Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Casey leads Mickelson by three at Pebble Beach

Pros scramble some unsuccessfully to make it Pebble after WDs Going down the alternate list for this week's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am turned out to be more like going down the rabbit
Cary Erickson | 12 February, 2019, 06:21

Teeing off as part of a four-way tie for the lead, Casey jumped clear with a five-under 67 at Spyglass Hill that give him a 15-under total of 200.

His closest competitor and four-time victor at this event, Phil Mickelson, moved to 12 under at Pebble Beach after mixing four birdies with four bogeys before taking advantage of the par-five 14th for an eagle to get to two-under for the day.

The four-time champion picked up further shots at 17 and 18 to turn in 32, and after missing out on another at the par-five first, he atoned with a pair of twos at the third and fifth before three wayward tee shots led to bogeys on each of the next three holes.

With everyone having played all three courses, the field will come together at Pebble Beach on Sunday, where Mickelson will no doubt be the gallery favourite.

Mickelson, among the leaders starting the round, was even for the day through nine after three bogeys and three birdies.

And PGA Tour debutant Ho Sung Choi is almost-certain to miss out on playing the final 18 holes at Pebble Beach after the unorthodox South Korean littered his card with five bogeys against only two birdies in a frustrating 75 which saw him slip to four over par for the tournament.

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"I thought anything in the 60s was going to be a heck of a round, and I was one shy", Mickelson said. "It was very hard but I was able to come back when it cleared up. He's going to be tough to catch".

Americans Scott Piercy and Lucas Glover shared third place on 204.

He said: "The three blasts means it's bad conditions, but you can finish the hole and I'm like, 'We can finish the hole?' I've never been so happy".

Casey, who is chasing a third PGA Tour win, cut a swathe through the field, jumping almost 30 spots after his round at Monterey Peninsula.

It started under a blue sky with patches of clouds that soon took aim at the Monterey Peninsula, dropped temperatures by some 10 degrees and brought enough rain to make it tougher than usual.

Jordan Spieth, the 2017 champion, was at 10 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day due to heavy rain.