Vaughn Taylor claims shock win ahead of Phil Mickelson at Pebble Beach
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 15/02/16 9:14am
Vaughn Taylor ended an 11-year winless run on the PGA Tour by upstaging Phil Mickelson and claiming a shock one-shot victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The world No 447, who doesn't have a PGA Tour playing card and wasn't in this week's provisional field, fired a final-round 65 at Pebble Beach to surge up the leaderboard and set a clubhouse target that wasn't beaten.
Four-time Pebble Beach champion Mickelson had maintained hopes of a first victory since the 2013 Open Championship with a series of impressive putts along the back nine, but missed a five-footer at the last which would have forced a play-off.
Resuming two shots clear, Mickelson lost his overnight advantage with two missed par saves from less than 10 feet at the fourth and fifth, with Jonas Blixt following an eagle-three at the sixth with a 20-foot gain at the next to temporarily open up a two-shot advantage.
Mickelson bounced back by sinking a close-range birdie at the sixth and rolling in another two holes later, as Blixt overhit his chip from just short of the eighth green and couldn't save par from 15 feet.
Back-to-back gains from Hiroshi Iwata briefly lifted him in to a three-way tie for the lead, before a third gain of the day at the 11th moved the world No 121 to 16 under for the week.
Blixt kicked off his back nine by sinking a 10-foot putt, but dropped out of the share of the lead when he missed a putt from a similar distance at the 14th.
Taylor, playing several groups ahead, made his move with a run of five birdies in a seven-hole stretch from the 10th, taking the outright advantage by drilling in from 30 feet at the 16th.
Mickelson birdied the 13th but gave his shot away at the par-five next after his approach found the bunker, as Taylor completed his final two holes in regulation to stay at 17 under.
The 39-year-old then saw his lead doubled when Iwata two-putted from 10 feet at the 16th to drop back alongside Mickelson and Blixt, whose long-range birdie putt at the last brushed the edge of the cup but stayed out.
As Iwata pitched to five feet from the bunker and save par at the 17th, Mickelson drilled in a birdie-two to get within one of Taylor.
Needing to birdie the last to force a play-off, Mickelson's tee shot brushed a tree and stayed on the fairway before his approach landed short of the green.
After pitching to five feet, the five-time major champion saw his birdie putt lip-out to end the day level par and hand Taylor a first PGA Tour victory since the 2005 Reno-Tahoe Open.
One-time contender Freddie Jacobson closed a one-under 71 to end the week in fifth spot, with Patrick Reed a further stroke back alongside Justin Rose after a birdie-filled 65.
Jason Day finished as one of seven players on nine under, while world No 1 Jordan Spieth ending 10 strokes off the pace despite posting a bogey-free 66.