‘I can see fine’: Mickelson annoyed when play called due to darkness

February 11, 2019

The final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will be finished on Monday.

Not everyone was happy with that decision.

Inclement weather suspended play earlier on Sunday, and it was a long shot for everyone to finish before darkness. Paul Casey, playing in the final group with Phil Mickelson, led Mickelson by three to begin the day, but Mickelson caught him early on the back nine.

Mickelson made birdies on three of the first five on the back, and Casey played that same stretch in one over. With daylight waining they walked off the 16th tee with Mickelson leading by three and closing in on his 44th career PGA Tour victory.

That’s when PGA Tour rules official Mark Russell joined them to discuss the situation. When Mickelson, who was six under on the day and bogey-free, said he wanted to finish, Casey laughed, assuming there was no chance that could happen.

Later on the green, Mickelson was finishing a two-putt par as Russell and Casey chatted. Mickelson stepped in.

“I don’t think we are going to finish 18,” Casey said.

“We could finish 17, I could tee off on 18,” said Mickelson. “Let’s play 17 and see how it goes.”

Casey, who still had to finish out on the 16th, went back onto the green, and Mickelson continued chatting with Russell. The 17th is a par-3, and 18 is a par-5. But if a player tees off on a hole before the horn is blown due to darkness, they have the option of completing that hole. So, to finish their entire round, the final group just needed to hit tee shots on 18.

“I can see fine,” Mickelson said. “If we can finish I would like to do it, if not then I’m fine. I don’t want to put you in a bad spot, but I can see just fine. I would like to tee off 17, finish and then just hit like an iron or something on 18 just so I teed off and then you can call it.”

Casey rejoined the conversation, and it was obvious he didn’t want to finish.

“If I could play two holes and one putt in six minutes I would, but…,” Casey said.

Russell decided they would restart in the morning, and after the horn below Mickelson was seen shaking his head. Peter Kostis caught up with him shortly after the decision to suspend play.

“I get exactly where Paul is coming from,” Mickelson said. “It’s dark and we are going to have a good chance to come out tomorrow on fresh greens. They got pretty rough this afternoon so I totally get it, but I have pretty good vision, I can see fine, and am playing well so I wanted to continue. And that’s all there is to it, but I totally get where Paul is coming from.”

Casey, who has three feet remaining on a par putt on 16 come Monday morning, spoke with Gary McCord afterward.

“From my angle it was, Are we going to get 18 done? We weren’t going to get 18 done,” Casey said. “It’s very dark. I didn’t putt out on 16 because I’m going to get fresh greens. If I’m not going to get done, let’s just call it right now. Nobody is wrong. Guy on the hot streak wants to keep going and the guy who isn’t, Let’s call it.”

The final round resumes at 8 a.m. local (11 a.m. ET) on Golf Channel.