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Rain, hail delays final round at Pebble Beach


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was delayed Sunday by the kind of weather that once gave this event its reputation, including a hail storm that covered the greens in white.

Paul Casey had a three-shot lead over Phil Mickelson. They were waiting to tee off when sunshine gave way to a hail storm that pounded the golf course as players ducked under umbrellas. Before long, the greens were filled with tiny pellets, and workers went from using squeegees for excess water to power blowers to remove the hail.

The final round earlier was delayed for one hour because of rain. Pebble had a little of everything Sunday.

And if the rain and hail weren’t enough, the wind chill dipped into the upper 30s.

Sam Saunders, whose grandfather Arnold Palmer was among the Pebble Beach owners, scooped up hail and tossed it like a snowball. Patrick Reed’s brother laid on his back and tried to make a snow angel.

With two delays approaching three hours, it appeared certain the final round would not be completed Sunday. Casey and Mickelson finally teed off at 1:10 p.m., leaving at most 4 1/2 hours of light. Most of the tee times were in groups of four players because of the pro-am.

Such days were known as “Crosby weather” when Bing Crosby was the tournament host for the better part of a half-century. Pebble had one round in 1962 postponed because of snow. Jimmy Demaret rolled out of his bed at the Lodge, looked at the 18th green and said, “I know I had a lot to drink last night … but how did I end up in Squaw Valley?”

The tournament has been on a great run for the last two decades, with a few exceptions. Dustin Johnson won the first of his two titles in 2009 when the final round was delayed until Monday because of rain, and then canceled because the storm system wouldn’t leave.

The last time the final round was played on Monday was in 2000, when Tiger Woods rallied from a five-shot deficit to win his sixth consecutive PGA Tour start.

Mickelson also won on a Monday — in August. That was in 1998, when rain soaked the Monterey Peninsula in February, and the PGA Tour decided to play the third round the day after the PGA Championship ended up the Pacific coast at Sahalee.