Mickelson bags Pebble Beach Pro-Am title

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

Instead, he had to return early Monday morning to complete his 44th PGA Tour victory, claiming a fifth AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am while also becoming the eighth-oldest victor in PGA Tour history.

Mickelson had to come back Monday morning to finish off his three-shot victory over Paul Casey, which marked his record-tying fifth tournament title and win No. 44 of his illustrious career. Casey needed Mickelson to make a big blunder on the two closing holes, and there was little chance of that.

Whether it was continuing to be a part of U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams, finding a new workout routine, changing coaches, discovering a healthier diet, befriending - and needling - tour players who are young enough to be his son, Mickelson did his best to stay young.

The last time the final round was played on Monday was in 2000, when Tiger Woods rallied from a five-shot deficit.

Casey simply couldn't see, and we realized it was not possible to finish all 18 holes - "We can't finish two holes in six minutes", he said to the official - he opted to mark his ball on the 16th green. Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a one-shot lead in the pro-am.

"It's a lot more work and effort to play at this level, " Mickelson said.

Having won his first title on the Challenge Tour last summer, he went on to finish 14th in the order of merit and earn promotion to the European Tour. In fact, he's finished second six times.

Mickelson said he could "see just fine" even after sunset, knowing darkness falls quickly on the Monterey Peninsula. Casey said there was no way to finish and they had to return Monday morning.

No doubt, Mickelson wanted to get home to Southern California on Sunday night, and he clearly wasn't concerned about squandering a chance at victory because he couldn't see what he was doing.

Third-round leader Paul Casey, who mixed two bogeys with two birdies, was at 15 under with three holes remaining, tied with Scott Stallings who finished with a 66.

It also would be his first victory on American soil since the Phoenix Open six years ago. It's where his grandfather, Al Santos, was among the first caddies when the course opened in 1919, and Mickelson still uses as a marker the 1900 silver dollar his grandfather kept in his pocket to remind him he was not poor. This is obviously the one major that Phil needs to win to lock up the career grand slam.

After his 9-iron into a foot at No. 9 to get within one shot, Mickelson holed a 12-foot birdie on the 10th with a drive that hugged the right side of the fairway and likely would have bounced into the ocean if not for conditions so soft from rain that balls plugged where they landed. And while the fairway lines already have been brought in to be much narrower than usual, the rough was light.

"That's probably a good omen", Mickelson said.

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