Phil Mickelson understood Paul Casey’s thinking, but that didn’t mean he was ready to halt his spectacular round.
Mickelson and Casey — the final group at the Pebble Peach Pro-Am — discussed with PGA Tour officials what to do on the 16th green as darkness took over the California course. Mickelson, who has a three-shot lead, wanted to try to play the par-3 17th then tee off on 18. Casey argued that if they could not finish the round, why bother playing at all in the challenging conditions?
When the horn sounded to call play for the day, Mickelson was seen on the 17th tee shaking his head in frustration.
“You can see Phil is fuming right now,” CBS’ Gary McCord said on the broadcast.
Mickelson was diplomatic afterward.
“I get exactly where Paul’s coming from,” Mickelson told reporters. “It’s dark, and we’re going to have a good chance [Monday] to come out on fresh greens and have them mown. They got pretty rough this afternoon so I totally get it.
“But I have pretty good vision, 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.”
Mickelson was 6-under through 16 holes and had turned a three-shot deficit into a three-shot lead over Casey. However, the Englishman still has a chance to rally and can finish second alone — he’s currently tied with Scott Stallings — which is the difference of $152,000.
Play was halted right before Mickelson and Casey were set to begin their round thanks to a hail storm. The conclusion of the tournament begins at 11 a.m. ET and will air on Golf Channel.
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