Nick Taylor wire-to-wire winner of AT&T Pro-Am

Mo Yoshimoto
Rotoworld

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach, California

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Event Type: 3-course rotation

Winner’s Share: $1,404,000

 

Playing out of the final group with five-time past champ Phil Mickelson, overnight leader and World No. 229 Nick Taylor (MP-PB-SH) enjoyed a 2-under-par 32-38=70 in Sunday’s (windy) final round for a 72-hole tally of 19-under 268, good for a four-shot wire-to-wire victory over runner-up Kevin Streelman (68), five clear of 3rd-place finisher Mickelson (74).

Let’s just start off with this: Taylor owns just two podiums in 160 career PGA TOUR events. They’re both wins.

His first, the opposite-field Sanderson Farms Championship in 2014-15, was 5 years, 3 months and 147 starts ago, where he came from four back (T5) with 6-under 66 to win by two.

Further, the 31-year-old had just two career top 5s entering this week, the other – and most recent – a T5 at the opposite-field Puerto Rico Open in 2016 (111 starts ago).

There were some signs, however, for a positive week on the Monterey Peninsula, but were they enough to predict a win? More on that a little later.

The University of Washington alum, a pre-tourney 80/1 outright, is the first Canadian to win the AT&T (79th edition), the first wire-to-wire Canadian to win on TOUR since 1960, and the first international winner here since Vijay Singh in 2004. He’s also the first wire-to-wire winner of the AT&T since Mickelson in 2005.

Taylor’s maiden win at the SFC, in his 13th career event (seventh pro), came during his rookie season and was accompanied by a few goodies, but this one will net him the full Monty, including his first Masters invite this April.

Final Leaderboard (DraftKings pre-tourney odds outright):

1- (-19, 268) Nick Taylor (80/1)

2- (-15, 272) Kevin Streelman (100/1)

3- (-14, 273) Phil Mickelson (30/1)

4- (-11, 276) Jason Day (22/1)

5- (-9, 278) Maverick McNealy (110/1)

5- (-9, 278) Daniel Berger (35/1)

5- (-9, 278) Matt Jones (140/1)

5- (-9, 278) Charl Schwartzel (225/1)

Note: Consecutive top-10 finishes in the event: Streelman (2-7-6); Mickelson (3-1-2); Day (4-4-2-5); Berger (5-10)  

 

Taylor, who slept on his first 36- and 54-hole leads this week, improves to 7-for-10 on the season with three top 25s and two top 10s.

His previous best was T10 at the Safeway Open in nearby Napa (160 miles to the north), where he was T2 after 54 holes (69-66-70) before closing with an even-par 72 out of the penultimate twosome.

The following week, Taylor led the Shriners in Las Vegas after 18 holes with a career-tying-low 63, before finishing T29 (69-69-69), so besides being a Washington Huskie product, there was definitely some West-Coast signs if you dug deep enough.

Season Form: 1-49-MC-32-MC-26-29-10-24

 

This was Taylor’s sixth AT&T, fourth cash and fourth top 30. Not bad. He also owned a prior top 10, a T10 three tries ago in 2017 (70-70-68-71).

AT&T Form: 1-28-MC-10-30-MC

Taylor’s Position by Round:

R1: 1 (by 2)

R2: 1 (by 2)

R3: 1 (by 1)

Note: Taylor is the first wire-to-wire winner on TOUR since 4th-alternate Nate Lashley at the inaugural 2019 Rocket Mortgage 27 events ago.

 

Leader/co-leaders by Round:

R1: Nick Taylor (finished: Won): Improves to 1-for-2 as 18-hole leader/co-leader

R2: Nick Taylor (Won): Improves to 1-for-1 as 36-hole leader/co-leader

R3: Nick Taylor (Won): Improves to 1-for-1 as 54-hole leader/co-leader

How Taylor Won the Tournament:

Ranked 1st (or T1) in: Total Eagles; Total Par Breakers; Birdie or Better Percentage; Birdie to Bogey Ratio; Par-3 Scoring

Ranked 2nd(or T2) in: Total Bogeys; Par-4 Scoring; Putts per GIR

Note: See “Leaders in Selected Stats” at the bottom, along with his full stats.

Lowest-Ranked Stat(s): Scrambling (30th)

Taylor’s TOUR Career:

Starts: 160 (154 pro)

Cuts Made: 100 (62.5%)

Top 25s: 28 (17.5%)

Top 10s: 11 (6.8%)

Top 3s: 2 (1.2%)

Wins: 2 (1.2%)

 

Wins by Season:

2020: 1

2019: --

2018: --

2017: --

2016: --

2015: 1 (during rookie season; 13th career start, sixth as a pro)

 

Taylor at AT&T:

Starts: 6

Top 25s: 2

Top 10s: 2

Top 5s: 1

Wins: 1

 

Taylor’s Season:

Starts: 10

Cuts Made: 7

Top 25s: 3

Top 10s: 2

Top 5s: 1

Wins: 1

Taylor on Sunday:

After opening with a week-low and career-tying-low 63, 66, 69, he began with a one-shot lead over Mickelson and hit 11 (of 14) fairways and 11 greens in regulation.

