Ted Potter Jr. defeats strong field for 2nd PGA Tour win at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

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Ted Potter Jr. defeats strong field for 2nd PGA Tour win at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

PGA Tour

Ted Potter Jr. defeats strong field for 2nd PGA Tour win at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Here is a recap of the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, Calif.:

WINNER: Ted Potter Jr. proved Sunday he is not intimidated by anybody. Including the World No. 1.

Potter started the day tied for the lead with Dustin Johnson and immediately three-putted for bogey on the opening hole. Right when it appeared the inexperienced one-time PGA Tour winner would fade, though, he took charge.

Potter birdied Nos. 2, 4, 6 and 7 on his way to a 3-under 69, a 17-under total and a three-shot victory.

This win comes six years after Potter’s maiden Tour title at the 2012 Greenbrier Classic and certainly could not be predicted on recent form. Potter had gone T73-MC-MC in his last three starts and overall had missed five of his last seven cuts. But when you’re hot, take advantage.

Potter was potentially sweating this week’s 54-hole cut prior to Round 3, but that’s when he caught fire. Potter, starting at No. 10 at Monterey Peninsula CC, birdied his first four holes and added a birdie at No. 14 and an eagle at the 15th to start 7 under through seven. He went out in 7-under 30 and then birdied Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 6 to move to 11 under on the round and put himself on 59 Watch at the par 71.

Needing to play his final three holes in 1 under for a 59, Potter instead parred the seventh and closed bogey-bogey for a 9-under 62. While a disappointing conclusion, Potter posted his lowest PGA Tour round with that 62 and moved from seven back to a tie for the lead.

That put him in position for Sunday’s triumph, which he acquired thanks to that early birdie run that ended with a chip-in at Pebble’s iconic par-3 seventh.

Potter may not have Johnson’s resume, but he boasts a compelling backstory himself.

The 34-year-old is a mini-tour legend who missed all 24 cuts in his first year on the Web.com Tour (then the Nationwide Tour) in 2004. But yeah, he persevered.

After several mini-tour wins, Potter won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2011 to earn his PGA Tour card for the first time. In his rookie PGA Tour season, Potter proceeded to gain that initial victory at the Greenbrier.

But the tough times weren’t over. Potter was battling to retain his Tour card two years later when he fractured his right ankle in a freak accident. He would be out about 18 months and shortly lose his Tour card in his return.

Potter ultimately gained it back by finishing 14th on the Web.com Tour money list in 2017. The quick worker Potter is, he turned that into another PGA Tour victory.

So yeah, maybe he’s not your hyped young star. But Ted Potter Jr. showed Sunday what a wily veteran with plenty of game can do when the heat is on.

JUST MISSED: Johnson falls from the co-lead to a tie for second at 14 under after closing in 72. He had the solo lead by two after a par-birdie start, but he struggled as Potter put on an onslaught. His fall allowed Phil Mickelson to move into a tie for second at 14 under with a closing 67. Chez Reavie was Potter’s biggest challenger down the stretch, but a bogey at the par-5 14th ultimately sunk him. That moved him back to 14 under, where he would finish. Jason Day had a small shot late, but with a driver off the deck at the par-5 18th, he hooked it into rocks. He eventually made a terrific par to finish T-2 at 14 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: The chip-in that concluded Potter’s birdie run was emphatic. It moved him two ahead and seemed to decide who was going to have control on this Sunday.

QUOTABLE: “It was a struggle there. When you break your ankle and you don’t know what’s going to happen with your golf swing or career … to come back from that, I mean it’s just unbelievable right now.” – Ted Potter, after his win

SHORT SHOTS: Kevin Streelman, who won the pro-am portion with Larry Fitzgerald, finishes in solo sixth at 13 under. … Scott Stallings closes in 66 to jump 22 spots to solo seventh at 12 under. … Jordan Spieth, the defending champion, finishes in a tie for 20th at 8 under. … Jon Rahm struggles on Sunday, firing a 4-over 76 to fall 21 spots to a tie for 26th. … Beau Hossler, a 36-hole co-leader, closes 74-76 to drop to a tie for 43rd at 5 under.

UP NEXT: The Genesis Open is on tap. Yep, we’re heading to Riviera. This is Tiger Woods’ next start. We’ll have a Tiger Tracker going. Follow all the action on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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