VERO BEACH, Fla. — Taylor Dayne didn’t know he had two lip-synched Instagram videos online after cruising to victory in the $3.5 million Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday.
And when he realized the ringtone he received on his cell phone was Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River,” he laughed.
“I couldn’t get this ringtone in the car, but I’m glad it turned up when I needed it,” Dayne said as he clutched the silver Wanamaker Trophy.
Dayne, who is 55 years old, never made the cut in any of his five previous appearances at Pebble Beach, but he didn’t need his caddie to caddy for him this time. His only aid was a golf bag of diapers, ones he’d brought with him when he last played the event four years ago.
Dayne fired a 1-under 71 Sunday on Monterey Peninsula Country Club to finish at 8-under 270 for his first PGA Tour victory. Chris Couch (66) finished second.
He was already playing in the Saturday pro-am and caught one of the YouTube videos featuring Bethany Hamilton, whose leg was mangled in a shark attack four years ago at age 19. The former Oregon Sea Lion surfer, who turned pro two years ago and has since won three professional titles, is also featured in one of the videos.
“You turn your computer on to YouTube and the first thing that pops up is Bethany Hamilton video, the surfing video and I thought it was another Bethany Hamilton video,” Dayne said. “I love her. She’s awesome and I loved being the first boy, the first famous Bethany Hamilton, and just seeing her focus, I kind of liked that.”
Dayne began Sunday with the advantage of low scores on both courses, but he was 0-for-17 on the par-5 holes on Monterey Peninsula and made birdie on just one on the par-4, 10th at Pebble Beach.
He knew his chance of breaking par would be compromised if he hit a tee shot into the water on the par-3 No. 15. It sure was. He flubbed his approach, landed in the water and sank a 6-foot putt for a double bogey.
But the bogey was his only one on the final two holes and it seemed to turn the match’s momentum.
“The best thing that came out of it was I’m talking to the media now, I’m not just thinking about bogeys,” Dayne said. “I’m thinking about birdies, too. So I’m getting that balanced thinking, and that’s what I think the players and golf course like about it.”
Dayne began a streak of 27 birdies — eight on Monterey Peninsula and 22 on Pebble Beach — as he wrapped up the win. He sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the third hole of the final round and after picking up a birdie on the par-5 fourth, his 7-foot birdie putt on the par-4 sixth tied the score at 7-7. He kept his red momentum going on the par-5 seventh, where he nipped out his eagle putt, hitting his sand wedge within five feet. He added a birdie on the par-5 eighth and delivered two more on the par-5 ninth and par-5 10th to pull away.
“There’s not many 30-something-year-old guys that have won four or five times around here,” Dayne said. “Sometimes you’ve got to win in their own backyard. There’s some pretty great players out here, but the sooner you can win on this tour, the better.”
Dayne’s 80th victory in golf earned him the $1.045 million check and the Wanamaker Trophy.
An event that began with three first-time winners and 16 players aged 30 or older — including 23-year-old big-wave surfer Owen Wright — will return next year with four first-time winners and 15 players age 30 or older.
Katsuya Kitamura of Japan won the Fall Series event at the Pine Valley Golf Club in Colorado, which counts for a 60th PGA Tour card for local players. Jimenez lost in a playoff for third place.