First-time PGA Tour winners make Nick Taylor feel old - at 27

Nick Taylor (Picture: AP).
Nick Taylor (Picture: AP).

DEFENDING champion Nick Taylor admits he feels old as he looks to end the streak of first-time winners on the PGA Tour this season in the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi.

Canadian Taylor is only 27, but has seen Emiliano Grillo, Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas win the first three events of the 2015-16 season at the ages of 23, 23 and 22 respectively.

"I think the hardest part for rookies is new golf courses on your first year out here and having to learn a lot," said Taylor, who will partner Kaufman in the first two rounds at the Country Club of Jackson.

"Luckily for me, last year this was a new golf course for everyone, so it really wasn't any disadvantage to a rookie here.

"But the younger guys are now getting better. There's more experience, in college you can play PGA Tour events. There's more technology to get better younger, so it's pretty amazing with how young some of the winners are. I feel old out here being 27, so it's pretty cool to watch."

Taylor believes the experience of competing on the second tier Tour has been beneficial to the likes of himself, Grillo and Kaufman, adding: "We were playing competitive (golf). The scoring was unbelievable.

"It was an adjustment for the first bit of the year. The scores are so low, you have to keep your foot down at any event. The cuts were six or seven under and and I don't care what golf course you're playing, if you're not playing that well, six or seven under just to keep playing on the weekend is tough to do."

Taylor missed the cut in his first event of the 2015-16 "wraparound" season, finished 25th in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and 47th in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia last week.

"I arrived on Monday about noon, so I was able to stay up all day, went to bed at a decent time and got a decent rest," he added.

"So I think by... at least Thursday morning, I'll be fully adapted fine. So it should be no issue.

"I feel good. The last couple of weeks I played pretty well. I was in a great spot going into the final round in Vegas (two off the lead) and last week just couldn't really feel out the greens over there in Malaysia. Defending (a title) is something you don't do very often, so I'm excited to do that."