Don’t look now but one member of the vaunted Class of 2011 is on the rebound.
No, not Jordan Spieth, but rather Daniel Berger.
The 26-year-old former Florida State Seminole is healthy again after missing time with an injured right hand. The Forecaddie knows his pedestrian T-23 finish at the Safeway Open may not make many headlines, but for Berger it may have been a gamechanger.
He finished No. 131 in the 2018-19 FedEx Cup standings and had five starts to earn 15 FedEx Cup points to satisfy his minor medical exemption. He didn’t waste any time, taking care of business in his first start of the season.
“I was stressing harder than I ever had in my entire life over it,” Berger said. “It’s an uncomfortable position to be in.”
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The Man Out Front remembers Berger’s most recent Tour victory at the 2017 FedEx St. Jude Invitational. He had won in each of his first two years on the PGA Tour before his injury. Berger has set his sights on making the U.S. team for the Presidents Cup as a captain’s pick. He played on the victorious 2017 U.S. squad and is convinced (as is TMOF) he can still make a good impression with captain Tiger Woods.
“I’m going to do everything I can,” he said. “I’m playing well. It’s hard to perform when you’re thinking about trying to retain your status. My first few years out here I just didn’t care. I just went and played. Next thing you know, shoot 12 under and you have a chance to win.”
“But every week for the last eight months I was going into it thinking, ‘Oh man, if I don’t play well I’m not going to keep my card.’” added Berger. “It’s a terrible place to be in. I feel like a million-pound weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”
Woods has four captain’s picks to announce Nov. 4. The Presidents Cup is Dec. 12-15 in Melbourne, Australia. Gwk