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Mickelson Wins At Pebble Beach

It took Phil Mickelson just two days to rebound from a major disappointment and win a tournament that took six months to complete.

RealAudio Q&A with
Tom Spencer
Courtesy of KNBR radio

 Mickelson following his win

Mark Soltau
Return to Pebble
RealAudio:
making the announcement
more details on the new date

Doug Saunders
Waves crash Pebble's plans
Stu Schneider:
It's just a mess
Mickelson, forgetting a lost weekend at the PGA Championship, had six birdies in the final round Monday for a one-shot victory over Tom Pernice Jr. in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a tournament that began in January.

Mickelson was just four strokes back heading into the third round of the PGA Championship, but posted a 9-over 79 on Saturday to fall out of the title chase.

He came back with a 67 on Sunday at Sahalee Country Club and continued that strong play with a 5-under 67 on Monday at Pebble Beach -- including a birdie on the final hole.

"I had to start seeing better shots, and I did that on Sunday," said Mickelson, who celebrated by hugging his grandmother -- who walked all 18 holes with him Monday. "I carried that with me today."

The AT&T victory, his first since January, earned Mickelson $450,000 as well as a $100,000 bonus for having the highest overall earnings in eight West Coast events this year. He also won the Mercedes Championship in Carlsbad, Calif., that began the season.

Mickelson's three-round total of 14-under 202 tied for the lowest 54-hole score in AT&T tournament history. This was the 14th time the tournament had been shortened to 54 holes.

Pernice, playing the Poppy Hills course, was 13 under until he three-putted No. 17 for a bogey. Still, he had a 15-foot eagle putt on the final hole with a chance to catch Mickelson, and missed it.

Jim Furyk shot a 68 on Pebble Beach to finish two shots behid Mickelson. J.P. Hayes also finished at 12-under on Poppy Hills.

Pernice said finishing the tournament six months after it began was the only fair thing to do. Two years ago, the entire tournament had to be canceled because of lousy weather.

"I think the tour did the right thing," he said. "They tried to do whatever they could to satisfy the people of Pebble Beach. This is one of our special events."

Pebble Beach course flyovers
Supplied by CBS Sports

Hole 10: (ISDN) (28.8)
Hole 12: (ISDN) (28.8)
Hole 13: (ISDN) (28.8)
Hole 14: (ISDN) (28.8)
Hole 15: (ISDN) (28.8)
Hole 16: (ISDN) (28.8)
Hole 17: (ISDN) (28.8)
Hole 18: (ISDN) (28.8)
When the AT&T tournament began in late January, waves from the Pacific Ocean were crashing onto the 18th fairway. Sheet-like rain turned sandtraps into water hazards and gusty winds snapped treetops.

On Monday, months after the demise of El Niño, the tourney resumed on an overcast, dry morning. The ocean was placid and there was a cool breeze.

Of the 168 pros who started the tournament, 133 returned for the final round. Among those not returning were Tiger Woods , who finished the second round 14 strokes off the lead, and Jack Nicklaus . Also dropping out was Vijay Singh, who won the PGA Championship on Sunday.

The AT&T tournament chartered a plane to take players from Seattle to Monterey on Sunday night. Those continuing to the next tour stop, the International near Denver, got another chartered flight Monday night.

PGA Tour officialsaid it was the first time a portion of a tournament has been played, then completed months later.

The long interruption forced Pebble Beach officials, not used to hosting a major tournament during the summer, to make some last-minute maneuvers on the course that played host to a vintage car display on Sunday.

Crowds were thin and there were few scoreboards along the course, leaving Mickelson and his peers confused about the leaders.

As he began the 18th hole, Mickelson thought he needed a birdie or an eagle just to tie Pernice. As it turned out, they each had birdies and Mickelson won by a stroke.

"I wanted to know where I stood," Mickelson said, "and it was frustrating not knowing."