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Daniel Berger eagles the last hole to seal two-shot victory at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am


After finishing his third round with a double-bogey seven, Daniel Berger eagles the 18th at Pebble Beach with a 30-foot putt securing a two-shot victory over Maverick McNealy, with Jordan Spieth unable to hang onto his overnight lead

Last Updated: 15/02/21 12:07am

Daniel Berger with the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am trophy

Daniel Berger holed a big eagle putt on the 72nd green to land the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am title as Jordan Spieth’s bid for a first win since 2017 came up short once again.

Having closed out his third round 24 hours earlier with a double-bogey seven after blocking his drive out of bounds, Berger arrived on the 18th tee tied for the lead with Maverick McNealy, the leader in the clubhouse at 16 under par.

But Berger took full advantage of the tees being moved up for the final round as he followed a perfect drive with a 250-yard second to 30 feet, and the putt had just enough pace to reach its destination as he provided a grandstand finish to a seven-under 65.

McNealy had to settle for second place, his first top-10 since August, with Spieth finishing tied for third having taken a two-shot lead into the final round, while Nate Lashley was left to count the cost of a four-putt from four feet on the 16th green when he was tied for the lead on the tee.

Jordan Spieth could not hang onto his overnight lead

Jordan Spieth could not hang onto his overnight lead

The early signs were good for Spieth in his quest for a first piece of silverware in three-and-a-half years, but a birdie at the second proved a false dawn as he struggled to find short grass from the tee, although he did well to grind it out and keep himself in contention.

With Spieth playing catch-up by the turn, Berger hit the front early as he staged the ideal response to his scrappy finish on Saturday evening, holing from outside 20 feet for eagle at the second and also making birdie at the third.

But as the final group approached the turn, it was Lashley who was playing the most consistent golf, and he emerged as a contender with three birdies in four holes from the sixth before he picked up another at the 11th to get to 16 under.

Berger eagled the last for a 65 and a two-shot win

Berger eagled the last for a 65 and a two-shot win

However, McNealy suddenly began to power his way up the leaderboard with a barrage of birdies on the back nine, carding four in five holes from the 11th before finding the heart of the 18th green with two lusty blows, safely two-putting for birdie and a 66 which he may have thought would have been good enough for a playoff at the time.

Spieth’s bogey at the long 14th effectively ended his challenge, while Patrick Cantlay missed a series of makeable chances down the stretch and left himself too much ground to make up over the closing holes, a birdie at the last capping a solid 68 and another podium finish.

Lashley, who missed the fairway only twice over the weekend, was well-placed to jump into the outright lead when a perfect tee shot found position A at the 16th, but his adrenaline-fuelled eight-iron approach flew the green although he did well to get his awkward pitch to 12 feet.

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However, Lashley’s composure then deserted him when he needed it most and, after racing his aggressive par putt four feet past the hole, he needed three more jabs to get down before he unwisely attacked the green with his putter as he marched disconsolately to the 17th tee with a triple-bogey seven on his card.

Berger, meanwhile, birdied 14 and would have been aware of the Lashley situation by the time he arrived on the final tee, knowing that a four at golf’s most photographed closing hole would be enough to pip McNealy to the title.

And after another drilled, low-trajectory drive left him 250 yards to the pin, the unflappable Berger hammered a bold three-wood he later described as “one of the best of my career”, and the subsequent eagle putt dropped to leave him celebrating his fourth PGA Tour title.

1:57
Russell Knox was cleared of any wrongdoing after his ball moved before he hit his second shot to the first at Pebble Beach, but he was informed on the fifth tee that he would incur a one-shot penalty

Russell Knox was cleared of any wrongdoing after his ball moved before he hit his second shot to the first at Pebble Beach, but he was informed on the fifth tee that he would incur a one-shot penalty

McNealy had done enough to clinch outright second ahead of Cantlay and Spieth, who birdied 17 and 18 to ensure finishing one place better than at last week’s Phoenix Open, where he was tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele after 54 holes only to stumble to a closing 72 and get outplayed by Brooks Koepka.

Saudi International champion Paul Casey continued to show no signs of jet lag as he closed with a five-birdie 68 to finish tied for fourth on 14 under with a deflated Lashley, with Russell Knox a shot further back following a controversial rules incident on the first hole.

Knox was settling over his eight-iron approach to the first green when he noticed his ball move, and despite a rules official clearing him of any wrongdoing a the time, a further investigation resulted in Knox being handed a one-shot penalty which he was informed of as he left the fifth tee.

PGA Tour Golf

February 15, 2021, 7:00pm

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