Sports

Mickelson explains lack of emotion when playing with Casey

Mickelson explains lack of emotion when playing with Casey

Phil Mickelson sits at 18 under and leads by three shots from final group playing partner Paul Casey and Scott Stallings (66).

Mickelson is now top of the leaderboard on 18-under with two holes left to play, while Casey is on 15-under with three holes left.

Mickelson is on the verge of winning for the 44th time in his career, and matching Mark O'Meara with five victories at a tournament he first played in 1995.

"That's probably a good omen", Mickelson said. "No matter how good your drive is, you've still got to roll them and still got to make putts, and I didn't putt very well today. Every time I come here, I have special feelings". "And to have my pro career start here, to have this victory, means a lot". Before he won, he marked his 500th PGA Tour cut made on Friday.

It also would be his first victory on American soil since the Phoenix Open six years ago. In fact, he's finished second six times.

And while he enjoyed the victory, Mickelson didn't consider it meaningful in any way for the US Open.

"Very simply it's nothing like the course we'll see".

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The course will be completely different in June, with the rough taller and the greens firmer and no amateurs to take the edge off the proceedings. As darkness descended on the course, Mickelson had just tapped in on the 16th green with Casey still to putt.

This was Mickelson's fifth AT&T title so it's fair to say he was a tournament specialist before this week but he was still generally a [36.0] chance and he even hit a high of [50.0] before the off. Casey, who traded at a similar price to Lefty pre-event, hit a high of [80.0] and a low of [1.5] in-play.

Mickelson, seen shaking his head when the horn sounded Sunday night, said he thanked Casey on Monday morning for holding his ground because it was fair to both of them.

'Sometimes I get in my own bubble, ' Mickelson said. In 2018, Ted Potter, Jr. prevailed over Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and two-time Pebble Beach victor Dustin Johnson.

Mickelson briefly went three ahead after converting from eight feet at the 13th, before picking up a sixth birdie of the day at the par-five next to match Casey's 15-footer from the fringe.

"There's still a glimmer", Casey said of his chances. "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. But he said he understood Casey's perspective. "This was a big goal".


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