PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Vaughn Taylor’s surprise victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am brought with it plenty of incentives, but one clearly received a little extra attention from the Augusta, Ga., native.
“Oh my God, I’m thinking about Augusta,” Taylor said. “I get to play in the Masters. I mean, are you kidding?”
Taylor is ranked No. 447 in the world and began the week as the tournament’s first alternate. But after playing his way into the top 10 through three rounds, he rallied past Phil Mickelson with a final-round 65 to win by a shot. It marked Taylor’s third career PGA Tour victory, but first since the 2005 Barracuda Championship.
Taylor spent several weeks inside the OWGR top 50 back in 2007, reaching as high as No. 37. He has played the Masters three times before, including a T-10 finish in 2007, but hasn’t teed it up at Augusta National since missing the cut in 2008.
While Sunday’s victory brought with it a PGA Tour card through the 2017-18 season, that perk paled in comparison to the trip he’ll be able to make once again down Magnolia Lane, just minutes from his home in Evans, Ga.
“Playing in the Masters is obviously my Super Bowl,” he said. “Living there, I mean, I didn’t know if I would ever get back, and I can’t believe I’m going to be there in a couple of months. It’s surreal. It hasn’t hit me yet. It’s unbelievable.”