Phil Mickelson: Golfer's title drought continues

    Phil Mickelson bows his head after seeing his birdie putt on 18 drift past the final hole.

    Story highlights

    • Phil Mickelson misses five-foot birdie putt to secure playoff at Pebble Beach
    • World No. 447 Vaughn Taylor wins by one shot
    • Mickelson's last win came at 2013 British Open
    • Left-hander, 45, has five major titles

    (CNN)Two years, seven months and counting.

    That is how long Phil Mickelson has been without a PGA Tour win.
    The popular left-hander came within half an inch of a two-man playoff to end the drought Sunday, but his five-foot birdie putt rolled agonizingly wide on the final hole of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
    The world No. 32's reaction said it all; doubled over, one hand on his knee and the other on his putter.
    "Never crossed my mind that I wouldn't make that one," Mickelson told reporters. "When it didn't go in, I was a bit shocked."
    The 45-year-old went into the final round with a two-shot lead and admitted nerves played a part in allowing outsider Vaughn Taylor to win his first PGA Tour title in 11 years.
    Mickelson watches on as his crucial putt rolls past the hole.
    Had Mickelson made the putt on 18, it would have forced a playoff with Taylor and given him the opportunity to win his first trophy since the 2013 British Open at Muirfield. And a shot at the $1,260,000 first prize, instead of the $756,000 for second place.
    "I played a little bit tighter throughout the round than I wanted to," said Mickelson, who was chasing a 43rd PGA Tour title and a record-tying fifth win at Pebble Beach.
    "I was trying to kind of free it up, but I didn't salvage par on some holes that I needed to salvage pars."
    Mickelson's form is encouraging -- he has recorded a second and a tied third in his last four tournaments -- as he tries to bed in swing changes with new coach Andrew Getson after parting with long-time guru Butch Harmon in November.
    But the win column is still empty and the question marks are creeping in.
    Mickelson plays out of the bunker on the fourth as he makes the first of two consecutive bogeys Sunday.
    However, the five-time major champion was adamant the near-misses and ongoing wait for a trophy are not dampening his enjoyment of the game.
    "The positive is that I'm having more fun playing golf right now than I've had in years," Mickelson said.
    "I've got control of the golf ball. I'm hitting a variety of shots and pulling them off with ease, and I'm just having a lot of fun.
    "As nervous as I was and as disappointed as I am that I didn't win, this was so much fun for me to get back in the thick of it and feel the pressure. ... But it just tells me I've got a little bit more work to do."
    Mickelson is certainly going in the right direction for a tilt at a fourth U.S. Masters title at Augusta in April after a tie for second place -- albeit distant -- to Jordan Spieth last year.