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Phil Mickelson on brink of 5th Pebble Beach victory


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PEBBLE BEACH Calif. AP Phil Mickelson put himself on the brink of a fifth victory in the ATampT Pebble Beach proam by turning a threeshot deficit into a threeshot lead when a wild day of weather kept him from finishing Sunday.

Mickelson was bogeyfree with six birdies and he made his big run starting with a 9iron to a foot behind the cup on the par4 ninth. That was start of a fivehole stretch when Mickelson made three birdies and Paul Casey had two bogeys.

About the only thing that didn"t go Mickelson"s way was the timing.

The final round started an hour late because of rain and then it was delayed two more hours when sunshine gave way to a hail storm in a matter of minutes covering the putting greens in a sheet of white.

Mickelson was at 18under par through 16 holes. Casey had a 3foot par putt on the same hole when Mickelson tried to lobby for them to finish even in the dark.

Casey was at 15 under tied with Scott Stallings who closed with a 66. Along with an outside chance at forcing a playoff finishing alone in second instead of a tie is a difference of 152000 along with world ranking points and FedEx Cup points. Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a oneshot lead in the proam.

Mickelson was standing on the 17th tee when he heard the horn sound to stop play and he shook his head.

The rest of his day was far better than the weather.

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. It also would be his first victory on American soil since the Phoenix Open six years ago. He won the British Open that summer in Scotland and the Mexico Championship last year.

His brilliant play still shared the stage with weather that was bizarre even by Pebble standards.

Mickelson and Casey were waiting to tee off when clouds moved in quickly moved in and rain turned into hail that pounded umbrellas many of them held sideways to account for the wind. Greens quickly were covered by the tiny white pellets and workers went from using squeegees for excess water to power blowers to remove the hail.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

BOCA RATON Fla. AP Bernhard Langer made himself at home in the Oasis Championship.

Playing 10 minutes from his house the 61yearold German star closed with a 7under 65 in windy condition at The Old Course at Broken Sound for a fivestroke victory. He finished at a tournamentrecord 19under 197 for his 39th victory on the 50andover circuit and earned 255000 to break Hale Irwin"s tour career record with 27196504.

Also the tournament winner in 2010 Langer moved within six of Irwin"s tour victory record and won in his 13th straight season to extend his record. He birdied five of the first seven holes in a bogeyfree round.

Marco Dawson was second after a 69. Bob Estes shot a 68 to finish third at 13 under and David Toms was another stroke back after a 70.

LPGA TOUR

BARWON HEADS Australia AP Celine Boutier of France won the ISPS Handa Vic Open for her first LPGA Tour title shooting an evenpar 72 for a twostroke victory at 13th Beach Golf Links.

Boutier finished at 8under 281 to become the fourth French winner in LPGA Tour history. The 25yearold former Duke player also won the Ladies European Tour"s 2017 Sanya Ladies Open and 2018 Australian Ladies Classic Bonville.

Australians Sarah Kemp 65 and Su Oh 74 and England"s Charlotte Thomas 69 tied for second. Thirdround leader Kim Kaufman had a 78 to tie for eighth at 4 under.

The tournament was played alongside a men"s event.

The LPGA Tour will remain in Australia next week for the Women"s Australian Open at The Grange in Adelaide.

EUROPEAN TOUR AND PGA TOUR OF AUSTRALASIA

BARWON HEADS Australia AP Scotland"s David Law overcame a threestroke deficit on the final three holes to win the ISPS Handa Vic Open for his first European Tour title.

Law birdied the par4 16th and made an 8foot eagle putt on the par5 18th for a 6under 66 and a onestroke victory over Australians Wade Ormsby 70 and Brad Kennedy 67. Ormsby had a double bogey on the par3 17th.

WEB.COM TOUR

PANAMA CITY AP Michael Gligic of Canada closed with a 5under 65 for a oneshot victory in the Panama Championship his first victory in nearly seven years.

Gligic was one shot behind when he opened the back nine and then took the lead for good over Zhang Xinjun with a birdie on the par4 14th hole. Both made bogey on the 15th and Gligic extended his lead with another birdie on the 16th.

Zhang birdied the last hole for a 66 to finish one shot behind.

Ben Taylor who had a oneshot lead going into the final round didn"t make a birdie until the 16th hole and closed with a 71.

Gligic finished at 8under 272. His only other victory as a pro was on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada in 2012.

SUNSHINE TOUR

CAPE TOWN South Africa AP Zimbabwe"s Benjamin FollettSmith won the Cape Town Open by two strokes for his first Sunshine Tour title.

FollettSmith closed with a 6under 66 in windy conditions for a twoshot victory over South Africans Zander Lombard 73 and JeanPaul Strydom 74. FollettSmith finished at 13under 275 at Royal Cape Golf Club.