Friday, 22 February, 2019

Phil Mickelson wins at Pebble Beach: Is U.S. Open next?

A member of the ground staff clears hail form the first green A member of the ground staff clears hail form the first green
Frederick Owens | 13 February, 2019, 20:54

Overnight leader Casey had a three-shot advantage over Mickelson at the start of the day, but the five-time major victor made up the deficit with three birdies in the front nine and three more after the turn.

With light fading, Mickelson was keen to finish the round, saying: "I can see fine" but England's Casey opted not to putt on the 16th.

"I thanked Paul this morning for having us finish in the morning because I get sometimes in my own little bubble that I don't see the big picture", he told Golf Channel's Peter Kostis after the tournament. He preferred to suspend play with his ball on the 16th green, resuming the tournament on Monday when the greens, which took a beating from rain Saturday night and an impressive hailstorm Sunday, would be fresh. "Every time I get here I have such feelings of gratitude for all this place has done for my family, starting with my grandfather. I have pretty good vision, I'm playing well and I wanted to continue".

"(It means) absolutely nothing because it's nothing like the course we'll see", Mickelson said. The old rule of thumb of backing Phil repeatedly until the US Masters has paid off again and the icing on the cake was laying Casey at odds-on too with a round to go.

The start of play was delayed by an hour because of rain and was halted for another two hours due to a hail storm, leaving the final group unable to finish their round before darkness fell in California.

Mickelson had to return to Pebble Beach on Monday to complete his 44th Tour victory and did so easily, finishing at 19-under par with a 65.

Casey also closed Monday's play with a birdie putt at 18 to finish alone in second at 16 under.

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He curled in a seven-footer for birdie at 13 and drained a six-footer at 14.

Casey blinked first with a bogey on the 11th hole, and another on the par-3 12th when his tee shot came up short and into the bunker. In second is Scott Stallings, who sits at -15 and has finished his tournament.

Joining Casey and Mickelson on the course Monday was Don Colleran, a FedEx executive who with Casey led the two-man Pro-Am competition by one stroke at 33-under-par.

Phil Mickelson is closing in on three decades on the PGA Tour and a half-century on Earth, and he still feels his best golf is good enough.

Both Mickelson and Casey will be playing in this week's Genesis Open, alongside the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

With two delays approaching three hours, it appeared certain the final round would not be completed Sunday.

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