Feb. 10--PEBBLE BEACH -- Phil Mickelson is all but washed up for this AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, both literally and figuratively.
Mickelson, the defending champion and four-time winner looking to equal Mark O'Meara's record of five titles, was barely clinging to any hope of getting back into contention Saturday when he took a triple bogey on the par-5 18th at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Mickelson hit two balls into Carmel Bay and also took a nasty fall while walking down a steep rock on the beach trying to look for his ball after his errant tee shot. Fortunately, he landed on his posterior, and the only thing he injured was his pride.
"I got lucky," he said. "I didn't get hurt."
Mickelson drove his tee shot left off the 18th tee along the rocks, and it trickled into the surf. He found his ball, but it was unplayable. Hitting his third shot outside the hazard, he tried to cut the gentle dogleg left over the water but again pushed it left and this time sailed it deep into the drink. He took a drop, chipped up and two-putted for an 8.
Mickelson was hoping to pull himself into contention Saturday and felt he still had a chance heading to the 18th tee.
"That triple takes a lot of the wind out, because I could have made a birdie on the last hole, been within 5-6-7 shots of the lead, you never know," he said. "But now that put me a bit too far back."
Mickelson's 1-over 73 left him at 1 under for the tournament. He made the
cut but was clearly disappointed that he couldn't follow up last week's dominant win at the Phoenix Open on a course where he has had so much success.
"I was just a little bit off on the greens, just a little bit off on the driving, just a little bit off on the irons," he said. "I just couldn't get going, and then to finish with a triple, it doesn't feel great. I just wish I had played a lot better."
It wasn't a good day for ex-AT&T champs in general. Dustin Johnson, the 2009 and 2010 winner, as well as 2011 champion D.A. Points, missed the cut.
--Former Cal standout James Hahn might be co-leading the tournament, but the most popular former Golden Bear during the first three days has been Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who missed the pro-am cut but had a blast.
"There were a lot of Cal fans and alumni out here, it was fun to see those people and hear 'Go Bears,' again," Rodgers said. "When you hear 'Go Bears' around Packers territory, it has a whole different meaning. You have to remind people it's a Cal thing."
--49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who was leading the pro-am after two rounds, had his worst day of the tournament, even though pro partner Jason Day shot a 2-under 70 at Pebble Beach and was tied for sixth, just four shots off the lead.
Day and Harbaugh posted a combined team score of 3-under 69, which dropped them into a tie for eighth but just four shots behind the leaders, pro Jordan Spieth and amateur partner Tony Romo, who are 25 under.
Harbaugh at least made the cut, which couldn't be said for Giants pitcher Matt Cain.
Also making the 25-team final-day cut were Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who, along with pro Robert Garrigus, was tied for 14th, and Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, also tied for 14th with pro James Driscoll. Longtime amateur entry Huey Lewis also made the cut and is tied for 10th with pro Brad Fritsch.
Other notable amateurs who won't be around for Sunday's final round include Bill Murray, who won the pro-am playing alongside Points in 2011, and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
--Patrick Reed, who is lurking in fourth place just two shots off the lead, will be quite a story if he can win the event. His caddie is wife Justine. Husband-wife teams are not so uncommon on satellite tours, but they're a real rarity on the PGA Tour circuit.
Justine Reed started toting her husband's bag even before they were married in December, the same month Reed earned his first fully exempt card for the tour with a strong Q-school finish.
"It's awesome," Reed said after a 3-under 67 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on Saturday. "I could spend every day around my wife. It's a lot of fun and a great experience."
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