PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Phil Mickelson put himself on the point of a fifth victory within the AT&T Pebble Seashore pro-am by turning a three-shot deficit right into a three-shot lead when a wild day of climate saved him from ending Sunday.
Mickelson was bogey-free with six birdies, and he made his huge run beginning with a 9-iron to a foot behind the cup on the par-Four ninth. That was begin of a five-hole stretch when Mickelson made three birdies and Paul Casey had two bogeys.
About the one factor that didn’t go Mickelson’s manner was the timing.
The ultimate spherical began an hour late due to rain, after which it was delayed two extra hours when sunshine gave technique to a hail storm in a matter of minutes, protecting the placing greens in a sheet of white.
Mickelson was at 18-under par by 16 holes. Casey had a 3-foot par putt on the identical gap when Mickelson tried to foyer for them to complete, even at the hours of darkness.
“I can see advantageous,” Mickelson instructed a guidelines official. “I don’t need to put Paul in a foul spot.”
Mickelson must return at eight a.m. Monday to play the final two holes.
Casey was at 15 beneath, tied with Scott Stallings, who closed with a 66. Together with an outdoor likelihood at forcing a playoff, ending alone in second as an alternative of a tie is a distinction of $152,000, together with world rating factors and FedEx Cup factors. Casey and FedEx government Don Colleran had a one-shot lead within the pro-am.
“I don’t see how we will end,” Casey stated as they walked up the 16th fairway. “We are able to’t end two holes in six minutes. I’d wish to.”
Mickelson was standing on the 17th tee when he heard the horn sound to cease play, and he shook his head.
The remainder of his day was much better than the climate.
Mickelson is on the verge of successful for the 44th time in his profession, and matching Mark O’Meara with 5 victories at a match he first performed in 1995.
It additionally can be his first victory on American soil because the Phoenix Open six years in the past. He gained the British Open that summer season in Scotland, and the Mexico Championship final yr.
His sensible play nonetheless shared the stage with climate that was weird even by Pebble requirements.
Mickelson and Casey had been ready to tee off when clouds moved in shortly moved in, and rain was hail that pounded umbrellas, lots of them held sideways to account for the wind.
Greens shortly had been coated by the tiny white pellets, and employees went from utilizing squeegees for extra water to energy blowers to take away the hail.
Sam Saunders, whose grandfather Arnold Palmer was among the many Pebble Seashore homeowners, scooped up hail and tossed it like a snowball. Patrick Reed’s brother laid on his again and tried to make a snow angel.
There was by no means an inexpensive likelihood to complete in his pro-am format, with largely foursomes throughout the golf course.
Casey has by no means gained in three earlier occasions he had a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, all of them by two photographs or extra, and he was holding his personal in opposition to the relentless pursuit of Mickelson, who missed three straight birdie putts from the 12-foot vary by the slimmest margins. Casey had nice par saves, after which Mickelson took off.
After his 9-iron right into a foot at No. 9 to get inside one shot, Mickelson holed a 12-foot birdie on the 10th with a drive that hugged the appropriate aspect of the green and certain would have bounced into the ocean if not for circumstances so smooth from rain that balls plugged the place they landed.
Casey blinked first with a bogey on the 11th gap, and one other on the par-3 12th when his tee shot got here up quick and into the bunker. Mickelson poured it on, exhibiting his abilities haven’t deteriorated a bit at age 48, controlling spin superbly to again pin positions.
He simply didn’t need to keep one other day.
“I get the place Paul is coming from,” Mickelson stated. “We’re going to have likelihood to come back out on contemporary greens. I’ve good imaginative and prescient, I can see advantageous and I wished to proceed. In all honesty, it’s factor to play the final two holes in contemporary circumstances.”
Some gamers completed at the hours of darkness with no likelihood of successful, however confirmed the impact of enjoying with out gentle. Scott Piercy had a 15-foot putt that was barely uphill, and he nonetheless ran it 7 toes by the outlet and three-putted for bogey.
Jason Day closed with a 68 and was tied for fourth at 13-under 175 with Si Woo Kim (68).