CROMWELL, Conn. – Three weeks ago at the FedEx St. Jude Classic Daniel Berger began the final round three strokes off the lead but rallied with a closing 66 to win his second PGA Tour title.
Given that history, when he teed off on Sunday at the Travelers Championship three shots behind Jordan Spieth, the irony wasn’t lost on him.
Despite a rough start that included a bogey at his first hole and an even-par opening loop, Berger pulled into a tie for the lead with a 5-footer for birdie at the 15th hole and kept pace with Spieth with a 7-footer for birdie two holes later to finish tied for the lead at 12 under par.
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“I made a ton of pars early on,” Berger said. “It was looking like I was completely out of the golf tournament with nine holes to go. I just put my head down and continued to hit good shots and gave myself a chance.”
On the first playoff hole Berger pulled his drive left and hit his next shot to 50 feet only to watch Spieth hole out from a greenside bunker for birdie. Berger’s birdie attempt slipped past the hole for his fourth runner-up finish on Tour.
“Jordan does Jordan things,” Berger said. “I played great today, so I’m not going to be too upset. Obviously I wanted to win, just kind of speechless right now.”