Roundup: Casey vaults clear

Matt Cooper
Englishman Paul Casey raced three shots clear of the field after R3 of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am; four-time champion Phil Mickelson is in second

Roundup: Casey vaults clear

Englishman Paul Casey raced three shots clear of the field after R3 of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am; four-time champion Phil Mickelson is in second

Recap of the day


Pebble Beach (PB) – Among the pre-round leaders playing the host course Jordan Spieth (74), Jason Day (72) and Scott Langley (73) struggled, Phil Mickelson’s 70 was good enough to grab solo second on 12-under 203, whilst Brian Gay and Matt Every posted 69s for T5 on 205.

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Monterrey Peninsula (MP) – Lucas Glover carded a 70, good for T3, two swings clear of Rafa Cabrera Bello and Scott Stallings (both 69) on this rotation.


Spyglass Hill (SH) – Paul Casey authored an early 67 to set a 15-under 54-hole total of 15-under 200 which eventually no-one got within three swings of. Scott Piercy’s 69 got him into a tie for third.


Leaderboard: -15 Paul Casey, -12 Phil Mickelson, -11 Lucas Glover, Scott Piercy, -10 Brian Gay, Matt Every


Notables: -9 Jason Day, -8 Branden Grace, -7 Graeme McDowell, Jordan Spieth, -3 Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Tony Finau


Cut: -3 212


MC: -2 Adam Scott, -1 Vaughn Taylor, E Shane Lowry, +3 Jimmy Walker, +3 Brandt Snedeker, +12 Ted Potter Jr


Revised outright betting: Casey 4/6, Mickelson 9/2, Glover 12/1, Piercy 12/1, Day 22/1, Gay 40/1



Sunday weather forecast


Morning showers (70% chance of rain) with temperatures in the high 40s and 65% humidity. The wind is forecast to be around 17mph.



Leaders after at 54 holes


Paul Casey (67, 200, SH) – Hitting 73.17% of fairways and 75.95% of the greens this week. Three birdies on both nines (with one bogey on the front) leaves him in A1 position seeking to become only the fourth non-American to win in the tournament’s history (stretching back to 1937).


Phil Mickelson (70, 203, PB) – Landed only half the fairways (he’s been regressing all week and is now down to 63.41%) and 12 of 18 green in regulation. 1-over through 12 holes he rescued a final day shot at glory with birdie-eagle at 13 and 14.


Scott Piercy (69, 204, SH) – Found only half the greens in regulation, but scrambled superbly and ticked four birdies against one bogey. 


Lucas Glover (70, 204, MP) – He’s hit 43 of 54 greens in regulation for the week but the third lap had three stages: 2-over in the first four holes, four straight birdies to follow, two bogeys in his last five holes.



Fate of the Favourites 


Dustin Johnson (73, 212, PB) – Did it take a while for jet-lag to kick in? Has shot 66-73-73 for the week and limped to four bogeys in the first six holes of the back nine on Saturday.


Jason Day (72, 206, PB) – Landed 14 of 18 greens in regulation but his putting was poor (SG: Putting 1.524) and he could only limp to level-par. 


Tony Finau (70, 212, SH) – He thrashed five birdies in his first seven holes, but then made a hat-trick of bogeys from the 15th. Atoned with an 18th hole birdie, but 68.62% of greens in regulation for the week has hurt.


Jordan Spieth (74, 208, PB) – He played the front nine in 2-under and was bang in the contest. Then it all went wrong: double bogeys at 13 and 18, bogey at 17; a birdie at 14 was little consolation.



Road to victory at Pebble Beach


2018  – Ted Potter R1: 24th, R2: 35th, R3: 1st 

2017  – Jordan Spieth R1: 1st, R2: 1st, R3: 1st 

2016  – Vaughn Taylor R1: 48th, R2: 18th, R3: 8th 

2015  – Brandt Snedeker R1: 1st, R2: 1st, R3: 2nd 

2014  – Jimmy Walker R1: 6th, R2: 2nd, R3: 1st 


Notes: Of the last 16 winners only Taylor wasn’t T5 or better at this stage (or, in the case of Dustin Johnson during the three round affair in 2009, 36-holes), although Phil Mickelson (T4 after 54 holes in 2012) was six shots back.



Fate of the 54-hole Leaders at Pebble Beach – where did they finish?


2018 – Ted Potter 1st, Dustin Johnson 2nd

2017 – Jordan Spieth 1st

2016 – Phil Mickelson 2nd

2015 – Jim Furyk 7th

2014 – Jimmy Walker 1st


Notes: With Brandt Snedeker converting a share of the 2013 54-hole lead that’s four of the last six renewals which have seen the winner come from the last group. 



Focus on – Paul Casey with a 54-hole lead


In the Englishman’s entire career he is 3-for-11 at converting a solo 54-hole advantage and 4-for-7 at getting the win from a share of the lead. On the PGA Tour he has four times experienced the lead at this stage. The first time was in the 2009 Houston Open, when he shared the lead and won after a play-off. The other three? A three-shot lead in the 2016 Deutsche Bank Championship, a two-shot head-start in the 2017 Tour Championship and a four-shot advantage in the 2018 Travelers Championship; alas, he didn’t win one of them.



Focus on – Phil Mickelson chasing


In the 21st century the 48-year-old has headed into the final round of a 72-hole event in second place 19 times. He has five wins from that sample and every time he was one or two strokes back. In the last 16 instances he always finished the week in the top three. Lesson: He tends to hang around. The most recent example? Last year’s WGC Mexico Championship when he was two back, shot 66 and won after a play-off.



Focus on – Outsiders have similar records


Is it a two-horse race? Phil Mickelson has comfortably the best tournament record of the top six on the leaderboard (four wins), but four of the other five have remarkably similar course log books which show persistent struggles prior to a career-best effort in their last visit: 


Paul Casey: MC-MC-40-8

Scott Piercy: MC-MC-MC-55-20

Lucas Glover: MC-MC-MC-58-MC-11

Brian Gay: MC-MC-MC-MC-16-MC-MC-20-45-58-MC-8

Matt Every (the exception): 27-31-MC-30-MC-MC-MC

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