but he stayed put for about 10 to 15 minutes before leaving for Los Angeles to play in the U.S. Open.

“It was a wonderful moment. I missed Adam. [Hadwin] “I got tackled. Maybe watching that game made me feel a bit better because there was another thing to talk about,” Fleetwood added with a laugh.

“It was a really special opportunity. You don’t get an opportunity like that every day, but I think it really highlights some of the most amazing moments that sport and the game has to offer.”

Of course, one of the funniest moments on the PGA Tour happened because of Hadwin, when a security guard tackled him as he ran onto the 18th green to celebrate Taylor’s win. The video of the incident went viral and is still talked about today.

But jokes aside, Fleetwood understood the importance of the moment, even in defeat, and it’s a testament to who he is as a person and a player.

“It wasn’t my time, it was Nick’s time. It was a great moment that all of Canada should remember and cherish,” Fleetwood said.

“You play a tournament, then you pack up when you’re done, go home and move on to the next tournament. That’s how it goes. I flew to the U.S. Open and tried to get into that event as soon as I could. Obviously, I knew I was playing well so I wanted to focus on that. But I had a really great time playing.”

Jack Mirko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation Playing Through. Follow For more golf articles, follow us on Twitter Jack Mirko In the same way.