Lefty on brink of winning at Pebble
P E BBLE B E ACH , CA LIF.» Phil Mickelson had everything go his way Sunday in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
He just couldn’t beat the darkness.
On a wild day of weather even by Pebble Beach standards, sunshine gave way to a hailstorm that covered the greens in a sheet of white in a matter of minutes. The delay kept Mickelson from finishing off a remarkable rally in which he turned a three-shot deficit against Paul Casey into a threeshot lead until it was too dark to finish the last two holes.
Mickelson at least wanted to try.
“I can see fine,” he said to a PGA Tour rules official as they walked up the 16th fairway. “I don’t want to put Paul in a bad spot.”
Casey simply couldn’t see, and after he realized it was not possible to finish all 18 holes — “We can’t finish two holes in six minutes,” he said to the official — he opted to mark his ball on the 16th green.
Mickelson already made his par on the 16th and was 6-under for the day, with no bogeys on his card, and 18-under par for the tournament. Casey has a 3foot par putt to stay three shots behind when they return at 8 a.m. PST on Monday to play the par-3 17th and the par-5 18th.
Lost in the late start — one hour delay from rain, a twohour suspension from hail — was sheer brilliance from the 48-year-old Mickelson who didn’t come remotely close to making a bogey and was on the brink of a fifth victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Mickelson was standing on the 17th tee when he heard the horn sound to stop play, and he shook his head.
But his brilliant play still shared the stage with weather that was bizarre even by Pebble standards.
Mickelson and Casey were waiting to tee off when clouds moved in quickly moved in, and rain turned into hail that pounded umbrellas, many of them held sideways to account for the wind.
Greens quickly were covered by the tiny white pellets, and workers went from using squeegees for excess water to power blowers to remove the hail.
Sam Saunders, whose grandfather Arnold Palmer was among the Pebble Beach owners, scooped up hail and tossed it like a snowball. Patrick Reed’s brother laid on his back and tried to make a snow angel.