Red-hot Mickelson and Casey had opposing views on whether to continue as darkness fell, Mickelson putting out for a par at the 16th and saying he was ready to head to 17 as Casey opted to call it a day with a three-foot putt for par in front of him. He drilled a 7-iron into eight feet on the par-3 17th and made par, and then played conservatively up the par-5 18th and finished with a 6ft birdie for a three-shot victory. Casey at least birdied the 18th for a 71 to finish alone in second, the difference of $152,000. "But I wanted to try to finish tonight because I'm playing well".
"I get exactly where Paul is coming from; I have pretty good vision, so I could see fine and I am playing well".
"I thanked Paul this morning for letting us finish in the morning", he told the Golf Channel, admitting that he had been in his "little bubble" and self-centered. "This golf course, it looks very gettable [but] it can expose you".
@PhilMickelson is a 44-time victor on the PGA TOUR. He played the final 26 holes in cold, damp, and windy weather without a bogey. Casey said there was no way to finish and they had to return Monday morning.
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The four-time Pebble Beach victor nearly holed out from the ninth fairway to leave a tap-in birdie and complete a front-nine 33, before rolling in from 12 feet at the next to move into a share of the lead.
Casey has never won in three previous times he had a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, all of them by two shots or more, and he was holding his own against the relentless pursuit of Mickelson, who missed three straight birdie putts from the 12-foot range by the slimmest margins.
The Portrush man turns 39 in July and while he lost his PGA Tour card previous year and must rely in invitations to fill out his schedule, he wants desperately to be at Royal Portrush for The Open.
For years, Mickelson, 48, has rebuffed talk of his age, choosing to focus on aspects that encouraged him going forward even through a four-year stretch without a victory.
Asked in a greenside interview what the performance did for his confidence, Mickelson said: "Absolutely nothing, because it's nothing like the course we'll see".
"But (coming back) is a good thing; we'll play the last couple holes in flawless conditions".