ALL HAIL... PHIL
Weather delays Mickelson’s quest for fifth win at Pebble Beach.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — 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 hail storm 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 three-shot 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 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 3-foot par putt to stay three shots behind when they return today at 8 a.m. 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.
His first one also was a Monday finish, when players returned in August — more than six months later — to finish the third round of the weather-plagued tournament to make it official.
“We’ve got two tough holes left an di don’ t want to jump the gun and get past that,” Mickelson said. “I know a lot can happen in these two holes and they have happened in the past, so I want to stay focused and just come out tomorrow and try to finishit off. i wish we could do it tonight.”
Mickelson made his big run starting with a 9-iron to a foot behind the cup on the par-4 ninth. That was start of a five-hole stretch when Mickelson made three birdies and Paul Casey had two bogeys, taking Lefty from two behind to three ahead.
“I didn’t make anything. I hit some good golf shots and didn’t get anything out of it today,” Casey said. “Phil has put together a spectacular round of golf so far — 6 under, no dropped shots. Remarkable stuff.”
At Boca Raton, Fla., Bernhard Langer made himself at home in the Oasis Championship.
Playing 10 minutes from his house, the 61-year-old German star closed with a 7-under 65 in windy condition at The Old Course at Broken Sound for a fivestroke victory. He finished at a tournament-record 19-under 197 for his 39th victory on the 50-and-over circuit and earned $255,000 to break Hale Irwin’s tour career record with $27,196,504.
Marco Dawson was second after a 69. Bob Estes shot a 68 to finish third at 13 under, and David Toms was another stroke back after a 70.
A rules official directs greenskeepers trying to clear hail and standing water from the second green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am golf tournament Sunday. Play was suspended after the hailstorm, and again due to darkness.