Taylor outplays Mickelson to take home AT&T crown

Canadian Nick Taylor shot a 2-under 70 on Sunday to claim a wire-to-wire four-stroke victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday in California.

Taylor finished at 19-under-par to become the first Canadian to win the event at Spyglass Hill Golf Course.

The victory was the second on the PGA Tour for the 31-year-old Taylor, who won the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi. He also had to deal with Phil Mickelson breathing down his neck and withstood the various challenges with Mickelson fading over the closing holes as the conditions deteriorated with strong winds lashing the course.

“That was amazing,” said Taylor. “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 is the first player to go wire to wire at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 15 years, since Mickelson did so in 2005. The victory gets him into the Masters for the first time, along with the PGA Championship in May.

Nick Taylor Nick Taylor (Credit: PGA Tour)

Taylor graduated from the University of Washington and won the 2007 Canadian Amateur Championship and 2009 Sahalee Players Championship before turning professional in 2010. He qualified for the 2009 US Open at Bethpage Black, where he made the cut, carding a 65 in the second round, the record for lowest by an amateur in major’s history.

Mickelson got off to an encouraging start, with three birdies in his first six holes. Then he imploded to play his final 11 holes in 5 over par to fall into solo third behind Kevin Streelman.

Mickelson wasn’t the only player who struggled. Dustin Johnson shot a 78. Matt Every, in the third-to-last group, carded an 80 and Jason Day closed with a 75 but was the best of the Aussies finishing in 4th position, one ahead of Matt Jones who shared 5th position.

Aaron Baddeley also struggled in the challenging final day conditions dropping 10 spots to finish in a share of 25th position at 4-under-par.

Cameron Davis moved 17 spots with a closing 73 to finish in a share of 38th position. John Senden was the last of the Aussies to make the cut but a closing 83 saw him dropping 47 spots to finish in 67th position.

Greg Chalmers, Rod Pampling, Rhein Gibson all missed the weekend.