Daniel Berger is the PGA Tour’s active leader in consecutive cuts made with 13, a streak that began at last spring’s RBC Heritage. That same consistency cannot be claimed by Berger’s 3-wood.
Berger hit arguably the best 3-wood of last season when from 250 yards he found the green at Pebble Beach’s par-5 18th hole to set up a 30-foot eagle make and win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am by two shots over Maverick McNealy.
However, Berger says he no longer has that particular TaylorMade M6 3-wood in his bag.
“I’ve gone through a number of 3-woods since,” Berger said.
Just not by choice. Berger is known for being reluctant to change up his equipment. He has used his trusty TaylorMade MC Forged 11 irons, a 2011 set that he used in college and early on as a pro, since becoming an equipment free agent two years ago.
But his 3-wood from last year’s Pebble win broke, as did several more.
“I didn’t do it on purpose, but I broke a lot of them,” Berger said. “I don’t even know how. Like I broke one in Hawaii, I broke one like two months before that. I don’t know what happens, but they seem to break. … Not like out of anger. Like a technical issue, like a part falling off or a face cracking or a shaft going bad, like it’s been weird.”
Even without his winning 3-wood, Berger still feels confident at this event, where he also boasts a T-10 in 2015 and T-5 two years ago at the Pro-Am.
“I think you have to be prepared for it (slow pace, amateurs, bumpy Poa greens, usually blustery conditions), you have to understand that this is the way the week goes and if you’re mentally ready for that, then you don’t allow those emotions to overcome you and to affect your play and you stay patient enough to understand that this is just how the week is,” Berger said. “And we don’t get to see it that often, so you just kind of go with the flow and just enjoy it. And it’s not hard to do at Pebble Beach because obviously when you look up over to the ocean it’s very peaceful and it’s very beautiful and you just try to enjoy the environment that you’re in. And the sun always shines when I’m here, so it’s been good.”
As for his health, Berger was seen favoring his back during last week’s T-20 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Berger told Golf Channel’s George Savaricas that it’s a new injury – though he was mum on specifics – and that he plans to skip next week’s Phoenix Open to rest.
However, the back issue wasn’t serious enough to keep him from defending his title at Pebble.
“A little rough,” Berger said. “Last week the back flared up on me, which hasn’t happened. But you know, I’m confident in my team and what I’m working on to get back and play well this week.”