Outsider Vaughn is shock Pebble winner

Vaughn Taylor poses with the trophy after winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Feb 14, 2016.
Vaughn Taylor poses with the trophy after winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Feb 14, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES • American journeyman Vaughn Taylor ended a PGA Tour title drought of more than a decade with an explosive back nine to clinch a one-shot win over Phil Mickelson at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday.

He began the final round six strokes off the pace but five birdies after the turn propelled him to a closing seven-under 65 at a blustery Pebble Beach Golf Links as he posted a winning total of 270.

Overnight leader Mickelson, seeking his first PGA Tour win since the 2013 British Open, stunningly lipped out a five-foot birdie putt at the last hole to force a play-off and had to settle for second place after carding a roller-coaster 72.

Swede Jonas Blixt, one of four players who held at least a share of the lead in the final round, was a further stroke back in third at 272 after shooting a 69.

"It's been a long time and I didn't think it was going to happen," an emotional Taylor, 39, said after clinching his first PGA Tour win since the 2005 Reno-Tahoe Open and his third overall.

"I've worked so hard and just kept getting knocked down and knocked down," added Taylor, who has not played a full season on the PGA Tour since 2012 while bouncing between it and the satellite Web.com tour over the past three seasons.

"I can't believe it actually happened again. Just amazing.

" I didn't even have my tour card and got in this week on past champion status, and now I'm playing in the Masters soon. It's a dream come true."

The win earned him a cheque for US$1.26 million (S$1.76 million).

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2016, with the headline 'Outsider Vaughn is shock Pebble winner'. Print Edition | Subscribe