Daniel Berger drains lengthy eagle on 18 to win Pebble Beach Pro-Am
It was the second-straight Sunday in which Jordan Spieth began his day with the lead, and the second straight Sunday in which a Florida State Seminole came back to take it from him.
Daniel Berger was the culprit this week, draining an eagle putt on the 18th hole to win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am by two. “That was the best putt I’ve hit in my life,” Berger told CBS afterward.
It was his second eagle of the day — he also made a 3 at the par-5 6th — and it earned him his fourth career victory on Tour and first since last summer, when he won at Colonial. Berger spent much of 2020 asserting himself as one of the best players since the pandemic shut down Tour operations. But as he told GOLF.com in September, he stayed sharp as ever during quarantine, aggregating a total of 30- or 40-under par during a six-round stretch before the Tour restarted.
Berger missed just one cut since the restart in 2020, and oddly enough missed the cut last week in Phoenix before starting this week on a tear. He shot five under during his opening round at Spyglass Hill, the tougher of the two courses this week, and followed it up with rounds of 66 and 72 at Pebble before a finishing 65 (and a quiet one at that) Sunday afternoon.
“I’ve worked so hard in the last six to seven months to get to where I’m at,” Berger said. “It’s just nice to see the results come.”
Beyond Berger’s exciting finish, the entire back nine at Pebble Beach played out with the tournament largely up for grabs. Nate Lashley held a share of the lead from the 9th hole onward until a shocking four-putt from 13 feet on the 16th booted him from contention.
Jordan Spieth’s hopes to contend came crashing down on the par-5 14th when he made a disappointing bogey. (He would respond by birdieing 17 and 18 for a second-straight top 5 finish.)
Even Maverick McNealy entered the fray from a couple groups ahead of Berger. He two-putted for birdie on 18 to join Berger at 16 under, but was left to watch it play out from there.
For McNealy, while coming up short may sting a bit, it was his best finish on the PGA Tour in his young career, and it came at a course he grew up living on. His two best career finishes on Tour have now both come at the AT&T Pebble Beach event. This solo 2nd place finish will move him up more than 60 spots to 126th in the world. With the win, Berger will jump up to No. 13 in the ranking.