×

Casey pulls ahead of Mickelson

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Paul Casey was far away from all the antics and quietly put together another solid round Saturday for a 5-under 67 that gave him a three-shot lead over Phil Mickelson going into the final day of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Casey had four birdies over his last 10 holes at Spyglass Hill in a mixture of rain, sunshine and wind. He finished at 15-under 200, the fourth time on the PGA Tour had he has led going into the final round.

“I am having a blast,” Casey said.

Mickelson was part of the celebrity rotation at Pebble Beach and put on a show on the back nine, stuffing a wedge to 3 feet on No. 13, and following with a 4-iron to 4 feet on the par-5 14th hole for eagle. He also made a tough save on the par-3 17th and shot a 2-under 70, giving him a good chance to match Mark O’Meara’s record of five AT&T Pebble Beach titles.

Casey and Mickelson have done their best with so many shots to back pins, typically set to the highest point on the three courses to avoid any saturation from the hit-and-miss rain.

“The little half-shots to get back to some of these pins, a lot of guys struggle with and it’s been a strength of my game,” Mickelson said. “So I’ve been able to make a few more birdies on some of these holes.”

The weather again was hit-and-miss, though the tournament managed to get in 54 holes.

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.

That’s not what stopped Jordan Spieth.

He was tied for the lead after a birdie on the par-3 fifth hole and remained in range of Casey until Spieth pulled his tee shot so badly on the 13th hole that he didn’t know where it was until it was spotted 140 yards behind where he was looking, under a cluster of trees. He wound up making double bogey, and then after a three-putt bogey from the wrong side of the 17th green, Spieth pulled his tee shot into the ocean on the 18th hole for another double bogey and a 74. He went from being in the mix to eight shots behind.

“It was going to bite me at some point,” Spieth said. “I didn’t necessarily deserve to be a couple under par at the time, and so it ended up kind of haunting me there. … I drove the ball well the last two days, and then today my driver just didn’t behave at all. It was a 150-yard spread on either side and that’s not good around Pebble Beach.”

Langer leads

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Bernhard Langer eagled the par-5 18th for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions’ Oasis Championship.

Langer rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 17th with the eagle to reach 12-under 132 at The Old Course at Broken Sound. The 61-year-old German star won the 2010 event and finished second last year, two strokes behind Mark Calcavecchia.

Marco Dawson was second after a 67, and David Toms (67) and Brandt Jobe (65) were two strokes back at 10 under in the first full-field event of the season. First-round leader Jesper Parnevik followed his opening 63 with a 72 to drop into a tie for fifth at 9 under with Bob Estes (68), Tom Byrum (69) and Woody Austin (70).

Fred Couples was 8 under after a 69.

Retief Goosen was tied for 18th at 6 under after his second 69 in his senior debut.

Gary Nicklaus, also making his first tour start, followed an opening 67 with a 77 to fall into a tie for 49th at even par.

COMMENTS