Mo Yoshimoto

The Takeaway

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Berger doubles up in Memphis

Monday, June 12, 2017

FedEx St. Jude Classic

Memphis, TN


Beginning the final round three shots back, defending champ and World No. 43 Daniel Berger smoothed a bogey-free 4-under-par 33-33=66 to reach 10-under 270, winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic by one stroke over Charl Schwartzel and Whee Kim.


The Florida State product, a pre-tourney 28/1 outright, claims a second PGA TOUR title in 74 career events, joining his breakthrough three-shot win here last year as a 22/1 outright.


Last year’s triumph (24 starts ago), came as the 36- and 54-hole leader and in his tourney debut.


This was the 31st event of 2016-17 and Berger is just the third player to successfully defend their title, joining Hideki Matsuyama (Waste Management Phoenix Open) and Justin Thomas (CIMB Classic).


He matches Thomas by winning the same event for their first two TOUR victories in back-to-back seasons. Additionally, both of them are perfect in their respective events; two appearances, two wins. Nice!


The 24-year-old posts his sixth top 25 of the season in 16 starts and fourth top 10, eclipsing a previous-best T2 at the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October.


He checked in off a T36 at the Wells Fargo Championship (71-72-72-72) and T65 at THE PLAYERS four weeks ago (69-72-77-78).


Berger is the sixth straight winner on TOUR to win after posting a T56 or worse in their previous start.


He’s the 17th winner this season to have at least one week off prior to their respective wins.


After opening in 70-68-66, Berger began T9 on 6-under, chasing a trio of overnight leaders.


Playing out of the fifth-to-last twosome, he conjured six (of 14) fairways and hit 12 greens in regulation (GIR), posting 3.745 SG: Tee-to-Green of 4.676 SG: Total.


The Floridian kicked off with a pitch-in 4 at the par-4 first (from 25’10” away) and circled Nos. 3 and 7, both from inside of seven feet to turn 2-under.


He saved par from 5’10” at the 10th and parred 11 and 12. At that point, Berger had climbed to T3.





T1- Charl Schwartzel -9 (thru 16 holes)

T1- Stewart Cink -9 (thru 9)

T3- Billy Horschel -8 (in with 64)

T3- Braden Thornberry -8 (in with 65)

T3- Whee Kim -8 (thru 13)

T3- Daniel Berger -8 (thru 12)



Berger circled the par-4 13th (from 16 inches) after stiffing his approach from 150 yards away, and added a 17-footer for birdie-3 at 15 to reach 10-under.


He missed two scoring tries at 17 and 18, both from inside of 12 feet, but moved the clubhouse target to -10, eclipsing Schwartzel (66), and Kim (67), who had posted 9-under out of the 11th-to-last and sixth-to-last twosomes, respectively.


Now, with four twosomes still to come in, none were able to match Berger’s number; in fact, six of the final eight players posted over-par rounds, with only Kevin Chappell and Chez Reavie, in the third- and fourth-to-last twosomes, respectively, able to post a red number with 69s, each finishing T4 and two shy.


Prior to the final tally, Berger had not led or co-led after ANY round this season.



Final Leaderboard:


1st- Daniel Berger: 70-68-66-66 (-10)

T2- Charl Schwartzel: 65-66-74-66 (-9)

T2- Whee Kim: 69-66-69-67 (-9)

T4- Billy Horschel: 72-66-70-64 (-8)

T4- Braden Thornberry (a): 71-69-67-65 (-8)

T4- Chez Reavie: 66-65-72-69 (-8)

T4- Kevin Chappell: 68-67-68-69 (-8)

T4- Rafa Cabrera Bello: 70-66-65-71 (-8)



Schwartzel’s T2 is just his second runner-up finish in 154 career TOUR starts, joining solo 2nd at the 2010 WGC-CA Championship (Doral). It’s his fourth top 25 of the season in 11 starts and third top 10, supplanting a previous-best 3rd at the Masters.


Kim’s T2 is career best and first runner-up in 69 career TOUR starts. It’s his fifth top 25 of the season in 19 starts and second top 10 (T5, Puerto Rico Open). The 25-year-old catapults 118 spots to a career-high 172nd in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).



