Notes: Berger and son; Bradley eyes Ryder
His father came along for the final 180 yards of the walk up 18, but there wouldn’t be any help needed to read his birdie putt, not with Daniel Berger having hit it within 5 feet.
“I wouldn’t want him reading my putts,” Berger said with a laugh. Though the truth is, having Jay Berger along for the walk up 18 was the highlight of Daniel’s first-ever U.S. Open.
PHOTOS: 2014 U.S. Open (Sunday)
Check out final round photos of the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.
“It was pretty cool, Father’s Day Sunday, dad being here. I just gave him a big hug. He’s done a lot for me,” said the 21-year-old from Plantation, Fla.
When Daniel Berger slipped home that short putt at 18, he tossed a blanket of surprise over the festivities. At 4-under 66, he had not only the low fourth round, but he had low round of the championship, Non-Kaymer Division. (The impressive German, of course, opened with a pair of 65s.)
The 66 afforded Berger a massive move upward. Having started the day tied for 57th, he wound up T-28, good for a $67,865 paycheck. Not bad when you consider that he’s earned $123,851 in 11 Web.com Tour starts this season.
Berger said the nod to his father – a former tennis pro who is head of men’s tennis for the U.S. Tennis Association – was the idea of his caddie, Sam Spector. “He doesn’t get to go to a lot of tournaments,” Daniel said of his father. “He travels a lot. So for my first U.S. Open it was a great experience.”
Having turned pro after two years at Florida State, Berger ranks 11th on the Web.com Tour money list. He's able to take serious aim at a PGA Tour card for 2014-15.
• • •
REASON TO SMILE: Driving the 314-yard, par-4 13th, making the eagle putt, and shooting a closing 67 had Keegan Bradley in good spirits. But what really had his spirits soaring was the T-4 finish that will reap many Ryder Cup points.
Bradley, who played on the 2012 Ryder Cup team, came into this week’s U.S. Open 21st in the standings and doesn’t deny that it weighed on his mind. “I’m so pumped. I was nervous coming down to the end, because there’s so many Ryder Cup points on the line here. I was thinking about it.”
He ran off five straight pars coming home to protect his round of 67, which did more than improve his Ryder Cup chances. It also gave Bradley his best U.S. Open finish, after finishing T-68 in 2012 and missing the cut a year ago.