At a historic venue with a below average field, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am still brought the fire. Jordan Spieth again found himself in the lead going into Sunday and again could not close the deal. Instead Daniel Berger would notch his fourth career victory on the PGA tour with a finishing round 65. This famously popular tournament lost a lot of its luster with no celebrities filling the amateur spots. To make matters worse two days before the tournament began, world number one Dustin Johnson withdrew from an already “weak” field. None of this mattered after the tournament got underway.
Pebble Beach remains one of the greatest golf courses ever. Even with a field struggling for star power, Pebble makes it must see TV. A cast of less known golfers gives you an opportunity to see some of these great young players thrive. As always you have some power names. Guys like Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day but the story lies more with names like Daniel Berger, Maverick McNealy, Patrick Cantlay and Max Homa. The top four finishers on Sunday were all under the age of 30.
Bergers Bomb Clinches it
Daniel Berger had to come from behind on Sunday after a rough finish on Saturday. He was two back going into the final round after a double bogey on 18 the previous day. Berger stayed the course and put up the best final round in the field (65) to take the win. This should be no surprise to anyone, Daniel Berger has shot par or better in his last twenty-six rounds of golf, the longest active streak on tour. Outside of missing the cut last week at the Waste Management Open, he has not finished higher then twenty-third in his last seven starts.
Berger shot 67 on Thursday and 66 on Friday (-11) to set himself up for a good run on the weekend. After stalling a bit on Saturday, offsetting a birdie and eagle with a bogey and a double on 18, to finish even and two back of the leader Jordan Spieth.
On Sunday Berger came out hot, with an eagle on the second, birdie on the third and birdie on the 6th. He would bogey the 8th and turn in a front nine 33 putting him one back going into the last nine. On the back things got interesting, Spieth faded again and Nate Lashley and Berger were neck and neck. Berger missed a couple of heart breaking birdie attempts on the back. Lipping out and skirting edges with chips and putts, he still managed to birdie 10 and 14. Going into the 18th, he was now tied with Maverick McNealy at -16. Berger reached the 18th green in two and sank a thirty footer for eagle just a day after double bogeying the same hole. The eagle moved him to -18 and in the sole lead.
The Final Group on Sunday
The lead group on Sunday was comprised of Jordan Spieth, Nate Lashley and Tom Hoge. For the second straight week Spieth would head up a final group and come up short. Nate Lashley looked primed to make a run until a catastrophic hole 16, leaving a lasting impression in the green. Hoge never really factored into the round shooting one under for the round. The real story is Jordan Spieth once again playing great for a couple days and then sputtering late in the weekend.
Spieth entered Sunday with a two stroke advantage on the rest of the field and couldn’t close. After shooting a 65 and a 67 on Thursday and Friday the weekend would be 71 and 70 to finish at -15. Driving the golfball continues to be his undoing, reaching the fairway just 42.86% of the time this week. As usual, Spieth would Houdini his way on in regulation but usually not in birdie range.
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Maverick McNealy played extremely well down the stretch to cap off his best finish on tour shooting -16 under for the tournament. Basically playing in his back yard he placed 5th here in 2020. He killed it coming down the stretch on Sunday, birdieing five of the final nine holes. Walking off 18 as leader in the club house.
Patrick Cantlay continues to play great golf. There isn’t a weak part of his game, he just casually keeps turning in top 10 performances. He has finished in the top 20 or better in six of his last eight pga tour events and in the top 5 in three of eight. This week he comes in tied for third with a -15.
The Genesis Invitational
This coming week brings a star studded field to Riviera Country Club. Eight of the top ten players in the world and thirty of the top fifty will be in attendance. With a packed field like this making picks becomes a little harder. Try sticking to top tens and top twenties over a bulk amount of winner picks. Take one or two sleepers to win at low investment and try to nail down a couple top tens for your big bet. Check out the Pull the Pin Podcast for all our picks