Paul Casey takes control at Pebble Beach
Paul Casey was far away from all the antics and quietly put together another solid round 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 in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Casey had four birdies in 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,’’ said Casey, who is 0-3 with 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour, including losing a three-shot lead two years ago at TPC Boston when Rory McIlroy shot 65, and a four-shot lead last summer at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut when Bubba Watson closed with a 63.
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 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.’’
Play 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 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 18 for another double bogey and a 74.
‘‘It was going to bite me at some point,’’ said Spieth, eight shots behind. ‘‘I drove the ball well the last two days, and then today my driver just didn’t behave at all.’’
Lucas Glover had a birdie-bogey finish at Monterey Peninsula for a 1-under 70 and was at 11-under 204, along with Scott Piercy (69 at Spyglass Hill).
Champions — Bernhard Langer eagled the par-5 18th for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke lead at the Oasis Championship in Boca Raton, Fla. Langer rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 17th to reach 12-under 132 at The Old Course at Broken Sound, which he lives 10 minutes from. 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.
LPGA/European — Second-round leader Kim Kaufman holed out from the bunker for birdie on the par-3 seventh hole which helped her take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the LPGA’s Vic Open in Barwon Heads, Australia. The American otherwise had a forgettable third round with four bogeys and a double bogey in tough windy conditions for a 3-over 75. In the European Tour’s men’s event being played alongside, Australian Wade Ormsby, who shot 70, will take a two-stroke lead into the final round.