Casey leads by 3 at Peb­ble Beach

Mick­el­son is in the hunt while Spi­eth is fad­ing

Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS -

PEB­BLE BEACH, Calif. — Paul Casey was far away from all the an­tics and qui­etly put to­gether an­other solid round Satur­day for a 5-un­der 67 that gave him a three-shot lead over Phil Mick­el­son go­ing into the fi­nal day of the AT&T Peb­ble Beach Pro-Am.

Casey had four birdies over his last 10 holes at Spy­glass Hill in a mix­ture of rain, sun­shine and wind. He fin­ished at 15-un­der 200, the fourth time on the PGA Tour had he has led go­ing into the fi­nal round.

“I am hav­ing a blast,” Casey said. Mick­el­son was part of the celebrity ro­ta­tion at Peb­ble Beach and put on a show on the back nine, stuff­ing a wedge to 3 feet on No. 13, and fol­low­ing with a 4-iron to 4 feet on the par-5 14th hole for ea­gle. He also made a tough save on the par-3 17th and shot a 2-un­der 70, giv­ing him a good chance to match Mark O’Meara’s record of five AT&T Peb­ble Beach ti­tles.

Casey and Mick­el­son have done their best with so many shots to back pins, typ­i­cally set to the high­est point on the three cour­ses to avoid any sat­u­ra­tion from the hit-and-miss rain.

“The lit­tle half-shots to get back to some of these pins, a lot of guys strug­gle with and it’s been a strength of my game,” Mick­el­son said. “So I’ve been able to make a few more birdies on some of these holes.”

The weather again was hit-and-miss, though the tour­na­ment man­aged to get in 54 holes.

It started un­der a blue sky with patches of clouds that soon took aim at the Mon­terey Penin­sula, dropped tem­per­a­tures by some 10 de­grees and brought enough rain to make it tougher than usual.

That’s not what stopped Jordan Spi­eth.

He was tied for the lead after a birdie on the par-3 fifth hole and re­mained in range of Casey un­til Spi­eth pulled his tee shot so badly on the 13th hole that he didn’t know where it was un­til it

was spotted 140 yards be­hind where he was look­ing, un­der a clus­ter of trees. He wound up mak­ing dou­ble bo­gey, and then after a three-putt bo­gey from the wrong side of the 17th green, Spi­eth pulled his tee shot into the ocean on the 18th hole for an­other dou­ble bo­gey and a 74. He went from be­ing in the mix to eight shots be­hind.

Lu­cas Glover had a birdie-bo­gey fin­ish at Mon­terey Penin­sula for a 1-un­der 70 and was at 11-un­der 204, along with Scott Piercy (69 at Spy­glass Hill).

Casey was re­cently in the news for a tour­na­ment he didn’t play, the Saudi In­ter­na­tional, a new event on the Euro­pean Tour that came un­der scru­tiny for Saudi Ara­bia’s hu­man rights record and the re­cent killing of jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi.

He was on the orig­i­nal list of com­mit­ments with­out his ap­proval, and said he was never go­ing. Casey is an am­bas­sador for UNICEF and has the logo on his golf bag, which he dis­played on an Instagram post to con­firm he was not play­ing.

“I stand firm on what I said,” Casey said.

Casey is play­ing with Don Colleran, the chief sales of­fi­cer for Fed Ex. They have a four-shot lead in the pro-am.

PGA TOUR CHAM­PI­ONS: In Boca Ra­ton, Fla., Bern­hard Langer ea­gled the par-5 18th for a 4-un­der 68 and a on­e­stroke lead in the Oa­sis Cham­pi­onship.

Marco Daw­son was sec­ond after a 67 in the first full-field event of the sea­son.

VIC OPEN: In Bar­won Heads, Aus­tralia, sec­ond-round leader Kim Kauf­man holed out from the bunker for birdie on the par-3 sev­enth hole which helped her take a two-stroke lead into the fi­nal round of the LPGA’s Vic Open.

In the Euro­pean Tour’s men’s event be­ing played along­side the women’s tour­na­ment, Aus­tralian Wade Ormsby, who shot 70, will take a two-stroke lead into the fi­nal round. Cal­lum Shinkwin of Eng­land (66) and Aus­tralian Matthew Stieger (65) were tied for sec­ond.

ERIC RISBERG/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Paul Casey fol­lows his drive from the 18th tee of the Spy­glass Hill Golf Course dur­ing his third-round 67, which gave him a three-shot lead at Peb­ble Beach.

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