Published: Wed, February 12, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Nick Taylor wins Pebble Beach Pro-Am for second PGA Tour title

Nick Taylor wins Pebble Beach Pro-Am for second PGA Tour title

The internal stretch became a war of attrition, as the firm and fast course was struck by strong winds, and Taylor opened the door for the veteran left-hander when he fired four shots in so many holes.

Day started a breezy final round three shots off the lead but a three-over-par 75 left him in fourth at 11 under - eight shots adrift of Canadian victor Nick Taylor.

Taylor, who entered Sunday with a one-stroke lead over defending champion Phil Mickelson, benefited from an eagle and five birdies to offset three bogeys and a double-bogey in his final round.

Despite dropping four shots in four holes from the 11th, his two-under 70 was enough to fend off veteran Phil Mickelson, in the process becoming the event's first wire-to-wire victor since the American 15 years ago. Mickelson, who closed within two shots with four holes to play, shot 74 and finished alone in third.

Taylor was at 17-under 198 as he goes for his second PGA Tour victory, and first since he won the Sanderson Farms Championship in his fourth start as a tour rookie. 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.

"To be able to win (at Pebble Beach) is incredible", said Taylor, who considers the iconic venue his favourite on tour.

Among that group, only Taylor, Ames and Weir have won multiple tournaments in golf's modern era.

Mickelson is one shot back in the PGA Tour event, and he also trails by a single shot in the pro-am division, teaming with playing partner Steve Young, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. "I believed I could do it because I've done it before". Taylor said of winning.

Was Taylor really as steely as he seemed, though?

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"On the inside? Probably not", said Taylor with a laugh. Pereira also made eagle on the 355-yard fourth hole. I didn't ever feel rushed. "It was just playing so hard". And when that lead shrunk to two shots in 40 miles per hour gusts, Taylor chipped in for a birdie on the 15th hole that all but sealed the outcome.

Seven holes later, Taylor had a five-shot lead. A tee shot to eight feet at the par three seventh handed him another birdie and he holed a ten foot right to lefter on the tenth to get to 14 under.

The 31-year-old from Winnipeg was unable to get up and down from a greenside bunker at the eighth, but still stretched his lead over Mickelson to three as the American made a double-bogey. It came down the slope, off the green and back into the fairway.

Fitzgerald/Streelman shot 33-under par for the tournament, finishing five strokes ahead of Young/Mickelson.

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

Taylor and Mickelson have never played together.

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 recorded a best European Tour finish when he was third at the Australian PGA Championship in December, but is now in the winner's circle in just his 19th event.

Rory McIlroy is top of the Official World Golf Rankings this morning for the first time since 2015.

"I had a lot of fun having the opportunity to be happy and have the chance to win", said Mickelson, who remains determined to remain competitive on the PGA Tour when he approaches his 50th birthday in June.

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