Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Phil Mickelson beats everyone but the dark at Pebble Beach

Phil Mickelson beats everyone but the dark at Pebble Beach

Mickelson wanted to see if they could finish the last two holes; Casey, however, insisted they stop.

Casey finished with a birdie that was worth US$152,000 (NZ$225,000) because he wound up alone in second place.

"I get exactly where Paul is coming from", Mickelson said.

Whether it was continuing to be a part of U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams, finding a new workout routine, changing coaches, discovering a healthier diet, befriending - and needling - tour players who are young enough to be his son, Mickelson did his best to stay young. Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a one-shot lead in the pro-am. He played the final 26 holes in cold, damp, and windy weather without a bogey.

"It means a lot to me to play the final round as focused and as well as I did", said Mickelson, who started the final round three strokes behind Casey.

Mickelson claimed his 44th US PGA Tour title and has also won three European Tour titles, the 2004 Grand Slam of Golf and 2004 Skins Game, and a 1993 Challenge Tour event in Paris.

In fact both players finished par-par enabling Mickelson to not only level Mark O'Meara's handful of AT&T wins but join Tiger Woods on 14 victories celebrated in California country.

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"There's still a glimmer", Casey said of his chances.

"I thanked Paul this morning for having us finish in the morning because I get sometimes in my own little bubble that I don't see the big picture", he told Golf Channel's Peter Kostis after the tournament.

The victory, Mickelson's first since the WGC-Mexico Championship last March and first on US soil in six years, carries special significance for him. They got pretty rough this afternoon so I totally get it.

"When guys get in their 40s, two things decline, their putting and their swing speed", said the new world number 17, who is now swinging at close to 120 miles per hour.

He has won five majors - the Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), PGA Championship (2005) and British Open (2013).

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. A birdie at the second was followed by eight straight pars before back-to-back bogeys at 11 and 12. A Lefty US Open win in June would be the sporting story of the year for me and just about the only thing that could beat it would be him winning it next year, back at Winged Foot, at the age of 50.

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