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By : BGA Proshop
In golf they say you need a bit of luck and Daniel Berger the winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge and the first PGA Tournament since March 2020, certainly got that today from the chasing pack.
First it was Xander Schauffele the overnight leader who gifted Berger the first break by a 360 degree lip out for par on his 17th hole dropping him back one from the lead. The second came from Collin Morikawa who was tied with Berger at 15 under after 72 holes. On the first play off hole, Morikawa found trouble off the tee and wasn’t able to hit the green in regulation. After chipping it to 3 foot and Berger already in for par a second play off hole looked on the cards but Morikawa par putt hit the right cup hard and lipped out, gifting the victory to Berger.
Of course luck played its part but Berger certainly earned the victory. Starting 2 shots back from the lead on Sunday Berger birdied 3 of the first 8 holes before dropping on back on the 9th hole. He was out in 33 and sitting at 14 under. On the back nine the stars started to join the leaders. Bryson DeChambeau took the lead on his 15th hole after holing a putt from the back of the green to take the solo lead at 15 under but unfortuately a flyer on his second shot at the 17th cost him a bogey dropping him back to 14 under. Berger got to 14 under with a birdie on the 14th and had to birdie the 18th to tie Morikawa at 15 under which he did.
It was an unusal week as golf returned to the PGA Tour. There were no crowds following the player and some players were invited to mic up for the tournament. After the round Berger was asked to reflect back on his win and he said “A little different for sure, but in the end, I was holding the trophy – and that’s all that matters to me.”
“I thought about the virus very few times this week,” he said. “You know, it's been such a big part of our lives for the last two months, and I feel like I just tried to do everything I can to be safe, and that's all you really can do. You wash your hands, you don't touch your face, you wear a mask when you can, you social distance, and obviously we got tested early in the week, so I knew I was healthy before I got here.
“We had the temperature readings before we got on-site every single day. I knew that all of the employees and staff that were here were doing the same thing. I felt completely safe.”
“There was so many times today where I could have given it up or let the pressure get to me,” Berger said, “but I hung in there and I played practically some of the best golf I've played the last six years the last five holes today.”
“I was just curious whether could I finish out or did I have to wait for Collin to go ahead because I wanted to knock that one in before Collin had that 3-footer coming up,” Berger said. “I just wanted to clarify before I did do that, and Mark said it was OK, so I went ahead and did that.”
“The atmosphere in my opinion was fantastic, even though there weren't any fans out there,” Berger said. “You knew that millions of people were watching at home, and that was just enough for me.”