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July 23, 2015

Vaughn Taylor


DOUG MILNE: Vaughn Taylor, picking up where you left off from last week. Top 10 finish at the Barbasol Championship, and opened with a 7-under 65 here at the RBC Canadian Open. Just some thoughts on maybe take you back a week to what's trending for you in the right direction?

VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, last week I had my coach come out, my putting coach, and we really worked hard on some things we've actually been working on all year. Just trying to dial them in a little better. I got it going a little bit last week. Played really well on Saturday, and I'm just kind of continuing and building on that. Felt good today. Felt actually a little better than last week so it was nice.

Q. Who is your putting coach? And can you describe what this year's been like for you?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: My putting coach is Pat O'Brien, and he's worked with Zach Johnson for years. He's awesome. He's a really good coach. As far as this year goes, it's been kind of a crazy year. I was going to play Web.com this year, and I got into Mississippi last fall off past-champion status, and I finished like 20th and kind of moved me up in the reshuffle, and that got me into Pebble, and I finished 10th at Pebble. So I got in the next week at Northern Trust and played well there. Just kind of probably in the next month or so I decided to just kind of abandon the Web Tour. I felt like I was high enough on the money list out here to get into the finals. Just felt odd going back and forth to both tours. I wanted to feel like I belonged out here. Just felt like committing to here and when I did get in, just rest, and I felt like that was a better path for me.

Q. Can you just talk about that boating incident you had not too long ago to where you are now? Do you look back on that and sort of pinch yourself a little bit that you're actually here right now?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, it was a very unfortunate day. It turned into a scary moment. It was at the time very scary. I didn't really know what was going on, and once you're in the water, it's a very scary thing. Looking back on it, I made a lot of mistakes that day, just being careless. Every time I go out there I try not to make the same mistakes and realize how precious life is. It was just for a few minutes there, it was a very, very scary experience. But I'm glad I made it out. Just a huge lesson learned, really. For a while there, it gave me a lot different perspective on life. It still does. Just kind of as time goes on, you forget about things. But I kind of remind myself of it to say, hey, let's not take this day for granted and make the most of it.

Q. What did you think about when you were going through that?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Well, after I panicked for -- time seemed like it was moving forever, so I'm not sure how long it was, but probably for a minute or so I was panicking. I was swimming the wrong way. I was going against the current and just doing -- just making mistakes, doing the wrong things. At that point I really got scared. I didn't know. The water was probably mid-50s, so it's cold, and I'd never been in it before. I didn't know how long I could swim. I had never swam more than a lap in a pool, so I had no idea how far I could swim. I didn't know. Luckily it was a reel hot, hot summer day, so my body was warm. I think that helped. But I wasn't in the water long enough that hypothermia wasn't an issue. But the way I was swimming the wrong way and just doing stupid stuff like that, I was in there a lot longer than I should have been. It was pretty frightening for a minute. I was thinking about my family and kind of realized it's not about me. I've got to get out for them. I've got to get through this for them and definitely gave me a different perspective on life.

Q. Let's talk about today. How conducive is this golf course to low scores, and does it matter with the front? Is it take what you can get? And on the back nine with two par 35s, just go out and go as low as you go? What do you think, will we see low scores the whole way since it's firm and fast and weather is not changing through to Sunday?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, it's hard to say. I felt like we played early and the wind didn't pick up until maybe the third hole. It wasn't blowing as hard as it was later in the round, so those holes for us probably played a little easier. Then the back nine, you get the two par-5s coming in, but the ones at 10, 11, 12, 13, those holes are playing tough. But pin placements are huge, I think, with the firm greens you've got fly smart and be on the right side of the hole. You get it above the hole, off the green or something, and you really don't have a chance to get up and down. You've got to make a 15-footer for par. So it will be interesting to see how it plays. If it keeps getting firmer and faster, the fairways are going to run out. You could run the ball into the rough, and it can play tough as well. So it will be interesting to see.

Q. You just talked a little about your journey being on the Web.com Tour, and there are a lot of young Canadians here this weekend obviously because it's the Canadian Open. I wanted to find out what your advice would be for some of those Canadians trying to take that similar journey to the PGA?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, it takes time sometimes. You've got to just work on your game. I didn't get on TOUR until I was 27, so I played mini tours for a few years, played Web.com for a few years, and finally got through. So you've got to just play where you can play and hopefully get status on the Web. It's all a learning experience. You've got to learn how to travel, you've got to learn how to play. You've got to learn how to create more shots. You just try to have an all-around good game to play out here. So it's all a learning process, and it's a grind. You've got to stick at it, and I think some of the toughest guys end up prevailing. So it definitely takes perseverance.

Q. How did you come to work with Pat O'Brien? Was it a suggestion from Zach Johnson?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: No, actually, in 2000 I had my Web.com card, and Zach did as well. I was conditional. I'm not sure if he was. But Pat was the Seymour putting rep, and I wasn't putting too good at the time. Just met him on the side of the putting green, and from that day forward, we just started working together and have never stopped. He's an awesome influence in my life and my game, and I appreciate him.

Q. I'm not sure if you're still actually living in Augusta, are you?

Q. What's it like the other 51 weeks of the year?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: It is very low-key and slow. It's not a busy town at all. It's Washington Road gets busy, and other than that, it's pretty slow, which is great. Because we're on the road so much, it's nice to go home and just relax and not have to worry about the things of the big city.
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