Phil Mick­el­son fin­ished off his weather­de­layed vic­tory at Peb­ble Beach, win­ning by three shots.

Mick­el­son com­pletes final round with 65, tops $90M in earn­ings

The Dallas Morning News - - Sportsday - By DOUG FER­GU­SON The As­so­ci­ated Press

PEB­BLE BEACH, Calif. — Phil Mick­el­son is clos­ing in on three decades on the PGA Tour and a half­cen­tury on Earth, and he still feels his best golf is good enough.

He was at his best at Peb­ble Beach, and no one had a chance.

A Mon­day fin­ish brought on by rain and a freak hail storm was only a mi­nor in­con­ve­nience for the 48­year­old Mick­el­son. He played two holes just as well as the pre­vi­ous 16 and pol­ished off his bo­gey­free fi­nal round with one last birdie for a 7­un­der 65 and a three­shot vic­tory over Paul Casey in the AT&T Peb­ble Beach Pro­am.

Mick­el­son won at Peb­ble Beach for the fifth time, match­ing the record set by Mark O’meara. He has gone 28 years be­tween his first PGA Tour vic­tory and his 44th, and he joined Tiger Woods as the only play­ers to sur­pass $90 mil­lion in ca­reer earn­ings.

“It’s a lot more work and ef­fort to play at this level,” Mick­el­son said. “And I have be­lieved for some time that if I play at my best, it will be good enough to win tour­na­ments. The chal­lenge is get­ting my­self to play my best.”

He was at his best at Peb­ble Beach, where he made his pro de­but at the U.S. Open in 1992, where he won the first of his five ti­tles in an­other Mon­day fin­ish in 1998, this one in Au­gust be­cause of rain. It’s where his grand­fa­ther, Al San­tos, was among the first cad­dies when the course opened in 1919, and Mick­el­son still uses as a marker the 1900 sil­ver dol­lar his grand­fa­ther kept in his pocket to re­mind him he was not poor.

There was plenty of sun­light for the Mon­day morn­ing fin­ish, just no drama.

Mick­el­son, who started the fi­nal round three shots be­hind, never came close to a bo­gey and built a three­shot lead through 16 holes Sun­day night when it was too dark to fin­ish, no mat­ter how hard he lob­bied to keep go­ing.

The fi­nal round Sun­day had been de­layed at the start by one hour be­cause of rain, and then sun­shine quickly gave way to hail that cov­ered the greens in a sheet of white and led to a twohour de­lay.

Mick­el­son said he could “see just fine” even af­ter sun­set, know­ing dark­ness falls quickly on the Mon­terey Penin­sula. Casey could barely see the 3 feet of grass be­tween his ball and the cup on the 16th hole and said there was no way to com­plete two holes in six min­utes. Mick­el­son was on the 17th tee, shak­ing his head when he heard the siren to stop play.

On Mon­day morn­ing, he had a change of heart and said he thanked Casey for stand­ing his ground.

Mick­el­son fin­ished at 19un­der 268. Casey needed Mick­el­son to make a big blun­der on the two clos­ing holes, and there was lit­tle chance of that. Casey at least birdied the 18th for a 71 to fin­ish alone in sec­ond, the dif­fer­ence of $152,000.

Eric Risberg/the As­so­ci­ated Press

Phil Mick­el­son hits from the 18th fair­way dur­ing the fi­nal round of the AT&T Peb­ble Beach Pro­am. Mick­el­son fin­ished off the fi­nal two holes to earn his 44th PGA Tour ti­tle.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.