Phil Mickelson on brink of 5th Pebble Beach victory
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Phil Mickelson put himself on the brink of a fifth victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am by turning a three-shot deficit into a three-shot lead when a wild day of weather kept him from finishing Sunday.
Mickelson was bogey-free with six birdies, and he 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.
About the only thing that didn’t go Mickelson’s way was the timing.
The final round started an hour late because of rain, and then it was delayed two more hours when sunshine gave way to a hail storm in a matter of minutes, covering the putting 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 in the dark.
Mickelson will have to return at 8 a.m. Monday to play the last two holes.
Casey was at 15 under, tied with Scott Stallings, who closed with a 66. Along with an outside chance at forcing a playoff, finishing alone in second instead of a tie is a difference of $152,000, along with world ranking points and FedEx Cup points. Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a one-shot lead in the pro-am.
Mickelson was standing on the 17th tee when he heard the horn sound to stop play, and he shook his head.
The rest of his day was far better than the weather.
Mickelson is on the verge of winning for the 44th time in his career, and matching Mark O’Meara with five victories at a tournament he first played in 1995. It also would be his first victory on American soil since the Phoenix Open six years ago. He won the British Open that summer in Scotland, and the Mexico Championship last year.
His brilliant play still shared the stage with weather that was bizarre even by Pebble standards.
Mickelson and Casey were waiting to tee off when clouds moved in quickly moved in, and rain turned into hail that pounded umbrellas, many of them held sideways to account for the wind. 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.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — 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 five-stroke 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.
Also the tournament winner in 2010, Langer moved within six of Irwin’s tour victory record and won in his 13th straight season to extend his record. He birdied five of the first seven holes in a bogey-free round.
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.
BARWON HEADS, Australia (AP) — Celine Boutier of France won the ISPS Handa Vic Open for her first LPGA Tour title, shooting an even-par 72 for a two-stroke victory at 13th Beach Golf Links.
Boutier finished at 8-under 281 to become the fourth French winner in LPGA Tour history. The 25-year-old former Duke player also won the Ladies European Tour’s 2017 Sanya Ladies Open and 2018 Australian Ladies Classic Bonville.
Australians Sarah Kemp (65) and Su Oh (74) and England’s Charlotte Thomas (69) tied for second. Third-round leader Kim Kaufman had a 78 to tie for eighth at 4 under.
The tournament was played alongside a men’s event.
The LPGA Tour will remain in Australia next week for the Women’s Australian Open at The Grange in Adelaide.
EUROPEAN TOUR AND PGA TOUR OF AUSTRALASIA
BARWON HEADS, Australia (AP) — Scotland’s David Law overcame a three-stroke deficit on the final three holes to win the ISPS Handa Vic Open for his first European Tour title.
Law birdied the par-4 16th and made an 8-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke victory over Australians Wade Ormsby (70) and Brad Kennedy (67). Ormsby had a double bogey on the par-3 17th.
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Michael Gligic of Canada closed with a 5-under 65 for a one-shot victory in the Panama Championship, his first victory in nearly seven years.
Gligic was one shot behind when he opened the back nine, and then took the lead for good over Zhang Xinjun with a birdie on the par-4 14th hole. Both made bogey on the 15th, and Gligic extended his lead with another birdie on the 16th.
Zhang birdied the last hole for a 66 to finish one shot behind.
Ben Taylor, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, didn’t make a birdie until the 16th hole and closed with a 71.
Gligic finished at 8-under 272. His only other victory as a pro was on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada in 2012.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Zimbabwe’s Benjamin Follett-Smith won the Cape Town Open by two strokes for his first Sunshine Tour title.
Follett-Smith closed with a 6-under 66 in windy conditions for a two-shot victory over South Africans Zander Lombard (73) and Jean-Paul Strydom (74). Follett-Smith finished at 13-under 275 at Royal Cape Golf Club.