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

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows school district assessing student needs for virtual education

Teaching special needs students in virtual classroom “complex”

Off-leash dog parks remain open in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Teams of monitors will be making sure people are physical distancing

Maple Ridge 2020 BC Summer Games organizers disappointed but proud

Should be extra-prepared for the 2024 Summer Games once it comes

About 1,300 BC Hydro customers without power in Maple Ridge

A tree has fallen across electrical wires

WEATHER: Environment Canada forecasts snow for Ridge Meadows

Wednesday will see mostly sun and cloud

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read