Phil Mickelson: No Pebble Beach carry-over to U.S. Open

At least Phil Mickelson didn't break his own record for the longest event in PGA Tour history.

Veteran left-hander Mickelson started his final round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday three shots off the lead but ended up sealing victory by as many strokes in a weather-delayed finale on Monday.

The popular lefthander has been a US Open regular since Irwin's victory nearly 29 years ago and he's finished second an incredible six times in the event.

Mickelson said he could "see just fine" even after sunset, knowing darkness falls quickly on the Monterey Peninsula.

Expanding on why he felt his performance at Pebble Beach boded well for Augusta, the three-time Masters victor said: "The two areas that you have to be at your best to play well at Augusta are you've got to hit the ball long and have a really good short game and those were two areas that were very helpful here". Casey said there was no way to finish and they had to return Monday morning.

Although suspended play didn't last six months, as it did for Mickelson at Pebble in 1998, he had seemed frustrated at the decision to suspend play Sunday, with Casey arguing the other point.

Casey birdied the 18th for a 71 to finish alone in second, and he won the pro-am portion of the tournament.

"I get exactly where Paul is coming from", Mickelson later said. There wasn't much he could do to stop Mickelson, who at age 48 looks just as tough as when he won his first PGA Tour event in 1991 when he was still at Arizona State. Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a one-shot lead in the pro-am. He lost by three to Mickelson, who closed with a 65.

"A phenomenal round of golf, " Casey said.

Mickelson made his big run starting with a 9-iron to a foot behind the cup on the par-4 ninth. He played the final 26 holes in cold, damp, and windy weather without a bogey.

Mickelson needs to win the US Open to complete the Major Grand Slam and with Father Time accelerating along, playing this year at a venue that he knows so well and that he plays so well, offers him a chance.

Casey blinked first with a bogey on the 11th hole, and another on the par-3 12th when his tee shot came up short and into the bunker. I would love nothing more than to add to it five months from now, but that's so far down the road.

Mickelson lives for the moment.

Mickelson appears to be trending upward, as he also finished second at the Desert Classic in January.

His path to victory these days is never going to be mundane, even in a tournament where he went an entire round without missing a fairway - a 20-year first.

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