Taylor lost 1.036 strokes off-the-tee but gained 1.094 approaching and 2.045 around-the-green.

He squared three bogeys at holes 8, 11 and 12, ate a double bogey-7 at 14, outflanked by a hole-out eagle-3 from a greenside bunker at 6 (47'3" away), and five circles at 4, 5, 9, 15 (hole-out from 35'8") and 17, two from between 11 and 14 feet.

Taylor posted a sterling 1.455 putts per GIR and 2.324 SG: Putting with 25 total putts.

For the week, he tallied three eagles and 21 birdies versus six bogeys and one double.

OUT: 4-under 32 (1 eagle, 3 birdies, 1 bogey); Leads by 5 (over Mickelson)

IN: 2-over 38 (2 birdies, 2 bogeys, 1 double); WINS by 4 (over Streelman)

By the Numbers:

15/8: Taylor’s revised outright betting entering R4.

1: One player recorded four sub-70s this week: runner-up Streelman (69-67-68-68). The 41-year-old bags his third runner-up in 338 events, first since solo 2nd at the 2015 Shriners, and his first top 3 (of 11 total) since solo 3rd at the 2-course Farmers in 2016, also in California. It’s his fourth top 10 in 13 AT&T’s, third straight, and first top 5.

22: Defender Mickelson was solo 2nd after 54 holes. The last time he was in the top 10 after 54 holes was here last year 22 starts ago, where he was also solo 2nd and erased a 3-shot deficit with a day-tying-low 7-under 65 to win his fifth AT&T (by three).

12: Mickelson, 49, records his 12thtop 10 in 24 AT&T’s, third straight, and third straight top-3 finish. It’s his first top 10 on TOUR since the win here last year. The Californian arrived off a T3 last week at the Saudi International.

2: Through 17 (non-team) events this season, the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won two times: Rory McIlroy (6/1) at WGC-HSBC, and Justin Thomas (13/2) at THE CJ CUP. Last season, two fave/co-faves won (in 45 non-team events): McIlroy (12/1 co-fave) at THE PLAYERS, and Collin Morikawa at the opposite-field Barracuda (10/1).

13/2: Two-time past champ Dustin Johnson, a pre-tourney 13/2 fave outright and the top-ranked OWGRer at No. 5, fell 25 places to T32 after a Sunday 78 that was lowlighted by just one par breaker (eagle-3) against six bogeys and a double. He lost 2.894 strokes tee-to-green and 0.660 on-the-green in R4.

17: 17 (of 21) TOUR rookies were in the field with Maverick McNealy taking top-rookie honors with a career-best T5. The Stanford product, who has made his last nine cuts in a row, records his second straight top 25 of the season (15th, Farmers) and his first career top 10 in 28 events (20 pro). He gained a whopping 6.054 strokes with the flat stick in R4 and had the only blemish-free lap on Sunday.

28: Playing this season on a Major Medical, Charl Schwartzel took top-debutant honors and was the only top-10 finisher of 28 first-timers. His T5 was his first top 5 on TOUR since T2 at the 2018 PLAYERS.

Field Scoring Average:

This was the 79thplaying of the AT&T and 73rd straight edition with the 6,816-yard par-72 (36-36) Pebble Beach Golf Links (PB) serving as host.

Joining the 3-course rotation for the first three rounds are Monterey Peninsula CC’s Shore Course (MP) and Spyglass Hill Golf Course (SH), with the final round contested at PB.

Note: These three courses have been utilized since the 2011 edition.

Note: Strokes gained stats are only recorded at PB.

 

PB: 6,816 yards; par 72 (36-36)

SH: 6,960 yards; par 72 (36-36)

MP: 6,958 yards; par 71 (34-37)

 

PB: 72.366 (four rounds)

SH: 72.877 (three rounds)

MP: 69.690 (three rounds)

 

Cumulative scoring averages:

R1: 71.346

R2: 70.929

R3: 71.967

R4: 74.426

Total: 71.797

Taylor: 63-66-69-70

20.668 SG: Total

Draw:

With the 3-course rotation and a scheduled 54-hole cut, there wasn’t a traditional draw this week, so we’ll look at the course rotation instead.

Note: Low 60 and ties play R4.

