Phil Mickelson continues to confound his critics. Derided for being out of shape or too aggressive, the 2006 Masters’ champion had a strong answer in capturing the 2007 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in record-setting fashion. The championship is the first for the San Diego native since last April.
Mickelson’s final-round 66 propelled him to a five-stroke win over another native Californian, Kevin Sutherland. The 66 led to a 268 total, which tied the tournament record of 20-under-par first set by Mark O’Meara in 1997. The champion now has 30 career victories (10 in California) which include three AT&T titles.
Opening the tournament on Poppy Hills’ 10th hole, Mickelson quickly set the pace with five birdies on his first eight holes. A closing eagle on the ninth hole led to a seven-under 65 and the tournament lead. “This is the best these greens have been in the last 15 years I’ve been coming here,” the champion said. Rounds of 67 at Pebble Beach (second round) and 70 at Spyglass followed.
Third-place finisher and Tour rookie John Mallinger briefly flirted with the lead, but faded to third, six strokes back. Mallinger and amateur partner Kerry Gordon (NCGA director) made the cut as a team and finished in a tie for sixth place, 11 strokes back of champions Mickelson and amateur partner Harry You. NCGA Vice President Mark House and pro partner Stan Utley also made the cut, finishing in 18th place.
View a photo gallery from Thursday and Friday’s action at Poppy Hills. View a photo gallery of NCGA President Dean Bartee, Vice-President Mark House, Immediate Past President Dick Skavdahl and Directors Kerry Gordon and Mike Hexner who competed in the tournament.