Phil Mickelson missed a five-footer to hand a journeyman his first PGA Tour win since 2005

“I can’t believe it happened again,” says a delighted Vaughn Taylor.

Source: PGA TOUR/YouTube

JOURNEYMAN VAUGHN TAYLOR surged to victory in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday, firing a seven-under 65 for a one-shot victory over Phil Mickelson.

For Taylor, it was the end of a victory drought stretching to 2005, while Mickelson remained in search of his first US PGA Tour title since the 2012 British Open.

Mickelson had birdied 17 and had a chance to force a playoff with a birdie at 18, but to his shock his five-foot putt lipped out to leave Taylor to celebrate his victory on -17.

Mickelson had looked poised to end his long dry spell when he took a two-shot lead into the final round of the Northern California tournament he has won four times.

But an even par round of 72 that included four bogeys and two birdies wasn’t enough to get the job done and he settled for second.

Padraig Harrington was best of the Irish on -7 while Shane Lowry shot a final-day 71 to finish on -2.

“I’m certainly disappointed that I wasn’t able to put it together,” Mickelson said. “But it makes me a little bit more determined to get this back where I want it.

“I played a little tighter than I wanted,” he added. “A few more mistakes in the short game around the greens.”

Taylor, 39, captured his third tour title, to go with back-to-back victories in the Reno-Tahoe Open in 2004 and 2005.

He played in the Ryder Cup in 2006, but fluctuating form saw him lose his tour card, and he has bounced between the US tour and the developmental tour in recent seasons.

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In addition to struggles on the course, he endured a frightening boat accident while fishing on a river near his home in 2014 — one in which he feared he would drown.

“It has been a long time,” Taylor said, becoming more emotional as he spoke.

I didn’t think it was going to happen. I’ve worked so hard and just kept getting knocked down and knocked down. I can’t believe it.I can’t believe it happened again.

© – AFP 2016

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