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Mickelson finishes off fifth win at Pebble Beach

12 February 2019
Mickelson finishes off fifth win at Pebble Beach

The steam coming off his head in the Sunday night gloaming at Pebble Beach was undoubtedly due to the frigid air that permeated the tournament, although few would be surprised if Phil Mickelson really was seething over the idea that he wouldn't be allowed to finish despite two holes to play in enveloping darkness.

Mickelson held a three-shot cushion with two holes remaining and was six under for his round when play was suspended at 5.55pm PT (1.55am GMT), much to the American's disappointment, with overnight leader Paul Casey in a share of second alongside clubhouse leader Scott Stallings.

Englishman Paul Casey started the round at 15 under, three strokes clear of Phil Mickelson.

Casey returned to the fray today, tapped in his par save at 16 and then preceded to par the par three 17th and birdie the par five 18th but it wasn't enough to reel in Mickelson who also finished 3-4.

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

Thirteen of Mickelson's 43 PGA Tour victories have come in his home state of California. Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a one-shot lead in the pro-am.

Mickelson had to return to Pebble Beach on Monday to complete his 44th Tour victory and did so easily, finishing at 19-under par with a 65.

On Monday morning, he had a change of heart and said he thanked Casey for standing his ground.

Making it even more special is Pebble Beach, where he made his pro debut at the US Open in 1992, where he won the first of his five titles in another Monday finish in 1998, this one in August because of rain.

Weather delayed the start for multiple players on Sunday as play was suspended just before 2 p.m. EST.

Undoubtedly Mickelson will be the subject of considerable conjecture when the golf world returns to Pebble Beach in June for the 119th playing of the U.S. Open, the major that defines Lefty's bouts of futility more than anything.

"We've got two tough holes left and I don't want to jump the gun and get past that", Mickelson said. He won the British Open that summer in Scotland, and the Mexico Championship a year ago. Six runner-up finishes, some in the most heartbreaking fashion, dot his career, the tournament keeping him from a career Grand Slam. He finished par-birdie and shot 71.

The four-time Pebble Beach victor nearly holed out from the ninth fairway to leave a tap-in birdie and complete a front-nine 33, before rolling in from 12 feet at the next to move into a share of the lead.