Rain, Hail as well as Darkness Keep Phil Mickelson on Verge of Pebble Beach Win

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Phil Mickelson put himself on the verge of a fifth victory at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am by turning a three-shot deficit into a three-shot lead when a wild day of weather kept him through finishing on Sunday.

Mickelson was bogey-free with six birdies, as well as he made his big run starting which has a 9-iron to a foot behind the cup on the par-4 ninth. that will was start of a 5-hole stretch when Mickelson made three birdies as well as Paul Casey had two bogeys.

About the only thing that will did not go Mickelson’s way was the timing. The final round started out an hour late because of rain, as well as then that will was delayed two more hours when sunshine gave way to a hailstorm in a matter of minutes, covering the greens in a sheet of white.

Mickelson was at 18 under par through 16 holes. Casey had a 3-foot par putt on the same hole when Mickelson tried to lobby for them to finish, even inside the dark.

“I can see fine,” Mickelson told a rules official. “I don’t want to put Paul in a bad spot.”

Casey simply could not see, as well as he realized that will 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 as well as was 6 under for the day, with no bogeys on his card, as well as 18-under par for the tournament. Casey features a 3-foot par putt to stay three shots behind when they return Monday morning to play the par-3 17th as well as the par-5 18th.

“I hit some not bad golf shots as well as didn’t get anything out of that will today,” Casey said. “Phil has put together a spectacular round of golf so far: 6 under, no dropped shots. Remarkable stuff.”

Casey was tied with Scott Stallings, who closed which has a 66. Jason Day closed which has a 68 as well as was tied for fourth at 13 under with Si Woo Kim (68).

Mickelson was standing on the 17th tee when he heard the horn sound to stop play, as well as he shook his head.

The rest of his day was far better than the weather.

Mickelson will be closing in on his 44th PGA Tour victory, as well as on the verge of matching Mark O’Meara with 5 victories at a tournament he first played in 1995. 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 that will official.

“We’ve got two tough holes left as well as I don’t want to jump the gun as well as get past that will,” Mickelson said. “I know a lot can happen in these two holes as well as they have happened inside the past, so I want to stay focused as well as just come out tomorrow as well as try to finish that will off. I wish we could do that will tonight.”

that will would certainly be his first victory on American soil since the Phoenix Open six years ago. He won the British Open that will summer in Scotland, as well as the Mexico Championship last year.

His brilliant play still shared the stage with weather that will was bizarre even by Pebble Beach standards.

Mickelson as well as Casey were waiting to tee off when clouds moved in quickly moved in, as well as rain turned into hail that will pounded umbrellas, many of them held sideways to account for the wind.

Greens quickly were covered by the tiny white pellets, as well as workers went through 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 as well as tossed that will like a snowball. Patrick Reed’s brother tried to make a snow angel.

There was never a reasonable chance to finish in his pro-am format, with mostly foursomes across the golf course.

Casey has never won in three previous times he had a 54-hole lead on the tour, all of them by two shots or more, as well as he was holding his own against the relentless pursuit of Mickelson, who missed three straight birdie putts through the 12-foot range by the slimmest margins. Casey had great par saves, as well as then Mickelson took off.

After his 9-iron into a foot at No. 9 to pull to one shot behind, Mickelson holed a 12-foot birdie on the 10th which has a drive that will hugged the right side of the fairway as well as probably would certainly have bounced into the ocean if not for conditions so soft through rain that will balls plugged where they landed.

Casey blinked first which has a bogey on the 11th hole, as well as another on the par-3 12th when his tee shot came up short as well as into the bunker. Mickelson poured that will on, showing his skills have not deteriorated a bit at 48, controlling spin beautifully to back pin positions.

He just did not want to stay another day.

“I get where Paul will be coming through,” Mickelson said. “We’re going to have a not bad chance to come out on fresh greens. I have not bad vision, I can see fine as well as I wanted to continue. In all honesty, that will’s a not bad thing to play the last two holes in fresh conditions.”