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Phil Mickelson on the brink of victory at Pebble Beach before darkness falls – ESPN
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Phil Mickelson on the brink of victory at Pebble Beach before darkness falls – ESPN

10:09 PM ET

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PEBBLE Beach, Calif. — Phil Mickelson place himself on the brink of a fifth victory in the AT&T Pebble Seashore pro-am by turning a 3-shot deficit into a a few-shot guide when a wild day of weather conditions retained him from finishing Sunday.

Mickelson was bogey-absolutely free with six birdies, and he manufactured his big operate setting up with a nine-iron to a foot behind the cup on the par-4 ninth. That was get started of a five-hole stretch when Mickelson designed 3 birdies and Paul Casey had two bogeys.

About the only thing that didn’t go Mickelson’s way was the timing. The final spherical started off an hour late for the reason that of rain, and then it was delayed two much more hrs when sunshine gave way to a hail storm in a subject of minutes, covering the putting greens in a sheet of white. Mickelson was at eighteen-underneath par by sixteen holes. Casey had a 3-foot par putt on the identical hole when Mickelson experimented with to foyer for them to end, even in the dark.

“I can see fantastic,” Mickelson instructed a regulations formal. “I will not want to set Paul in a negative place.”

Casey was at fifteen less than, tied with Scott Stallings, who shut with a sixty six. Along with an outside probability at forcing a playoff, finishing on your own in second in its place of a tie is a variation of $152,000, alongside with planet ranking factors and FedEx Cup points. Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a one particular-shot direct in the pro-am.

“I do not see how we can finish,” Casey explained as they walked up the 16th fairway. “We are unable to finish two holes in six minutes. I would like to.”

Mickelson was standing on the seventeenth tee when he heard the horn sound to quit perform, and he shook his head.

The rest of his working day was much improved than the climate. Mickelson is on the verge of successful for the forty fourth time in his occupation, and matching Mark O’Meara with five victories at a tournament he initially played in 1995. It also would be his initial victory on American soil considering the fact that the Phoenix Open up six several years in the past. He received the British Open that summertime in Scotland, and the Mexico Championship past yr.

His amazing play still shared the stage with weather that was bizarre even by Pebble criteria. Mickelson and Casey ended up waiting around to tee off when clouds moved in immediately moved in, and rain turned into hail that pounded umbrellas, lots of of them held sideways to account for the wind. Greens rapidly had been covered by the little white pellets, and workers went from utilizing squeegees for excess h2o to electricity blowers to get rid of the hail.

Sam Saunders, whose grandfather Arnold Palmer was amid the Pebble Beach front entrepreneurs, scooped up hail and tossed it like a snowball. Patrick Reed’s brother laid on his back again and experimented with to make a snow angel. There was never a sensible chance to complete in his pro-am format, with mainly foursomes throughout the golfing program.

Casey has never won in 3 former situations he had a fifty four-gap direct on the PGA Tour, all of them by two shots or much more, and he was keeping his have in opposition to the relentless pursuit of Mickelson, who missed three straight birdie putts from the twelve-foot assortment by the slimmest margins. Casey had wonderful par will save, and then Mickelson took off.

Soon after his nine-iron into a foot at No. nine to get in just a single shot, Mickelson holed a 12-foot birdie on the 10th with a travel that hugged the suitable aspect of the fairway and very likely would have bounced into the ocean if not for problems so smooth from rain that balls plugged where they landed.

Casey blinked initially with a bogey on the eleventh gap, and a further on the par-three 12th when his tee shot arrived up small and into the bunker. Mickelson poured it on, displaying his competencies have not deteriorated a little bit at age 48, controlling spin superbly to back pin positions. He just didn’t want to keep one more working day.

“I get exactly where Paul is coming from,” Mickelson claimed. “We are heading to have a superior prospect to occur out on fresh greens. I have great eyesight, I can see fine and I required to go on. In all honesty, it’s a fantastic issue to enjoy the final two holes in new situations.”

Some gamers concluded in the dark with no prospect of winning, but confirmed the influence of enjoying without having light. Scott Piercy had a fifteen-foot putt that was a little uphill, and he nonetheless ran it 7 feet by the hole and 3-putted for bogey. Jason Working day closed with a sixty eight and was tied for fourth at 13-beneath a hundred seventy five with Si Woo Kim (sixty eight).

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