PARAMUS, N.J. – Today could be a big day for Vaughn Taylor, but nothing like the pressure he faced a week ago.
Taylor, 34, got engaged last Sunday night.
His bride-to-be is a fetching blond and a real trooper on the golf course. She and I followed the threesome of Taylor, Charlie Hoffmann, and Ryo Ishikawa during the second round of the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles in February. It was such a cold, rainy, dreary day that Jimmy Johnson, the caddie for Steve Stricker, said the 65 Stricker shot that day was better than Stricker’s 60 at the John Deere Classic. When I talked to Taylor the following week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, I joked with him that anyone who trudged through the rain and mud to watch him play was a keeper. He smiled and said, “I know.”
Then in April she provided a shoulder to cry on when Taylor was carted off to the clubhouse after losing a playoff at the Shell Houston Open and falling short of his goal of a berth in the Masters.
Taylor said they would begin planning the wedding after the FedEx Cup playoffs. Good to hear there will be wedding bells in Taylor’s future.
“It’s peace of mind more than anything,” he said. “It’s always good to have your personal life in order. So hopefully it’ll help me out.”
So far, it has. Taylor enters the final round of The Barclays tied for fifth place and five strokes back. A victory would automatically send him back to Augusta for the first time since 2008. But he can also qualify for the year’s first major (played in his hometown), and the other three too, if he finishes in the top 30 of the final FedEx Cup standings. He entered the week at No. 38. A top finish would go a long way toward securing his spot in the 30-man field for the Tour Championship.
But after going to one knee last Sunday, today’s pressure should pale in comparison.