Nick Taylor led after each of the first three rounds of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and knew the distractions that would come with that, including playing the final round with Phil Mickelson.
“I’ve just got to do my own thing and try to block all that out,” Taylor said after Saturday’s third round. “Easier said than done, but I’ll do the best I can.”
As it turned out, it was most certainly “easier said than done.” But Taylor got it done, emerging with a four-shot win over Kevin Streelman on a difficult scoring day at breezy Pebble Beach, although it was Mickelson who provided most of the pressure for the majority of the round.
Birdies by Taylor at Nos. 4 and 5 Sunday were followed by a hole-out from the sand for an eagle at the par-5 sixth, his third eagle of the week, tying for the most for the week. Taylor eventually built his lead to five shots, but as the wind picked up, Mickelson picked away at his lead.
The key shot, however, came at the 15th. Taylor came up short on his approach at the par 4, but chipped in with one of his TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedges to build the lead back to three shots.
Despite some struggles over the final nine, Taylor drove the ball well for the week, ranking 15th in accuracy and 16th in distance with his TaylorMade M2 2017 driver and as a result was able to hit 75 percent of his greens in regulation, an impressive number given Pebble’s tiny greens.
Taylor’s irons are a split set starting with a pair of 4-irons, including a TaylorMade SIM Max 4-iron, a game-improvement iron that he has at a 2-iron length. That produced a yardage gap (he was hitting it too far) so he had the club bent from 19 degrees to 21 degrees of loft to act more like a 3-iron. According to TaylorMade tour reps, Taylor hits the club hybrid distance but is able to hit it straighter as well as control the trajectory better.
His other 4-iron as well as his 5-iron are the company’s P770 model and the remainder the P750. All of his irons are True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.
Taylor also converted a number of the greens in regulation into useful birdies as he ranked second in putts per green in regulation with his TaylorMade Spider Tour Red putter to help complete the wire-to-wire win.
What Nick Taylor had in the bag at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X), 9.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM, 15 degrees
Irons (4): TaylorMade SIM Max; (4-5): TaylorMade P770; (6-PW): TaylorMade P750
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red