Berger's Position by Round:


R1: T48

R2: T34

R3: T9



Berger earns a 2-year TOUR exemption thru the 2018-19 season. He had previously qualified for this year’s U.S. Open and Open Championship, but earns invites to the 2017 PGA Championship and 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, as well as the 2018 Masters and the 2018 SBS Tournament of Champions.


With a Strength of Field rating of 203, Berger banks 38.00 world-ranking points and jumps 19 places to a career-high 24th in the OWGR.


He earns 500 FedExCup (FEC) points for the victory and vaults 26 spots to 10th in the FEC standings. His career high is 6th after the 2017 WGC-HSBC.



Field Scoring Average:


This was the 60th playing of the St. Jude and 29th at TPC Southwind.   


7,244 yards; par 70 (35-35)


R1: 71.237

R2: 69.961

R3: 70.686

R4: 70.676


Total: 70.630


Berger posted 12.560 SG: Total



Berger’s Key Stats:


1st in SG: Tee-to-Green; second straight year

T1 no double bogeys or worse

2nd in SG: Off-the-Tee



Berger’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 71 players):


Birdies: 19 (T5)

Bogeys: 9 (T22)

Double Bogeys or Worse: 0 (T1)


Par-3 Scoring: 2.81 (T8)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.98 (T20)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.25 (T3)


Driving Distance (all drives): 293.0 yards (19th)

Driving Accuracy: 31/56 (T36) at 55.36 percent

GIR: 49/72 (T10) at 68.06 percent

Proximity to hole: 28’9” (T7)

Putts per GIR: 1.694 (21st)

Total Putts: 111 (T29)

Putts by Round: 31-30-25-25

Scrambling: 15/23 (38th) at 65.22 percent


SG: Off-the-Tee: 4.612 (2nd)

SG: Approach-the-Green: 4.899 (12th)

SG: Around-the-Green: 2.678 (10th)

SG: Tee-to-Green: 12.188 (1st)

SG: Putting: 0.372 (44th)





A total of 85 pros and one amateur from a field of 155 pros and one amateur made the 36-hole cut of 1-over 141:


43 (of 76) EARLY/late; 2 WDs


43 (of 78) LATE/early


Note: Since more than 78 players made the 36-hole cut, a second cut of low 70 and ties was made after 54 holes (2-over 212), leaving 70 pros and 1 amateur.



17 players finished in the top 10 with six of those EARLY/late, including the champion:


EARLY/late: Daniel Berger (1st), Charl Schwartzel (T2), Billy Horschel (T4), Braden Thornberry (T4), Kevin Chappell (T4), Adam Scott (T10)


LATE/early: Whee Kim (T2), Chez Reavie (T4), Rafa Cabrera Bello (T4), Phil Mickelson (9th), Harris English (T10), Steve Wheatcroft (T10), Dominic Bozzelli (T10), David Hearn (T10), Chad Campbell (T10), Ben Crane (T10), Stewart Cink (T10)


Note: Berger won last year as LATE/early, so he wins in Memphis from either side.



20 tourneys this season with a traditional draw.




EARLY/late: 15 (75.0%)


LATE/early: 5



Yahoo! Low Rounds:


R1: Matt Every, Scott Brown, Stewart Cink, Sebastian Munoz (64)

R2: J.B. Holmes, Adam Scott (64)

R3: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Scott Stallings (65)

R4: Billy Horschel (64)



Bogey-free Rounds:


R1: Matt Every (64), Sebastian Munoz (64), Chad Campbell (67), Whee Kim (69)

R2: Chez Reavie (65), Joel Dahmen (66), Bobby Gates (66), Julian Etulain (67), Stewart Cink (68)

R3: Scott Stallings (65), Ben Crane (68)

R4: Braden Thornberry (65), Daniel Berger (66)



Leader/co-leaders by Round:


R1: Matt Every; finished T27 (64-70-71-72). Drops to 0-for-5 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.

R1: Scott Brown; finished T52 (64-72-73-72). Drops to 0-for-2 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.

R1: Stewart Cink; finished T10 (64-68-69-73). Drops to 1-for-11 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.

R1: Sebastian Munoz; finished T60 (64-67-75-76). Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.


R2: Chez Reavie; finished T4 (66-65-72-69). Drops to 1-for-3 as 36-hole leader/co-leader.

R2: Sebastian Munoz; finished T60 (64-67-75-76). Drops to 0-for-1 as 36-hole leader/co-leader.

