Blixt began the day four shots behind Mickelson, but the Swede got off to a quick start Sunday along Stillwater Cove. After a birdie on No. 3, Blixt eagled the par-5 sixth and added a birdie on No. 7 to briefly take a two-shot lead with Mickelson faltering behind him.
But dreams of a third PGA Tour title were quickly dashed when Blixt bogeyed No. 8 and managed to play the back nine only in even par. At 15 under, he ended up alone in third place, one shot behind Mickelson and two behind Taylor.
“I don’t know, I just kept playing good golf,” Blixt said. “I missed two greens and I made two bogeys. Not the easiest up-and-downs, but I kept trying.”
Blixt hasn’t won since the 2013 Greenbrier Classic, and he needed a good finish at the Wyndham Championship in August simply to retain his card. He struggled through a stretch of five straight missed cuts earlier this season, but seemingly discovered a spark with a T-6 finish last month at the Farmers Insurance Open. This is highest finish on Tour since finishing runner-up to Bubba Watson at 2014 Masters.
He built upon that momentum this week at Pebble Beach, despite the fact that he failed to keep pace with the leaders coming down the stretch.
“I wanted to give myself a lot of chances today, and give myself a chance to win,” he said. “Didn’t really do it, but I tried.”