Mickelson downplays U.S. Open prospects after Pebble Beach win

Mickelson downplays U.S. Open prospects after Pebble Beach win

Play has just resumed at the final round of the US PGA Tour's Pebble Beach Pro Am after being suspended for just over two hours due to a hail storm.

Hale Irwin, who won the 1990 edition of the US Open at 45 years and 15 days old, is the oldest US Open victor to date so the stats are really against Phil Mickelson, who turns 49 on the Sunday of this year's edition.

He started the day three shots off Casey's lead but roared to the top of the leaderboard with six birdies that put him 18-under for the tournament with two holes remaining.

Mickelson, who started the final round three shots behind, never came close to a bogey and built a three-shot lead through 16 holes Sunday night when it became too dark to finish, no matter how hard he lobbied to keep going. "I hit some good golf shots and didn't get anything out of it today", Casey said.

Mickelson began by calmly knocking his tee shot on the par-three 17th to inside 10 feet and Casey followed suit, but when the 41-year-old failed to sink an eight-footer for birdie his hopes of snatching the win were effectively ended.

In second is Scott Stallings, who sits at -15 and has finished his tournament. "Sometimes I get in my little bubble and don't see the big picture". Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a one-shot lead in the pro-am.

"The rough will be so different and the greens so firm it will be a whole different golf course but I'll deal with that in six months".

Also the tournament victor in 2010, Langer moved within six of Irwin's tour victory record and won in his 13th straight season to extend his record. Mickelson poured it on, showing his skills have not deteriorated a bit at age 48, controlling spin beautifully to back pin positions.

His brilliant play still shared the stage with weather that was freaky even by Pebble standards.

He just didn't want to stay another day.

I think the Vic Open's unique format - men and women playing in alternate groups on the same course and for equal prize money - is great, although I can't help thinking: why not go further? "But I wanted to try to finish tonight because I'm playing well". "In all honesty, it's a good thing to play the last two holes in fresh conditions".

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