Nick Taylor outplays Mickelson to win at Pebble Beach

He becomes the first Canadian to win the storied event on the Monterey Peninsula

 Phil Mickelson and Nick Taylor during the final round of the 2020 Pebble Beach Pro-Am  in California. Photograph: EPA

Phil Mickelson and Nick Taylor during the final round of the 2020 Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California. Photograph: EPA

 

Former world number one amateur Nick Taylor bent but did not break, surviving an error-strewn stretch and whipping winds to win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am by four strokes in California on Sunday.

Taylor set up victory with a chip-in birdie at the 15th hole and was flawless down the stretch to become the first Canadian to win the storied event on the Monterey Peninsula.

Despite dropping four shots in four holes from the 11th, a two-under-par 70 was enough to fend off Phil Mickelson, in the process becoming the event’s first wire-to-wire winner since Mickelson 15 years ago.

“Pebble Beach, I couldn’t ask for a better place to have my second win,” Taylor told PGA Tour Radio after finishing at 19-under 268 for his second PGA Tour victory in his 160th career start.

“I haven’t been in contention as much as I’d like to be but I feel like my game has been really good the last year and hopefully this is a springboard for great things,” said the 31-year-old.

Among his rewards will be a first invitation to Augusta National for the Masters in April. He was inspired to pursue golf seriously after watching compatriot Mike Weir win there in 2003.

Despite the comfortable final margin on Sunday, it was not easy for Taylor, who had to go head-to-head with gallery favourite Mickelson.

Mickelson, seeking a record sixth Pebble Beach victory, pulled to within two shots after Taylor double-bogeyed the par-five 14th, but that was as close as the American got on the back nine after having previously fallen five shots behind at the turn.

“That middle stretch on the back nine is really tough,” Taylor said.

“Fourteen is a brutal hole. You’re just trying to not make a disaster. I made a seven but it almost settled me down a bit.

“Phil made six and I only lost one off the lead but that chip in (at the 15th) was massive to get it back to three.”

Mickelson faded to shoot 74 and finish third as fellow American Kevin Streelman (68) grabbed second place.

Final round scores and totals (USA unless stated, par 71):

268 Nick Taylor (Can) 63 66 69 70

272 Kevin Streelman 69 67 68 68

273 Phil Mickelson 68 64 67 74

276 Jason Day (Aus) 67 64 70 75

278 Daniel Berger 70 69 70 69, Maverick McNealy 72 72 66 68, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 67 66 73 72, Matt Jones (Aus) 68 73 65 72

279 Lanto Griffin 67 68 71 73, Jordan Spieth 70 71 71 67

280 Peter Malnati 70 69 66 75, Matthew NeSmith 68 71 69 72, Patrick Cantlay 66 69 72 73

281 Joel Dahmen 71 73 67 70, Kevin Na 75 67 68 71, JB Holmes 71 72 67 71, Max Homa 67 69 71 74

282 Kurt Kitayama 69 69 69 75, Wyndham Clark 68 71 70 73, Harry Higgs 66 69 74 73, Chesson Hadley 71 67 72 72, Joseph Bramlett 71 70 69 72, Scott Piercy 68 66 72 76, Zac Blair 69 69 73 71

283 Ben Martin 72 68 70 73, Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 68 69 71 75, Henrik Norlander (Swe) 69 73 70 71, Troy Merritt 69 70 73 71, Kevin Chappell 68 67 74 74, Tim Wilkinson (Nzl) 69 70 70 74, Chez Reavie 67 69 73 74

284 Dustin Johnson 69 65 72 78, Alex Noren (Swe) 69 67 74 74, Keith Mitchell 69 67 76 72, Matt Every 70 66 68 80, Tyler McCumber 71 70 69 74, Alex Cejka (Ger) 69 73 70 72

285 Brandon Wu 69 66 76 74, Vincent Whaley 71 73 67 74, Brian Gay 72 68 68 77, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 70 68 70 77, Christopher Baker 69 64 76 76, Beau Hossler 68 72 70 75, Stewart Cink 69 72 70 74, Matt Kuchar 70 71 68 76, Cameron Davis (Aus) 71 72 69 73, Seamus Power (Irl) 72 68 71 74, Rob Oppenheim 68 74 70 73, Kevin Kisner 72 68 70 75

286 Doc Redman 73 67 72 74, Adam Schenk 68 69 74 75, Chase Seiffert 66 76 69 75, Sean O’Hair 73 65 71 77, Lucas Glover 70 76 66 74

287 Wes Roach 69 73 70 75, Luke Donald (Eng) 72 71 69 75, Michael Gligic (Can) 72 71 69 75, Cameron Champ 71 66 71 79, Jim Herman 67 73 70 77

288 Tom Hoge 69 73 69 77, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 71 70 68 79

289 Jason Dufner 73 70 68 78, Aaron Wise 68 74 70 77

290 Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 71 74 67 78, Paul Casey (Eng) 71 65 73 81, Cameron Tringale 71 69 71 79

292 John Senden (Aus) 71 71 67 83

297 Ryan Brehm 73 69 68 87

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