Wild finish for Mickelson, Spieth at Pebble Beach
Phil Mickelson survived a wild finish without having to deal with the rain. Jordan Spieth endured a wet finish to his day with three tough pars, followed by some unwitting help by a spooked fan.
Both were atop the leaderboard Friday in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, joined by Lucas Glover, Paul Casey and Scott Langley, when the second round was suspended because the rain had formed large puddles on the greens.
They played more golf than expected by moving up the start by an hour, and it was entertaining as ever.
One day after Mickelson didn’t miss a single fairway for the first time in 1,664 rounds on the PGA Tour, he couldn’t seem to find one at Spyglass Hill. He still managed to surge into the lead, including one 3-wood from 256 yards out of the trees on the par-5 14th to 6 feet.
It caught up with him at the end. After banging in a birdie on the par-3 fifth, Mickelson missed three straight fairways that led to three straight bogeys until he closed with a 4-iron to 18 feet for birdie and a 4-under 68.
“I hate not finishing the round off, making three bogeys after having a pretty good round going in,” Mickelson said. “I’m also lucky to get done now and get the round over with and have . . . guys unfortunately are still out there playing in some tough stuff.”
Mickelson was the first to finish at 10-under 133. Glover started strong in tame weather at Pebble Beach and shot a 6-under 66 to get to 10-under 134, while Langley (69 at Spyglass Hill) and Casey (7-under 64 at Monterey Peninsula) narrowly finished at 10-under 133 ahead of the horn that ultimately stopped play for the rest of the day.
Three short blasts signaled the stoppage, but because it wasn’t a dangerous situation, such as lightning, players could complete the hole. Casey was on his final hole at Monterey when he heard the horn, followed by two more.
“I went from upset to happy in an instant,” he said.
Spieth was among 44 players who had to return Saturday morning — weather permitting — to finish the last two holes of his round. Part of him was happy to be off the course considering the fight he had on his hand in cold, raw rain with increasing wind.
Spieth shot 31 on the back nine at Spyglass Hill to get in the mix, and missed two good birdie chances to start the front nine.
Holdener wins Alpine combined
Everything fell into place for Wendy Holdener.
Her two biggest challengers — Mikaela Shiffrin and Michelle Gisin — weren’t competing in the Alpine combined at the skiing world championships in Are, Sweden. Then the downhill portion of the event was shortened because of poor visibility, giving slalom specialists like Holdener a crucial advantage.
The Swiss racer just needed to nail her two runs to successfully defend the world title she won in St. Moritz in 2017.
She did exactly that, but only just.
Fifth after the downhill portion, Holdener was tied with Petra Vlhova under the floodlights after the third checkpoint in the slalom leg. Holdener then made up ground in the final stretch to edge Vlhova by 0.03 seconds and retain what may prove to be the last-ever combined title.
For the 25-year-old Holdener, the win was especially satisfying after achieving 20 podiums in World Cup slalom races without getting a victory.
“Finally I could put two good runs together and bring home the victory,” she said. “It’s the right time.”
Kim wins another title
That already sizable gap between Chloe Kim and the rest of the world is growing even bigger.
The 18-year-old Kim added a world championship to her overflowing collection of halfpipe titles, outdistancing second-place finisher Xuetong Cam of China by 9.5 points on a frigid afternoon in Park City, Utah.
With Friday’s win, Kim is now the reigning Olympic , X Games, U.S. Open and world champion.
Just as daunting to the other nine riders — and dozens of more looking on from elsewhere — was the trick Kim tried but didn’t land after her victory was already wrapped up.
It was a frontside, double-cork 1080. Four months ago in a training session in Switzerland, Kim became one of the rare women to land a double-flipping jump, and the first to land it with a frontside takeoff. She tried to bring it out for the world to see Friday, but couldn’t stay upright. A snowy week had limited her time in the halfpipe leading into the contest.
The Cleveland Indians may start the season without their best player.
All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor will miss spring training camp — and maybe the start of the season — with a strained right calf. It’s an injury that is concerning to the AL Central champions, who have had an interesting offseason.
One of baseball’s top all-around players, Lindor recently got hurt while working out in Orlando, Florida. He was checked Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic and team physician Mark Shickendantz confirmed a moderate sprain.
The Indians, who have overhauled their roster this winter, anticipate him missing up to nine weeks, which would place his return sometime in early April. Cleveland opens the regular season on March 28 in Minnesota.
A three-time All-Star, Lindor batted .277 last season with 38 homers, 92 RBIs and tied for the league lead with 129 runs.