R2: Charl Schwartzel; finished T2 (65-66-74-66). Drops to 0-for-2 as 36-hole leader/co-leader.


R3: Rafa Cabrera Bello; finished T4 (70-66-65-71). Drops to 0-for-1 as 54-hole leader/co-leader.

R3: Stewart Cink; finished T10 (64-68-69-73). Drops to 2-for-12 as 54-hole leader/co-leader.

R3: Ben Crane; finished T10 (68-65-68-73). Drops to 2-for-3 as 54-hole leader/co-leader.




12 of the Top 50 in OWGR were in the field


7 finished in the top 10:


No. 12 Adam Scott (T10)

No. 21 Charl Schwartzel (T2)

No. 23 Phil Mickelson (9th)

No. 26 Kevin Chappell (T4)

No. 30 Rafa Cabrera Bello (T4)

No. 43 Daniel Berger (1st)

No. 48 Billy Horschel (T4)


Note: Only one player (of 12) in the Top 50 OWGR missed the cut: No. 9 Rickie Fowler (top-ranked).



First-timers and/or Rookies:


First-timers: 29

Top-10 finishes: 2


Braden Thornberry: The 20-year-old and sponsor invite shared top first-timer honors with T4 on 8-under 272 (71-69-67-65), concluding his PGA TOUR debut with a bogey-free 5-under 65, up 28 places on the day.


He entered the week No. 16 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and unranked in the OWGR, and makes his first foray into OWGR-land at No. 663.


The Ole Miss golfer won five times in 2016-17, culminating with winning the individual title at the NCAA Championship, and led the country in scoring average (69.57) en route to claiming the 2017 Fred Haskins Award this past Wednesday.


Rafa Cabrera Bello: The overnight tri-leader and World No. 30 backed up with a 1-over 71 in the final round to wrap his tourney debut on 8-under 272 (70-66-65-71), down three places into a five-way T4, sharing top debutant honors.


This was the first-time member though not a rookie’s first 54-hole lead/co-lead in his 43rd career TOUR start. He posts a sixth top 25 of the season in 12 events and third top 10, matching a season-best T4 at THE PLAYERS.



TOUR Rookies: 17

Top-10 finishes: 1


Dominic Bozzelli: Making his tourney debut, the World No. 156 took top-rookie honors with T10 on 6-under 274 (69-67-69-69). It’s the second time this season that he was low rookie (5th, CareerBuilder) and third top 10 in 18 starts (T3, Valspar).



Season Stats:



Consecutive top 10s on TOUR:


Kevin Kisner (T6-1st)



Consecutive top-10 streaks ended:





Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:


Jon Rahm (7 in 15 events)

Justin Thomas (7 in 15 events)

Jordan Spieth (6 in 14)

Dustin Johnson (6 in 11)

Kevin Kisner (6 in 17)

Brian Harman (5 in 20)

Rickie Fowler (5 in 12)

Pat Perez (5 in 18)

Bud Cauley (5 in 19)

Graham DeLaet (5 in 17)



Strokes Gained Leaders:


SG: Off-the-Tee:

Dustin Johnson (1.107 avg./round)

Sergio Garcia (1.076)

Jon Rahm (.987)


SG: Approach-the-Green:

Jordan Spieth (1.141)

Francesco Molinari (1.100)

Paul Casey (.839)


SG: Around-the-Green:

Jason Day (.712)

Ian Poulter (.643)

Tim Wilkinson (.608)


SG: Putting:

Tyrrell Hatton (1.075)

Michael Thompson (.911)

Luke Donald (.865)


SG: Tee-to-Green:

Dustin Johnson (2.025)

Jon Rahm (1.774)

Sergio Garcia (1.773)


SG: Total:

Dustin Johnson (2.270)

Rickie Fowler (2.058)

Jon Rahm (1.985)

Tyrrell Hatton (1.864)

Kevin Kisner (1.848)



Updated Top 10 in OWGR (this week’s finish):


1. Dustin Johnson (idle)

2. Rory McIlroy (idle)

3. Jason Day (idle)

4. Hideki Matsuyama (idle)

5. Jordan Spieth (idle); UP one

6. Henrik Stenson (idle); UP one

7. Sergio Garcia (idle); DOWN two

8. Alex Noren (idle)

9. Rickie Fowler (CUT)

10. Jon Rahm (idle)



Updated Top 10 in FedExCup standings (points):


1. Dustin Johnson (2,270)

2. Justin Thomas (1,977)

3. Hideki Matsuyama (1,875)

4. Jon Rahm (1,708)

5. Jordan Spieth (1,459)

6. Kevin Kisner (1,452)

7. Pat Perez (1,426)

8. Rickie Fowler (1,319)

9. Adam Hadwin (1,236)

10. Daniel Berger (1,150); UP 26


Note: Brian Harman (idle), dropped from 10th to 11th with 1,132 points.



