Only daylight could prevent Phil Mickelson from reaching another career milestone.
In a wild weather week which resulted in a Monday finish, Mickelson emerged victorious, winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and notching his 50th professional victory in his storied career. The win was Mickelson’s fifth at Pebble Beach, tying Mark O’Meara for the most titles in tournament history. He also became the oldest champion in the history of the event.
“It’s been a very special week,” Mickelson said. “This is a special place for me. My grandfather was here in 1919 as one of the first caddies at Pebble Beach, and I have such gratitude for what this place has done for both me and my family.”
Despite sitting at an impressive 12-under par through three rounds, highlighted by a six-under first round in which he hit 14 of 14 fairways for the first time in 21 years, Mickelson entered Sunday trailing Englishman Paul Casey by three strokes. Sunday morning brought inclement weather, including hail, delaying the start of the final round for the leaders by three hours. But once underway, Mickelson hit the ground running. Birdies on 2, 4 and 9 brought Lefty to within one at the turn. Another birdie to open the back nine on 10, paired with a bogey from Casey, gave Mickelson a one-shot lead at 16-under par.
Mickelson began to pull away from the pack with two more birdies on 13 and 14, and held a three-shot lead over Casey and clubhouse leader Scott Stallings when play was postponed due to darkness Sunday night. With two holes left to play on Monday, Mickelson comfortably finished par-birdie on 17 and 18 to wrap up the victory.
“I thanked Paul (Casey) for having us finish this morning,” said Mickelson, who was pushing to finish the tournament on Sunday night. “We had fresh greens today which were much better for putting. Sometimes I get in my own bubble and don’t see the bigger picture, so I told Paul I appreciated what he did for having us finish this morning.”
“It means a lot to me to play the final round as focused and as well as I did. After not playing my best in the final round in Palm Springs, to finish it off and play the way I did means a lot. It’s been a good start to the year so far, and it’s important that I continue to build on that.”
The win vaulted Mickelson into sixth place in the FedEx Cup standings. Lefty also made history by notching his 14th career victory in his home state of California, which ties Tiger Woods and Billy Casper for the most all time in the Golden State. He’ll have the opportunity to make it 15 wins this week at the Genesis Open, played at Riviera Country Club outside of Los Angeles. And all eyes will be on Phil as he will look to complete the career Grand Slam when the 2019 U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach in June.
As a result of Mickelson’s win, KPMG and the Inspiring Win program will enhance a library in the San Francisco United School District! Congratulations to Phil on an outstanding performance, and best of luck throughout the 2019 golf season!