Nick Taylor of Abbotsford follows his shot from the fourth tee of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Abbotsford golfer Nick Taylor wins AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Second PGA Tour victory means spot in 2020 Masters

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Nick Taylor had more trouble with the wind than he did with Phil Mickelson. The Canadian managed both just fine Sunday and won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for his second career victory.

With the gallery eager to see Mickelson add a record sixth victory at Pebble Beach, Taylor, from Abbotsford, showed plenty of moxie in building a five-shot lead at the turn and then holding on when 40 mph gusts blasted the Monterey Peninsula.

He closed with a 2-under 70 for a four-shot victory over Kevin Streelman (68). Mickelson, who closed within two shots with four holes to play, shot 74 and finished alone in third. He has won, been runner-up twice and finished third in his last four starts at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Taylor won in his fourth start as a PGA Tour rookie at the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi, at the time an opposite-field event that didn’t feature any of the top players. He went 146 starts on the PGA Tour until his next victory, and it was a big one.

The victory gets him into the Masters for the first time, along with the PGA Championship up the coast at Harding Park in May. In his sixth year on tour, Taylor has played only two majors as a pro.

“That was amazing,” Taylor said. “I believed I could do it because I’ve done it before. But to do it in that fashion, playing with Phil, gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

Taylor started the final round with a one-shot lead over Mickelson, and they were tied after Lefty got up-and-down from a bunker on the par-5 second.

Seven holes later, Taylor had a five-shot lead.

He holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the fourth, a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-3 fifth, and then he holed a bunker shot for eagle on the par-5 sixth hole, the kind of short-game shot everyone expected out of Mickelson.

And then it got ugly for Mickelson.

He went over the green at No. 8 and played an aggressive chip that rolled by the flag, down the slope and back into the fairway. He pitched the next one too far and made double bogey, and then made bogey on the ninth as Taylor holed a 7-foot birdie to go five shots ahead.

Thanks to the wind, it wasn’t quite over.

Five holes later, Mickelson had cut the lead to two despite having only one birdie putt, a tap-in on No. 10. Taylor ran into tree trouble off the tee at No. 11, flew the green into a back bunker on No. 12 and then took double bogey on the par-5 14th hole when he found a bunker off the tee, could only advance it about 100 yards and took five to reach the green.

The wind was blowing so hard at that point that Taylor’s cap blew off his head and he had to chase it down the fairway before hitting his third shot from 227 yards away.

Mickelson, however, missed his chances to capitalize on Taylor’s mistakes.

He came up short of the 11th green from just under 100 yards with Taylor in trouble. He didn’t hit a green in regulation after his tap-in birdie on the 10th until his tee shot on the par-3 17th that settled 40 feet away.

READ MORE: Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor wins namesake charity tournament

Taylor seized control by chipping in for birdie on the 15th for a three-shot lead, and the knockout punch was his tee shot to 6 feet below the hole for birdie on the 17th.

He finished at 19-under 268, earning a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

Mickelson wasn’t the only player who struggled. Dustin Johnson shot a 78. Matt Every, in the third-to-last group, shot 80. Jason Day closed with a 75.

The best round and best finish belonged to Jordan Spieth, who chipped in to save par on his final hole for a 67. It was the low round of the day and enabled Spieth to finish in a tie for ninth. That narrowly moves him back into the top 50 and makes him eligible for a World Golf Championship in Mexico City in two weeks.

Streelman also leaves with a trophy. He teamed with Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald to easily win the pro-am for the second time in three years.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

GolfPGAPro sports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Big appreciation sound-off’ planned to honour Williams Lake health care providers

The parade will begin at 7 p.m. going through the Cariboo Memorial Hospital parking lot

COVID-19: Screening tent going up outside of Cariboo Memorial Hospital

Tent for patients with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms referred by health care provider

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Williams Lake business discovers front door lock removed

Even if business are closed due to COVID-19, they need to check buildings: Nick Sardy

Back to school: District 27 workforce to provide critical support during COVID-19 pandemic

Superintendent Chris van der Mark said he hopes the district can be a source of calm for communities

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Most Read