PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Nick Taylor knew the odds were not in his favor Sunday at Pebble Beach.
Already nervous about facing Phil Mickelson for the first time with only a one-shot lead, Taylor found himself watching Lefty's short-game highlight show on the eve of their final-round pairing at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“I was just curious, to be honest. And he hit some amazing shots,” Taylor said. “I'm like, ‘Well, I don’t know if he can keep that up. If he can, great.' But if I keep doing what I'm doing, plugging along ... then try to make the guys behind me try to beat me.”
Taylor created his own short-game highlights for a victory that will stay with him a long time.
He holed a bunker shot for eagle that carried him to a five-shot lead at the turn. And when that lead shrunk to two shots in 40 mph gusts, Taylor chipped in for a birdie on the 15th hole that all but sealed it.
Turns out Taylor had more trouble with the wind than Mickelson, and the Canadian managed both just fine. He never lost the lead and closed with a 2-under 70 for a four-shot victory over Kevin Streelman.
Mickelson, going for a record sixth time at he Pebble Beach Pro-Am, faded to third with a 74.
“It's disappointing certainly to have not won, but I got outplayed,” Mickelson said. “I mean, Nick played better than I did. He holed a couple of great shots. That eagle on 6, the putts he made on 4, 5 and 7 ... he just really played some great golf.”