On paper, Ted Potter Jnr did not stand much of a chance against Dustin Johnson heading into the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, tied at 14 under. Johnson is not only the No.1 player in the world, but is a two-time champion in this event, in addition to five other top-10 finishes. Not to mention the fact Johnson had a distinct advantage off the tee.
None of that concerned Potter, who cruised to a three-shot win with a final round of three-under 69 to finish at 17-under 270. It’s the second victory of his career, the first coming nearly six years ago at the 2012 Greenbrier Classic. It was a long time coming for the feisty lefty who battled his way back to the US PGA Tour after suffering an injury in 2014 that caused him to miss nearly two years of competition.
“It’s definitely pleasing. It was a struggle there, when you break your ankle and you don’t know what’s going to happen with your golf swing,” an emotional Potter said, “to come back from that, I mean, it’s just unbelievable right now.”
Much like he fought to get back to the winner’s circle, Potter fought on Sunday, bouncing back after a first-hole bogey with four birdies in his next seven holes, capped off by a chip-in at the par-3 seventh that extended a lead he would never relinquish. The Floridan closed it out in veteran fashion, making 11 straight pars to hold off the likes of Johnson, Jason Day and Phil Mickelson.
“Just back from my mini-tour days, tournaments I’ve won in the past, just drawing back from past experience of winning golf tournaments,” he said.
The win gets Potter a spot in the Masters this April, where he’s made just one career appearance in 2013.
“It’s just so good right now, to get my second career win after five years away from it. Going back to the Masters, it’ll definitely be another dream come true.”
"It's unbelievable right now."
Ted Potter, Jr. reflects on his second TOUR victory. pic.twitter.com/UAPvLSV8KO
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 11, 2018
Johnson never got much going during his even-par 72, which put him in a tie for second at 14-under 273, giving him eight career top-10s at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Next week he’ll defend his title at the Genesis Open at Riviera.
“All in all, still a good week. You know, T-2 I guess is not terrible, but I would have liked to put a little bit more pressure on Ted today,” Johnson said.
Mickelson, Day and last week’s runner-up at TPC Scottsdale Chez Reavie also finished at 14 under. While Mickelson never really threatened to win on Sunday, he was able to mount another late charge with birdies at the 14th, 16th and 17th holes to finish with a five-under 67. He’s now registered three top-five finishes in six starts this season as he continues to try to break through for the first time since the 2013 British Open.
Kevin Streelman finished in solo sixth at 13-under 274, and Scott Stallings in solo seventh at 12-under 275.
Seven players tied for eighth at 10-under 277, including 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner Jimmy Walker, who posted a five-under 67 to finish inside the top-10 for just the second time in his past 26 starts.