PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Phil Mickelson put himself on the verge of a fifth victory on the Pebble Seashore Professional-Am by turning a three-shot deficit right into a three-shot lead when a wild day of climate saved him from ending on Sunday.
Mickelson was bogey-free with six birdies, and he made his huge run beginning with a 9-iron to a foot behind the cup on the par-Four ninth. That was begin of a five-hole stretch when Mickelson made three birdies and Paul Casey had two bogeys.
About the one factor that didn’t go Mickelson’s means was the timing. The ultimate spherical began an hour late due to rain, after which it was delayed two extra hours when sunshine gave solution to a hailstorm in a matter of minutes, overlaying the greens in a sheet of white.
Mickelson was at 18 underneath par by way of 16 holes. Casey had a Three-foot par putt on the identical gap when Mickelson tried to foyer for them to complete, even at nighttime.
“I can see superb,” Mickelson advised a guidelines official. “I don’t need to put Paul in a foul spot.”
Casey merely couldn’t see, and he realized it was not attainable to complete all 18 holes — “We will’t end two holes in six minutes,” he mentioned to the official — he opted to mark his ball on the 16th inexperienced.
Mickelson already made his par on the 16th and was 6 underneath for the day, with no bogeys on his card, and 18-under par for the match. Casey has a Three-foot par putt to remain three photographs behind once they return Monday morning to play the par-Three 17th and the par-5 18th.
“I hit some good golf photographs and didn’t get something out of it at present,” Casey mentioned. “Phil has put collectively a spectacular spherical of golf up to now: 6 underneath, no dropped photographs. Outstanding stuff.”
Casey was tied with Scott Stallings, who closed with a 66. Jason Day closed with a 68 and was tied for fourth at 13 underneath with Si Woo Kim (68).
Mickelson was standing on the 17th tee when he heard the horn sound to cease play, and he shook his head.
The remainder of his day was much better than the climate.
Mickelson is closing in on his 44th PGA Tour victory, and on the verge of matching Mark O’Meara with 5 victories at a match he first performed in 1995. His first one additionally was a Monday end, when gamers returned in August — greater than six months later — to complete the third spherical of the weather-plagued match to make it official.
“We’ve bought two robust holes left and I don’t need to bounce the gun and get previous that,” Mickelson mentioned. “I do know quite a bit can occur in these two holes they usually have occurred up to now, so I need to keep targeted and simply come out tomorrow and attempt to end it off. I want we might do it tonight.”
It could be his first victory on American soil because the Phoenix Open six years in the past. He gained the British Open that summer season in Scotland, and the Mexico Championship final 12 months.
His good play nonetheless shared the stage with climate that was weird even by Pebble Seashore requirements.
Mickelson and Casey had been ready to tee off when clouds moved in shortly moved in, and rain changed into hail that pounded umbrellas, a lot of them held sideways to account for the wind.
Greens shortly had been lined by the tiny white pellets, and employees went from utilizing squeegees for extra water to energy blowers to take away the hail.
Sam Saunders, whose grandfather Arnold Palmer was among the many Pebble Seashore homeowners, scooped up hail and tossed it like a snowball. Patrick Reed’s brother tried to make a snow angel.
There was by no means an inexpensive likelihood to complete in his pro-am format, with largely foursomes throughout the golf course.
Casey has by no means gained in three earlier occasions he had a 54-hole lead on the tour, all of them by two photographs or extra, and he was holding his personal towards the relentless pursuit of Mickelson, who missed three straight birdie putts from the 12-foot vary by the slimmest margins. Casey had nice par saves, after which Mickelson took off.
After his 9-iron right into a foot at No. 9 to drag to at least one shot behind, Mickelson holed a 12-foot birdie on the 10th with a drive that hugged the appropriate aspect of the green and doubtless would have bounced into the ocean if not for situations so delicate from rain that balls plugged the place they landed.
Casey blinked first with a bogey on the 11th gap, and one other on the par-Three 12th when his tee shot got here up quick and into the bunker. Mickelson poured it on, exhibiting his expertise haven’t deteriorated a bit at 48, controlling spin fantastically to again pin positions.
He simply didn’t need to keep one other day.
“I get the place Paul is coming from,” Mickelson mentioned. “We’re going to have a great likelihood to come back out on recent greens. I’ve good imaginative and prescient, I can see superb and I wished to proceed. In all honesty, it’s a great factor to play the final two holes in recent situations.”