Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Phil Mickelson closes out victory in weather-delayed finish

Hailstones being cleared from a green at Pebble Beach on Sunday

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".

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

Casey was at 15 under, tied with Scott Stallings, who closed with a 66.

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.

The victory, Mickelson's first since the WGC-Mexico Championship last March and first on USA soil in six years, carries special significance for him.

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The American, who started the final round at Pebble Beach three shots back, ended with a three-shot lead with two holes left to play. "This golf course, it looks very gettable [but] it can expose you". Casey's closing birdie ensured their triumph.

Even as Mickelson strongly hinted at wanting to finish - at point suggesting they play the 17th and he could scoot ahead to get a ball in play on the 18th so at least he could finish - Casey stood his ground. 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.

"I was coming here this week with a little trepidation", said McDowell, who does not get to join McIlroy or Seamus Power in Los Angeles for this week's Genesis Open and will be playing in opposite field Puerto Rico Open next week rather than the $2.25 million WGC Mexico Championship.

Phil Mickelson tips his hat on the 18th green after winning the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Casey has a 3-foot par putt to stay three shots behind when they return at 8 a.m. Monday to play the par-3 17th and the par-5 18th. As darkness descended on the course, Mickelson had just tapped in on the 16th green with Casey still to putt. "These guys are making a boatload of birdies, and as soft as it is, I just haven't made any". "I worked on some things, warm-up routines - I've worked hard on the putting, and it's starting to pay dividends".

This was a fantastic win for the 27-year-old, a protege of fellow Aberdonian and former Open champion Paul Lawrie. The old rule of thumb of backing Phil repeatedly until the US Masters has paid off again and the icing on the cake was laying Casey at odds-on too with a round to go. "This was a big goal".

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