Ted Potter Jr embraced the underdog role at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and shot an impressive 69 to hold off an all-star cast to win by three. He started the last round tied with Dustin Johnson (world #1) at -14. A bogey on the first hole looked like he was in for a long day but he proceeded to make four birdies on the front nine and let Johnson and Jason Day make the mistakes. This was Potter’s second PGA tour win (2012 GreenBrier Classic) and indicates recovery from significant health issues and multiple surgeries after breaking his ankle soon after his GreenBrier victory. Congratulations Ted Potter, Jr.!
Golf Swing – it is always fun to watch a player with a “flawed” golf swing play at the highest level and win a golf tournament. The golf industry generates huge profits trying to teach players how to swing the right way and to shoot better scores but when you look at Potter’s golf swing, it makes you wonder how important all that instruction really is. If you saw him standing on a driving range and saw his swing, what would your guess be on his handicap? He gave up 40 yards to Johnson on every tee shot but kept hitting greens and making good chips and then making all of his short putts. Even his putting stroke looked unconventional as he took the putter back a little quick and elevated and seemed to hit down on the putt at contact. But he made everything he needed to make. He putted confidently and was not tentative. He parred every hole on the back nine and hit great approach shots coming down the stretch. It truly was a demonstration of internal fortitude and nerves of steel.
Gutsy shot of the tournament: After all the negative press a few weeks ago about J.B. Holmes taking forever to decide on what club to hit at Torrey Pines #18 and then laying up when he needed an eagle to tie, as a golf fan it was really exciting to see Jason Day pull out his driver from the fairway on #18. He had 260 yards to the hole into the wind and he was three back. He needed an eagle to have any chance. With the Pacific Ocean to the left of the green, this was an intimidating shot. Years ago you would see players hitting driver “off the deck” more often but with the larger 460cc headed drivers this has become a very difficult shot. Anyway, he hit the driver, overhooked it onto the rocks, went down after the ball, hit it off the rocks into a greenside bunker, splashed out, and made a curving 10 footer for par. Just a 5 on the scorecard but a truly gutsy and exciting shot to watch. It was also nice that NBC Sports showed the laser track from behind Day as he hit that shot.