Fifth Pebble Beach victory makes Mickelson's day

Fifth Pebble Beach victory makes Mickelson's day

After a late morning hailstorm delayed play by more than two hours, Mickelson wasted no time in making up the three-shot deficit to Casey.

Mickelson's longest putt for par was 4 feet. Casey had a 3-foot par putt on the same hole when Mickelson tried to lobby for them to finish, even in the dark.

Expanding on why he felt his performance at Pebble Beach boded well for Augusta, the three-time Masters victor said: "The two areas that you have to be at your best to play well at Augusta are you've got to hit the ball long and have a really good short game and those were two areas that were very helpful here".

"It's been a treat this week", said Casey, who had entered this week with two weeks of rest after a tie for second at the Singapore Open on the Japan Tour.

He also won the Pro-Am with Don Colleran, the chief sales officer for FedEx.

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

Such days were known as "Crosby weather" when Bing Crosby was the tournament host for the better part of a half-century.

Phil Mickelson was closing in on a fifth win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California when play was suspended due to darkness.

Mickelson had not won on U.S. soil since the 2013 Phoenix Open.

This was a fantastic win for the 27-year-old, a protege of fellow Aberdonian and former Open champion Paul Lawrie.

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

Casey called Mickelson's effort "a phenomenal round of golf" but added: "It's not over yet".

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.

He gained ground with birdies at the par-five second and the fourth, then made back-to-back birdies at the ninth and 10th - two of the toughest holes on the course.

What excites him is that he's putting as well as he has at any time in his career and has found an extra "5-6 miles per hour swing speed" he believes that could be the key at the Masters, even if he conceded that winning 50 times on the PGA Tour might prove a challenge.

The other, more obvious takeaway is that Pebble in June won't come close to resembling Pebble in February, as the fairways will be tighter, the rough thicker, the greens slicker and the scores so much higher. He birdied five of the first seven holes in a bogey-free round.

Australian Jason Day and Si Woo Kim, of South Korea, were in the clubhouse on 13 under.

Boutier shot a final-round 72 to finish at 8-under 281.

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