PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Nick Taylor has won a PGA Tour event, but he has never slept on a 54-hole lead in one.
He has also never played with Phil Mickelson.
That’s all the more daunting here on the Monterey Peninsula, where Mickelson’s family roots run deep.
“I’m sure I won’t be the crowd favorite,” Taylor said.
That’s the challenge Taylor faces Sunday at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“Not having played with Phil, it's going to be a new experience, for that reason,” Taylor said. “Not really trying to pay attention to what he's doing. Obviously, if he makes a putt, or great shot, the crowd's going to go wild. I've just got to do my own thing, try to block all that out. Easier said than done, without having done it before, but I'll do the best I can.”
Taylor, a 31-year-old Canadian, claimed his lone PGA Tour title at the Sanderson Farms Championship in his rookie season six years ago. He came from four shots back in the final round to win.
Yes, Taylor is the underdog facing one of the game’s giants, but he doesn’t have to look back very far in AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am history to see David slaying Goliath.
Ted Potter Jr. was No. 246 in the world when beat No. 1 Dustin Johnson in a head-to-head final-round duel to win this event just two years ago. Taylor is No. 229 in the world with an eye on making a big move.