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Casey surges into 3-shot lead at Pebble Beach

The Associated Press

Paul Casey follows his drive from the 18th tee of the Spyglass Hill Golf Course during third-round play at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Saturday.

The Associated PressPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bill Murray met a pair of baby kangaroos from the Monterey Zoo. Jerry Kelly tried to mimic the peculiar post-swing moves of Ho Sung Choi. Jordan Spieth sent players and fans along two fairways on a frantic search for his tee shot.

All that commotion on celebrity Saturday at Pebble Beach, and Paul Casey missed it all.

He was over at Spyglass Hill, putting together another solid round in the sunshine, rain, cold and wind. Casey had a 5-under 67 and quietly built a three-shot lead over Phil Mickelson going into the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Mickelson delivered plenty of entertainment at Pebble Beach, particularly a wedge to 3 feet on the 13th for birdie and a 4-iron he hit with the wind at his back to 4 feet for an eagle that turned his fortunes and led to a 2-under 70, putting him in good shape for a shot to match Mark O’Meara’s record of five titles at the AT&T Pebble Beach.

“I thought anything in the 60s was going to be a heck of a round, and I was one shy,” Mickelson said. “But I’ve got a good chance going into tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.”

History might be on Lefty’s side.

Casey, who was at 15-under 200, has never won in his three previous times with a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour. Those all occurred in the last three years, and while he was beaten by great closing rounds of great players, Casey shot 2-over par or worse.

But that was the least of his concerns.

“I am having a blast,” said Casey, who last year rallied to win the Valspar Championship during the Florida swing.

He made his PGA Tour debut 18 years ago at Pebble Beach, missing the cut with Seth Waugh, now the chief executive of the PGA of America. He played again, and then he didn’t return for 16 years. Part of that was his European Tour membership, with events in the Middle East. Some of it was injury. Some of it was weather.

“There are two factors,” he said. “One is the weather. If you have great weather, this is one of the best places on the planet. And two, if you have the right partner, it can be wonderful. I can at least guarantee one of those elements.”

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