Ted Potter Jr. didn’t back down despite heading into Sunday tied for the lead with the world’s No. 1 player Dustin Johnson.
He bogeyed the first hole on Sunday which looked to be his downfall but the birdied four of the next six holes on his way to a three-shot victory at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“I’m so happy right now to get it done today, especially against the world No. 1, playing with him today,” Potter said. “The win here at Pebble is just unbelievable.”
The win is Potter Jr.’s second on the PGA Tour and his first win hadn’t come since 2012. Potter had missed the cut in his last two events and nobody expected someone like him to come out victorious in the field full of major champions like Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson among others.
Potter Jr. almost lost his Tour card a few years ago after becoming a rather pitiful golfer and suffered an ankle injury that eventually led to the loss of his Tour card. He was able to recuperate the card last year after a solid showing on the Web.com Tour last season and here he is cashing in early in 2018 for a victory.
“It was a struggle there,” Potter Jr. said. “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.”
Johnson tied Chez Reavie for second place at 14-under. Reavie was the runner-up losing in a playoff the previous weekend.
Kevin Streelman finished sixth at 13-under but won the Pro-Am portion of the event with partner Larry Fitzgerald, the former Pitt Panthers wide receiver and current Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, who was very excited following the win.
“Just being completely out of my comfort zone, not being a professional, just kind of dealing with what comes,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s what I think made it special for me, is that this game is so difficult. I just think you even have more respect for the guys who win and play consistently at a high level because it’s the hardest game out there.”
This weekend is the Genesis Open as Tiger Woods plays in his second tournament of the season. That preview will come Thursday morning.