– The 5-foot birdie putt to force a playoff at Pebble Beach spun out of the left edge of the cup, and Phil Mickelson couldn't believe it. He bent over and braced himself, the left hand on his knee and the right hand on top of the putter.

"It never crossed my mind that I wouldn't make that one," he said Sunday.

That brief image of shock and dismay — Mickelson on the green, the ball still visible because it's not in the cup where it's supposed to be — was reminiscent of a half-dozen or so major championships he felt certain he was going to win.

But this was no major. It was the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a big deal to Mickelson for a variety of reasons, but a loss that most likely won't linger.

It was all set up for the 45-year-old Mickelson to join Mark O'Meara as the only five-time winners of the tournament. More importantly, he was poised to end the longest victory drought of his professional career, which now stands at 53 starts worldwide since he won the claret jug at Muirfield in 2013.

He took a two-shot lead into the final round over Hiroshi Iwata, who has only two wins on the Japan Golf Tour to his credit. None of the six players behind him on the leaderboard were among the top 100 in the world, and they had combined for four career PGA Tour titles.

Mickelson, with 42 victories on the PGA Tour, has been around long enough not to take golf for granted. He worked hard Sunday morning with Andrew Getson, his new coach, and felt good about his swing. But he said later that he felt tight, and it showed in his short game.

The finish was vintage Mickelson.

Right when it looked as though he had shot himself out of it, he made a 10-foot par save with as tough an uphill putt as there is at Pebble Beach on the 16th hole. He poured in a 12-foot putt for birdie on the 17th to get within one shot of Vaughn Taylor. And then he was 60 feet from the hole in two on the par-5 closing hole, a chip and a putt away from forcing a playoff against the No. 447 player in the world, who had gone more than 10 years since his last victory.

The chip was fine. The putt looked good. It just stayed out enough to the left to ride the edge of the cup instead of gravity taking over.

Mickelson was left with the 36th runner-up finish of his career around the world.

"I'm certainly disappointed that I wasn't able to put it together," he said. "But it makes me a little bit more determined to get this back to where I want it. Obviously, I'm not quite there yet. Today I played a little bit tighter than I wanted to. I made a few more mistakes in the short game around the greens. I didn't salvage pars the way I wanted to. And it just tells me I still need a little bit of work. But I'm also very close."