Play Suspended at Pebble Beach National Pro-Am 2019

Carrie Guzman
February 13, 2019

"So at the end of previous year, even though I played poorly, I had something happen where it seemed like overnight - it had really been in the works - where my driver speed shot up 5, 6 miles an hour, which rarely ever happens to anybody, let alone somebody in their late 40s", he said. "I just get in my own little bubble and I don't see the big picture".

The most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning. Casey has a 3-foot par putt to stay three shots behind when they return at 8 a.m. Monday to play the par-3 17th and the par-5 18th. Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a one-shot lead in the pro-am.

Now a victor at that level, his tour card is safe for two years, which will give him a completely different outlook. "He really protected both of us".

The American, who started the final round at Pebble Beach three shots back, ended with a three-shot lead with two holes left to play.

After playing the 17th and 18th on Monday, Mickelson admitted Casey was right. The other three times he was 2 over par or worse in the final round.

Mickelson will seal a career Grand Slam if he wins the U.S. Open, an event he has finished as runner-up at on six separate occasions.

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

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Mickelson's longest putt for par was 4 feet.

Mickelson was visibly disappointed not to finish in near-darkness on Sunday evening as Casey refused to play on, leaving him having to return a day later to complete his final two holes, although now accepts the Englishman's decision. This time, he closed with a 71 and lost to Mickelson's 65, which matched the low score of the final round.

Mickelson, however, doesn't think the win this week will give him an edge in June. This is obviously the one major that Phil needs to win to lock up the career grand slam.

Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion there, was buoyed by a tied 18th finish in his first start since suffering a wrist injury on December 28. Mickelson marked his ball all week with a silver coin given to him by his grandfather, Al Santos, one of the original caddies at Pebble Beach in 1919. "But I'll deal with that in [four] months".

Asked in a greenside interview what the performance did for his confidence, Mickelson said: "Absolutely nothing, because it's nothing like the course we'll see".

His path to victory these days is never going to be mundane, even in a tournament where he went an entire round without missing a fairway - a 20-year first.

Mickelson appears to be trending upward, as he also finished second at the Desert Classic in January.

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