Fairways And Roughs Title

Ted Potter Jr Takes Down Big Names

By PGA Tour News
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Ted Potter Jr. held off the current world No. 1, a former world No. 1, a guy in hot form and a Hall of Famer on Sunday to claim his second PGA TOUR win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Welcome to the Monday Finish where a journeyman proved he has what it takes to beat the best, barely flinching in one of the sport's most iconic regions. FIVE OBSERVATIONS 1. You have to give massive credit where credit is due. With Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day amongst those around the top of the leaderboard on Sunday it was hard to find someone outside of Ted Potter Jr.'s family who thought he would be victorious at Pebble Beach. Yes, he was the co-leader after 54 holes and yes, he had a TOUR win under his belt from the 2012 Greenbrier Classic but the Floridian was still amongst exalted company. Mickelson and Johnson had tamed the iconic coastal course multiple times before. Day was coming off a win at his last start and is a perennial contender at Pebble. Between that three alone there are 70 PGA TOUR wins, six in this event. Yet it was Potter Jr. who looked every bit the champion. When he bogeyed the opening hole Sunday you could sense the experts nodding to themselves… there he goes out of the mix. Yet he responded with four birdies in his next six holes to take a firm grip of the tournament. The final birdie - a chip in on the beautiful short par-3 7th - came right after watching Johnson run the ball past the hole from a similar spot. From there he leant on his plethora of experience winning at all levels of the game - juniors, high school, mini tours, the Web.com Tour and the PGA TOUR - to play smart golf. Catch me if you can he said… and they couldn't. He made par on the final 11 holes and won by three. What an effort - especially as it came a day after he sat on 59 watch with his 62 at Monterey Peninsula. It is always tough to back up a low round. Read more about Potter Jr. - and what he had to overcome between victories - here. 2. Dustin Johnson is human. But barely. By his own admission he "just didn't have it" on Sunday but yet, without his best stuff, he finished T2. Johnson seems to now effortlessly be in the mix just about every time he plays. This PGA TOUR season for Johnson reads 2-1-2 with a top-10 result on the European Tour to go with it. While plenty of guys are hoping to come after Johnson's spot as world's best it appears it will take plenty to knock him off top spot. Next up is his title defense at the Genesis Open where from 2009 his results at Riviera read this way. 10-3-CUT-4-CUT-2-2-4-1. It is now at the point that if he's not a contender on Sunday shock will be the main response. 3. It is a new Jason Day this season. After his winless 2016-17 season the former world No. 1 is back with a vengeance. He backed up his win at the Farmers Insurance Open with a T2 result this week - rocketing up to fourth in the FedExCup. His wild par on the last at Pebble included an attempt at driver off the deck and a wedge shot from down on the actual pebbles that give the beach its name. The significant thing about it was he was clearly playing to make eagle and put some heat on Potter Jr. despite the risk of dropping out of second place had he failed to make par. It is the winning mentality and killer instinct that went on hiatus for a while but is clearly back. Despite the incredible form of late, Day revealed he won't play heavily over the next few months leading up to the Masters. He is slated to play just the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the World Golf Championships - Dell Match Play before Augusta meaning just four starts in 2018 leading into the first major. 4. Phil. Phil. Phil. Why must you tease us so? Mickelson went close to snapping his now near five-year victory drought at one of his happy hunting grounds - renewing the hope he can find win no. 43 at some point. His T2 finish now means he has four wins, two seconds, two thirds and two other top-10 efforts in the event. In 22 starts Mickelson has pulled in just under $6 million in prize money. Perhaps the most impressive part of his week was his Round 1 fightback at Spyglass Hill where he sat 2 over through 10 holes before five birdies turned his day, and week, around. Ultimately his effort in Round 3 at Pebble Beach, an even-par 72, was not enough to give him a serious shot at the title. But as always, he entertained us. Can he continue the magic this week at Riviera where he has two wins and two runner ups? Let's hope so. 5. A couple of other key takeaways from the week included Chez Reavie finishing runner up for the second week in a row; Jordan Spieth finished T20 in his title defense (finding a little bit of putting form in the process but also having work to do); Rory McIlroy missed the cut in a surprise given his form in the Middle East; and Jimmy Walker (T8) had his first top-10 result since January 2017 - hopefully signaling a return from his Lyme Disease issues. FIVE INSIGHTS 1. Ted Potter Jr.’s 62 at Monterey Peninsula was his career low mark as he surged towards a second PGA TOUR win in 84 starts. The win lifted him to 15th in the FedExCup – also a career high. Potter made the FedExCup Playoffs in 2012 and 2013 but has never gone further than the second week. Potter made 24 birdies on the week, setting a personal best and also leading the field. 2. Potter Jr. had his approach game humming at Pebble Beach with his average proximity to the hole over two rounds at 26 feet, nine inches. It ranked him third in the field. 3. With the runner-up finish and a T5 at last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, Phil Mickelson recorded consecutive top-five finishes for the first time since 2013 (T2/FedEx St. Jude Classic, T2/U.S. Open). 4. For the week, Chez Reavie’s par-4 scoring average was 3.77, which was the best in the field. 
Reavie has now finished in the top 25 eight times in nine starts during the 2017-18 PGA TOUR season. 5. Jason Day is 24 under in his last seven rounds on TOUR. Not bad as his first nine rounds this season combined to just 8 under. Day significantly led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting with a +3.616 average per round over the rest. He gained more than a stroke a round on the greens on the next best player with Rob Oppenheim at +2.508. TOP VIDEOS


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