Pebble Beach National Pro-Am 2020: Nick Taylor Leads Jason Day After 2nd Round

Blake SchusterContributor IIIFebruary 8, 2020

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 07:  Nick Taylor of Canada plays a shot on the sixth hole during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 07, 2020 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

While the rest of the field chases Nick Taylor (-14) across the course at Pebble Beach, the AT&T Pro-Am leader is chasing history.

The last two PGA golfers to lead outright after each of the first two rounds have gone on to win the tournament. Nate Lashley did it at the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic. Brooks Kopeka did it at the 2019 PGA Championship. Taylor could be the third to accomplish the feat in two years. 

The 31-year-old Canadian shot a six-under 66 on Friday, good for the eighth-best showing on the day. Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and Chris Baker each shot a 64 Friday to tighten up the standings.

Here's how things look heading into Saturday.

   

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Leaderboard

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1. Nick Taylor (-14)

2. Jason Day (-12)

3. Phil Mickelson (-11)

T4. Chris Baker (-10)

T4. Charl Schwartzel (-10)

T6. Scott Piercy (-9)

T6. Dustin Johnson (-9)

T8. Kevin Chappell (-8)

T8. Brandon Wu (-8)

T8. Lanto Griffen (-8)

T8. Matt Every (-8)

T8. Patrick Cantlay (-8)

   

Day didn't have a particularly slow start to the tournament on Thursday. It only seems that way given how he carved up the course on Friday. 

After netting three birdies in his first six holes, Day caught fire on the back nine, tallying birdies on Holes 12, 15 and 18. The shot of the day, however, came on Hole 14, when Day chipped in an eagle from 40 yards away. 

The Australian could only hide his smile for so long after sinking that one. 

Day has finished in the top five at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am each of the last three years. This may finally be the year he breaks through—of course, Taylor will have plenty to say about that. 

Mickelson, meanwhile, looked like his old self, digging into his bag of tricks whenever possible to jump into contention heading into Saturday. 

Among the amateurs on the course, no one had a better approach than former quarterback Peyton Manning, who placed one perfectly next to the pin to get the day started. 

Other than a slight disaster on Hole 12 (tee shot into a bunker, second shot into the rough) resulting in a bogey, Taylor had a near-perfect round with birdies on four of his last five holes to go with three on the front nine. 

As a result, he's lining up a historic weekend if he can hold his lead for two more rounds.