January 23, 2019

Unharried Potter beats big names for surprise Pebble Beach win

12 February 2018, 05:55 | Anna Jefferson

Ted Potter Jr. won the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am 2018 on Sunday Feb. 11

Ted Potter Jr. won the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am 2018 on Sunday Feb. 11

Potter was chasing history at the par-71 Monterey Peninsula layout, where he teed off on 10 and played his first seven holes in seven under par with five birdies and an eagle.Potter added four more birdies after the turn to seize the solo lead and take his total for the round to 11-under. Johnson chipped by the hole and Potter Jr. chipped in for a two-shot lead he would never give up.

"I'm proud of the way I finished the tournament coming down the stretch on the back nine", Potter said.

Seven players tied for eighth at 10-under 277, including 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am victor Jimmy Walker, who posted a final round five-under 67 to finish inside the top 10 for just the second time in his last 26 starts.

Potter stepped awkwardly off a curb at the Canadian Open in 2014 and broke his ankle so badly that he didn't play another tournament until Canada two years later.

"You don't know what's going to happen with your golf swing or your career".

Johnson held the lead early on after Potter's bogey, but an up-and-down round included four bogeys and four birdies saw Johnson fall away to finish tied for second at 14 under with Phil Mickelson, Chez Reavie and Jason Day. "Going back to the Masters, it'll definitely be another dream come true".

After two surgeries, one to insert 12 screws and two metal plates, and another to remove them, Potter returned to golf after a year and a half of recovery.

It was another disappointment for Johnson going into the final round. He made three birdies in four holes beginning on the 14th to move to 14-under.

His only blemish Sunday was a three-putt bogey on is first hole but after that it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.

"All in all, still a good week, you know, T-two I guess is not bad, but I would have liked to put a little bit more pressure on Ted today", Johnson said. "Two under in 36 holes is not too good as well as I thought I was playing".

Johnson lost a good birdie chance when his flip wedge found a bunker on No. 4. He failed to get up and down. Coming off a tie for fifth at the Phoenix Open, this is the first time he has put together consecutive top 5s since he won back-to-back in 2013 at the Scottish Open and British Open. "Unfortunately, it's not enough, but it was a great week, a lot of fun, ideal weather and really had a great time". He has missed the cut in 55 percent of his PGA Tour events in his career.

The other tournament also was a runaway.

Kevin Streelman and Larry Fitzgerald took the Pro-Am championship by seven strokes, finishing 41-under on the week.

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