Following a bizarre Round 4 at the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday that, this tournament is a one-and-a-half horse race. Going into Monday’s two-hole finish Phil Mickelson (-18) leads Paul Casey (thru 15 holes) and Scott Stallings (finished) by three strokes each. Mickelson and Casey were the only pair not to finish their round on Sunday after the stoppages for inclement weather, and they’ll kick things off on Monday morning at 11 a.m. ET. Let’s take a look at everything that transpired on Sunday.
First place — Phil Mickelson (-18): Lefty winning Pebble in a year where the U.S. Open is at Pebble but not actually winning the U.S. Open at Pebble is so on brand for him it’s almost painful. He played fabulous golf on the back nine on Sunday as he surged into the lead with three birdies in the first seven holes on that side to go with a 33 on the front. He’s staring a 6-under 66 to win a record-tying fifth (!) Pebble Beach Pro-Am right between the eyes.
After a par on the 16th hole, Mickelson actually tried to finish his round in the dark, but his playing partner Casey wasn’t having it. So Casey will start his Monday with a 3-foot putt on the 16th for par, and Mickelson will start his with a tee shot on the par-3 17th (which is where he ended his day on Sunday, shaking his head as the horn blew to stop play).
Last place — Cameron Davis and Cody Gribble (+3): Gribble shot a 6-under 66 at Spyglass (the hardest of the three courses!) on Thursday for what I considered the outright lead after 18 holes.
Other contenders — Paul Casey and Scott Stallings (-15): I said one-and-a-half course race because Mickelson (even Mickelson!) blowing a three-stroke with two to go lead seems wildly unlikely. Stallings played great golf on Sunday with a 6-under 66, but Casey did not have the greatest day. He’s even for his final round after coming in with a healthy lead, but a four-hole stretch from No. 10 to No. 13 saw Mickelson play it in 2 under and Casey in 2 over for the four-shot swing and all the momentum in the tournament. He’ll need to finish birdie-birdie (after making par on No. 16) to even have a prayer of getting to a playoff.
Who had a great day? Kevin Streelman actually played the best round of the day with a 7-under 65, but Stallings’ was more impressive because he was in real contention down the stretch. He made an incredible birdie on the par-5 18th to end his round and slide into second (for now).
Shot of the day: Mickelson hit all kinds of sick knockdown wedges and short irons on the back nine to keep his ball below the wind, and he couldn’t stop hitting it close. Take your pick of the following:
- No. 10: 11 feet
- No. 13: 8 feet
- No. 14: 6 feet
Here’s one of several examples from the 13th. I can’t get enough of this trajectory!
Quote of the day: “I have pretty good vision. I can see fine, and I’m playing well so I wanted to continue.” That was Mickelson to Peter Kostis of CBS Sports while standing on the 17th tee box. Lefty genuinely wanted to try and race home even though there was, like, three minutes of daylight left. It was — I know this sounds crazy — incredible theater!
He and Casey had a meeting with PGA Tour VP of Rules, Mark Russell, next to the 16th green, and they were clearly in disagreement over how to play out the rest of the round. Mickelson said later that he understood why Casey wanted to hit pause, but his body language and wording said otherwise! I don’t know what it says about golf, but the best drama all season has been a ball at rest rolling backwards into the water (last week) and two millionaires arguing over the phases of the moon (this week). Amazing.
What to watch on Monday: There will be free admission on Monday (I guess it would be weirder if there wasn’t considering it’s to watch two guys play two holes), and Mickelson will try and tie Mark O’Meara with five wins at Pebble Beach. He came into the season as a footnote to what’s going on in golf right now, but with a win here and the U.S. Open at the very same venue four months from now, Lefty is about to take the spotlight on the biggest stage once again.