PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Phil Mickelson is poised to clinch a fifth victory for pro-am AT & T Pebble Beach by turning a three-shot deficit ahead of three shots on a Sunday cold day.
Mickelson was free with six birdies, and he had his big race starting with a new iron one foot behind the cup on the ninth of normal 4. It was the start of a five-hole series when Mickelson made three birdies. and that Paul Casey had two.
About the only thing that was wrong with Mickelson's way was the timing. The last round started with an hour late because of the rain, then was delayed by two hours when the sun gave way to a hail storm in minutes, covering the greens with a layer of white . Mickelson was 18 under par 16 holes. Casey had a putt of 3 feet per foot on the same hole when Mickelson tried to push for both to finish, even in the dark.
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"I see," Mickelson told a rules officer. "I do not want to put Paul in a bad position."
Casey was at 15 under, tied with Scott Stallings, who curled with a score of 66. With an outside chance of forcing the playoffs, finishing alone in second place instead of a tie is a difference of $ 152,000 , with world ranking points and points from the FedEx Cup. . Casey and Don Colleran, FedEx executive, had a one-shot lead in the pro-am.
"I do not see how we could end," Casey said as he climbed the 16th fairway. "We can not finish two holes in six minutes I'd like."
Mickelson was standing on the 17th tee when he heard the sound of the horn to stop playing and he shook his head.
The rest of his day was much better than the weather. Mickelson is about to win for the 44th time in his career, and matches Mark O 'Meara to five wins in a tournament that he played for the first time in 1995. That would be also his first victory on American soil since the Phoenix Open six years ago. . He won the British Open this summer in Scotland and the Mexican championship last year.
His brilliant room still shared the scene with a weird weather, even by Pebble standards. Mickelson and Casey were waiting for the arrival of the clouds when the clouds settled quickly, and the rain turned into hail that pounded the umbrellas, number of them kept aside to account for the wind. The greens were quickly covered by the tiny white pellets and the workers began using squeegees to remove excess water in order to operate the blowers to eliminate hail.
Sam Saunders, whose grandfather Arnold Palmer was one of the owners of Pebble Beach, picked up the hail and projected it like a snowball. Patrick Reed's brother is lying on his back and trying to create a snow angel. He never had a reasonable chance to finish in his pro-am format, with mostly foursomes on the golf course.
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Casey had never won three times before, he had a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, both two or more shots, and he was defending against the relentless pursuit of Mickelson, who had missed three putts. consecutive birds of the Range of 12 feet by the thinnest margins. Casey had a great average, and then Mickelson took off.
After passing the 9th iron in a foot to ninth goal to get a shot, Mickelson managed a birdie of 12 feet on the 10th with a practice that hugged the right side of the fairway and would likely have jumped into the ocean it was not there. conditions so soft against the rain that bullets are blocked where they landed.
Casey blinked first with a bogey at the 11th hole and another at the 12th par-3 when his tee shot fell right into the bunker. Mickelson used it to show that his skills had not deteriorated a bit at age 48, magnificently controlling player turnover. He just did not want to stay another day.
"I understand where Paul is coming from," said Mickelson. "We are going to have a good chance of getting out of new greens, I have good vision, I see well and I wanted to continue in. In all honesty, it's a good thing to play the last two holes in cool conditions. & # 39; & # 39;
Some players finished in the dark without any chance of winning, but showed the effect of playing without light. Scott Piercy had a 15-foot putt slightly uphill, and he was still running 7 feet from the hole and three points for the bogey. Jason Day finished with a 68 and tied for fourth with 175 under 13 with Si Woo Kim (68).