Season Trends:



17 winners were in their 20s (Berger’s age: 24)

11 were in their 30s

4 were in their 40s



17 winners had at least one week off prior to their respective wins


13 winners had a top-10 finish the start prior


4 had a missed cut (Mackenzie Hughes, Si Woo Kim, Billy Horschel (x4), and Jason Dufner.



19 of the 29 winners (minus Match Play and team-Zurich) have emerged out of the FINAL group on Sunday.


The 10 outliers:


Daniel Berger (FESJC): Fifth-to-last twosome, erased 3-shot deficit w/ 4-under 66; won by 1


Jason Dufner (Memorial): Third-to-last twosome; erased 4-shot deficit w/ 4-under 68; won by 3


Kevin Kisner (DDI): Penultimate threesome; erased 3-shot deficit w/ 4-under 66; won by 1


Si Woo Kim (PLAYERS): Penultimate twosome; erased 2-shot deficit w/ 3-under 69; won by 3


Brian Harman (Wells Fargo): Third-to-last twosome: erased 2-shot deficit w/ 4-under 68; won by 1


Wesley Bryan (Heritage): Third-to-last twosome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 4-under 67; won by 1.


Marc Leishman (API): Penultimate twosome: erased 3-shot deficit w/ 3-under 69; won by 1.


Hideki Matsuyama (WMPO): Penultimate threesome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 5-under 66; won in playoff.


Jon Rahm (Farmers): Fifth-to-last threesome: erased 3-shot deficit w/ 7-under 65; won by 3.


Brendan Steele (Safeway): Third-to-last threesome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 7-under 65; won by 1.



54-hole leaders/co-leaders performance (minus team-Zurich):


Converted: Hideki Matsuyama (WGC-HSBC), Mackenzie Hughes (RSM Classic), Justin Thomas (SBS TOC), Justin Thomas (Sony), Jordan Spieth (AT&T Pro-Am), Dustin Johnson (Genesis), Rickie Fowler (Honda), Adam Hadwin (Valspar), Sergio Garcia (Masters), Kevin Chappell (VTO)


FailedPatton Kizzire (Safeway), Anirban Lahiri (CIMB), Luke ListChris Kirk (Sanderson Farms), Lucas Glover (Shriners), Gary Woodland (OHL), Adam Hadwin (CareerBuilder), Patrick RodgersBrandt Snedeker (FIO), Byeong Hun An (WMPO), Justin Thomas (WGC-Mexico), Kevin KisnerCharley Hoffman (API), Chris Stroud (PRO), Sung Kang (SHO), Justin Rose (co-Masters), Jason Dufner (Heritage), Patrick Reed (Wells Fargo), J.B. Holmes, Kyle Stanley (PLAYERS), James Hahn (Byron Nelson), Webb Simpson (DDI), Daniel Summerhays (Memorial), Rafa Cabrera Bello, Stewart Cink, Ben Crane (FESJC)



Not counting the Zurich (team), 54-hole leaders/co-leaders have failed to convert the last six. Most recent to get across the finish line: Kevin Chappell (VTO).



Up Next:


The TOUR heads to Erin, Wisconsin, for the 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills (par 72).


Dustin Johnson is the defending champion, claiming his first major title in his 29th major appearance (ninth U.S. Open) at Oakmont CC as 36-hole leader.


He shot a 1-under 69 in the final round to erase a four-stroke deficit and beat Jim Furyk, Scott Piercy and 54-hole leader Shane Lowry by three.


Stay tuned to this space for all the latest player news and analysis as the TOUR readies for its 32nd tournament of the season (of 47).




You can find Mo on Twitter @Bears3423.
Email :Mo Yoshimoto

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