Taylor Hopes To Strike Gold At NCAA West Regional
May 19, 2010
On the eve of the NCAA West Regional, Nick Taylor stands out as a favorite at Golf Mountain Golf Course. With nine top-10 finishes in 11 events and the Pac-10 Co-Golfer of the Year award under his belt, it is easy to see why he'll be a favorite in Bremerton this week. GoHuskies.com caught up with the senior All-American and finalist for the Hogan Award to chat about this past season and the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
GoHuskies.com: What was your thought process through the last day of the Pac-10 Championships?
Nick Taylor: 'It was the best tournament we've played all well. Every round, we played really well. We won at ASU a couple weeks before, but the first rounds we didn't play as well and then we had an unbelievable last round to come back and win. That was a big boost of confidence for us. Stanford played really well and we just edged them out in the last few holes. It's good for the confidence to know that we can pull off the pressure shots we need. It was a turning point for us on the year. We all started to click and play well. That's a big boost for the postseason.'
GH.com: The postseason line-up has three seniors and two freshmen, what's the balance like between youth and experience?
NT: 'It's different. We started the year with this lineup and now we are ending with it. There have been a lot of changes throughout the year, so it's been different going on trips with different guys. Chris definitely does not play like a freshman; he's won twice and played really well the entire year. Charlie has been there too, playing really good rounds in pressure situations. Chris has been one of our best players the entire year. We're not really worried about it. We're just trying to play well.'
GH.com: Do you feel any extra pressure on the individual side of things because of the awards you are nominated for, or have already won?
NT: 'If I go there and try to play well and prepare well, its good. If I go there and win, it will help our team advance to nationals. And then if I win my match in match play, then it helps our team to move to the next round. For me, it's focusing on my own game, taking care of my play and hopefully it will help the team go on.'
GH.com: How much does playing at Gold Mountain give you an advantage to move on?
NT: 'It's definitely an advantage. We've played tournaments there. I've played three or four tournaments there, so that's an advantage. The biggest advantage around the course is on the greens, knowing where to miss it and the subtle breaks; you know what it's going to do. I wouldn't say it's a huge advantage but it's definitely a small advantage.
GH.com: You were one of two players that won in match play at the NCAAs last year. Have you given any advice to the other players about what it takes to win match play at that level?
NT: 'We've played so much match play that these guys really know what they are doing. There's always little tips that I can throw out there before we play but these guys are good enough that they know what's going on. I have full confidence in them that we can go over there and win.'
GH.com: Obviously you are focused on the next few weeks, but the professional career is in your future. With former Huskies like Alex Prugh playing well professionally, does that give you added confidence for the next part of your career?
NT: 'It definitely helps. I played with Alex for a year so it shows that if he can do it, why can't I do it? It's a nice confidence boost to know you can get out there. It takes a lot of hard work and good playing. It's in the back of my mind and I'm not thinking about it because its quite a ways a head. Right now, I'm just focusing on the team.'