Taylor, Hill Are One, Two in the World

Fascinating news out the RCGA today regarding top amateurs Nick Taylor and Matt Hill:

National Amateur Team members Nick Taylor and Matt Hill are currently ranked 1st and 2nd respectively on the Royal and Ancients World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Nick Taylor, who was sixth on the rankings last week, climbed into the top spot after he fired a 6-under par 136 over 36 holes to win the US Open sectional qualifier event in Roslyn, Wash. The Abbotsford, B.C. native is set to tee-off at the 2009 US Open Championship Thursday at Bethpage State Park (Black Course) in Farmingdale, NY.
Matt Hill has remained in the number two position since his win at the NCAA Mens Division I Championship on May 29, 2009.  The Brights Grove, Ont.  native was also awarded the Jack Nicklaus Trophy,  given annually since 1988 to the best college players in NCAA Division I, II and III, prior to the final round of The Memorial tournament on June 7, 2009.

So what does this mean? Well Hill didn’t light the world on fire at the British Am, but Taylor is in NY for the U.S. Open. Both have time left in college — and I wouldn’t expect either to turn pro any time soon. That said, I think it is a very positive sign for all of those wondering where our next great player will come from. Maybe it isn’t Hill or Taylor, but it is tough to say the RCGA isn’t accomplishing something when these two sit atop the rankings.

Update: Taylor finish at the US Open — tie for 36th — gives everyone a good sense of his potential. Apparently he said there is no way he’ll turn pro — instead playing out the remainder of his college career next year.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • “but it is tough to say the RCGA isn’t accomplishing something when these two sit atop the rankings.”

    Yup…gotta be the RCGA.

    Nick’s long time CPGA coach ( do you even know his name? )…NCAA Division 1 competition for 3 years…obviously not a factor.

  • Neo I’ know we’ve been through this before but isn’t it possible that the success is a group effort of the RCGA’s coaching and “sport science” teams, the kids’ own hometown coaches and college teams?

    Surely the opportunities to play in international events afforded by the RCGA team is valuable experience that helps the players develop.

    To the RCGA’s credit I have never heard / seen them say they are solely responsible for a team player’s success. But why not admit they have played at least a supporting role?

  • Sure, being on a National Team can be a positive part in a players development. The RCGA’s done that for years, which is a good thing.

    It’s the rest of their “player development” that I call into question.
    In effect the NCAA IS the majority of their player development program, they just hide it behind smoke & mirrors and some folks believe their spin.

    The National Teams probably did just as good…or better, prior to their implementation of the “plan”.

    Have you seen how their junior squad, with Brunton at the helm, has just performed at the World Junior in Japan? 12th out of 14, it’s not a blip on the screen of a week year…it’s a trend.

  • The world according to Neo

    If the kids that start with the RCGA have any success along the way it is because of the other coaches that they may meet during their development. If those same kids are not successful it is completely the fault of the RCGA development program. Neo sounds like the kind of guy that likes to have his cake and eat it as well.

  • I’m with Neo. Please tell me what professional golfers are in Brunton’s stable? Still waiting for an answer. The RCGA should retain Sean Foley and then maybe the kids and the program would reach its true potential. What do you think about that RT? You still hating on Sean cause he didn’t call you back. What a wanker eh?

  • Ranked one and two will mean now they’ll have to deflect the “gurus” like Leadbeater and Harmon who will want them in their stable. Hopefully they decide to keep the game and talent they have now and try to add more experience, ending up champions. Weir should be their only “next” coach.

  • Sure the juniors didn’t do well in Japan but why is that solely Henry’s fault? I guess then Henry gets all the credit for the same kids winning their qualifier to get into the Japan tournament in the first place. And Nick Taylor being in the top-10 at the US Open has nothing to do with the RCGA but Andrew Parr not making the cut is entirely because he used to be part of the RCGA’s team program. Right?

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