Phil Fumes Over Monday Finish

The weather has not cooperated this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and as a result, Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey will have to return to the course on Monday morning to complete the event, much to Mickelson’s chagrin.

Sunday’s final round began with a weather delay brought about by early-morning rain, and after an additional stoppage, the final pairing didn’t tee off until nearly 1 p.m. local time.

With the pro-am format, pace of play was never going to be fast, but as Mickelson proved to be the man to beat following Casey’s stumble at the beginning of final round’s back nine, he tried to push the pace of play to finish out the event and his 44th career PGA Tour victory on Sunday evening. 

Holding a three-shot lead over Casey and Scott Stallings on the 16th hole, Casey and Mickelson were approached by PGA Tour rules official Mark Russell about the waning daylight.

“We could finish 17, I could tee off on 18,” Mickelson said after he had completed the 16th hole although Casey still had his putt for par marked on the putting surface. “Let’s play 17 and see how it goes. I can see fine.”

Casey didn’t feel similarly, instead taking Russell up on his offer to mark and return on Monday morning. 

“I genuinely couldn’t see my putt there on 16,” Casey said. “Mark Russell gave us the option to finish, which is why I marked it.”

While Casey put some tees in the ground to mark his position on the 16th green, Mickelson had made his way to the 17th tee when the horn sounded signifying the stoppage of play.

Despite Mickelson’s strong assertion that he could continue to play, the decision was made to return to position at 8 a.m. PST to complete the final two-plus holes. After a little time to decompress, Mickelson said he understood Casey’s position, but still wished they could have finished on Sunday evening. 

“I have pretty good vision,” Mickelson said. “I can see fine, and I’m playing well. So, I wanted to continue, and that’s all there is to it.

“But I totally get where he’s coming from. And in all honesty, it’s probably a good thing, because now we’ll play the last couple holes in pure conditions and it will be helpful for us both.”

While Mickelson’s three-stroke lead is likely enough to get him across the finish line, Casey sits three strokes behind and in a tie for second place. The difference in prize money between solo second place and solo third place is over $300,000, not to mention the pro-am portion of the event was similarly up for grabs with Casey and his partner, Don Colleran, an executive vice president at FedEx, holding a one-stroke lead.