 

54-hole cut: 3-under 212

 

Made cut: 68 pros from a field of 156 pros

PB-SH-MP: 20 (of 51); 1 WD

SH-MP-PB: 27 (of 51); 1 WD

MP-PB-SH: 21 (of 51); 1 WD                  

 

Top 10s:

10

 

PB-SH-MP: 2

Maverick McNealy (T5); Matt Jones (T5)

SH-MP-PB: 5

Kevin Streelman (2nd); Phil Mickelson (3rd); Daniel Berger (T5); Jordan Spieth (T9); Lanto Griffin (T9)

MP-PB-SH: 3

Nick Taylor (Won); Jason Day (4th); Charl Schwartzel (T5)

 

The course rotation alternates in even/odd years.

So, 2020 was the same rotation as 2018, 2016, 2014 and 2012   :

 

EVEN YEARS:

2020: Taylor, N (MP-PB-SH)

2018: Potter, Jr. (PB-SH-MP)

2016: Taylor, V (PB-SH-MP)

2014: Walker (PB-SH-MP)

2012: Mickelson (SH-MP-PB)

 

ODD YEARS:

2019: Mickelson (MP-SH-PB)                  

2017: Spieth (MP-SH-PB)

2015: Snedeker (MP-SH-PB)

2013: Snedeker (MP-SH-PB)

2011: Points (MP-SH-PB)

Strength of Field:

With a Strength of Field rating of 227 (down 50 from last season), Taylor banks 42.00 world-ranking points and 500 FedExCup points:

OWGR: From 229 to 101 (up 128); career high

Note: Taylor’s previous-high OWGR was 175th after the 2018 Shriners.

FEC: From 79 to 13 (up 66)

Low Rounds:

R1: 63: Nick Taylor (MP)

R2: 64: Jason Day (PB); Chris Baker (PB); Phil Mickelson (MP)

R3: 64: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (MP_CUT)

R4: 67: Jordan Spieth

Bogey-free Rounds:

R1: 7

PB: 1: Chase Seiffert (66)

SH: 2: Lanto Griffin (67); John Senden (71)

MP: 4: Nick Taylor (63); Richy Werenski (66); Justin Suh (67); Scott Harrington (68_MC)

 

R2: 6

PB: 3: Jason Day (64); Charl Schwartzel (66); K.J. Choi (66)

SH: 1: Matt Every (66)

MP: 2: Sean O’Hair (65); Russell Knox (65)

 

R3: 10 

PB: 2: John Senden (67); Michael Gligic (69)

SH: 1: Tom Hoge (69)

MP: 7: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64_MC); Xinjun Zhang (67); Vincent Whaley (67); Mark Hubbard (67_MC); Scott Brown (67_MC); Michael Thompson (67_MC); Ted Potter, Jr. (69_MC)

 

R4: 1

Maverick McNealy (68)

 

Multiple Bogey-free Rounds:

Senden (x2)

17

Season Winners:

6 winners were in their 20s

10 were in their 30s (Taylor age: 31)

1 was in their 40s

Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:

4: Webb Simpson, Justin Thomas, Byeong Hun An, Scottie Scheffler, Harris English

3: Lanto Griffin, Tony Finau, Mark Hubbard, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Tom Hoge, Patrick Reed, Abraham Ancer, Sungjae Im, Xander Schauffele, Gary Woodland, Sebastian Munoz, Brendon Todd, Denny McCarthy, Carlos Ortiz

 

Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:

4: Webb Simpson (P1-3-P2-7)

4: Rory McIlroy (3-P1-3-1)

3: Jon Rahm (9-2-10)

2: Tony Finau (P2-6)

2: Bubba Watson (3-6)

2: Tiger Woods (9-1)

 

Consecutive Top-10 Streak Ended at:

2: Max Homa (14-6-9)

Taylor’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 68 players):

Eagles: 3 (T1)

Birdies: 21 (3rd)

Bogeys: 6 (T2)

Birdie or Better Percentage: 33.33 (T1)

Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 3.43 (1st)

Par-3 Scoring: 2.82 (1st)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.82 (2nd)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.44 (T5)

Driving Accuracy: 43/55 (T7) at 78.18%

GIR: 54/72 (T3) at 75.00%

Putts per GIR: 1.593 (2nd)

Total Putts: 108 (5th)

Putts by Round: 28-26-29-25

Scrambling: 11/18 (30th) at 61.11%

Leaders in Selected Stats:

Total Par Breakers:

1. Nick Taylor (24)

1. Kevin Streelman (24)

3. Phil Mickelson (23)

4. Jason Day (20)

4. Keith Mitchell (20)

4. Chez Reavie (20)

4. Matt Jones (20)

 

Birdie to Bogey Ratio:

1. Nick Taylor (3.43)

2. Phil Mickelson (2.56)

3. Maverick McNealy (2.50)

4. Kevin Streelman (2.40)

5. Jason Day (2.22)

 

GIR %:

1. Sean O’Hair (77.78)

2. Kevin Streelman (76.39)

3. Jason Day (75.00)

3. Nick Taylor (75.00)

3. Chesson Hadley (75.00)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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