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St Jude Classic 2016

Round 4 - Daniel Berger claims first PGA Tour win

June 13, 2016

Killing time during a three-hour rain delay Sunday, Phil Mickelson ribbed Daniel Berger about having won the PGA Tour rookie of the year award without a victory.

That was a bit of a sore spot for the ultra-competitive 23-year-old Floridian.

Berger answered once the thunderstorms ended by winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic for his first title. He shot a 3-under 67 to hold off Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Brooks Koepka by three strokes.

''To kind of get it done today means a lot,'' Berger said.

Berger had never been in a final pairing until Sunday. First Mickelson needled him in the players' dining area while everyone waited out the lightning. Then, Mickelson, with his 42 career PGA Tour titles, closed within a stroke on the back nine. Berger responded with birdies on three of his next four holes, highlighted by a 32-foot putt on the par-3 14th that pushed his lead to 13 under.

He finished at 13-under 267. He became the 13th first-time winner on tour this season and took home the winner's check of $1.1 million in the 50th start of his career.

''To do that with so many great players, Hall of Famers behind me, it's something that I'll never forget and I just love the way I hung in there and was able to get it done,'' Berger said.

Mickelson and Stricker shot 67, and Koepka had a 66. Dustin Johnson had a 63, setting the back-nine record with a 29, to finish fifth at 9 under.

Mickelson complimented Berger for playing the back nine really well and said he enjoyed being in contention even though the veteran couldn't quite catch the youngster.

''For the most part I hit a lot of good shots, played pretty well and seems, it almost feels like U.S. Open came a week early to finish another second place,'' Mickelson said.

Berger also became the fourth first-time winner at this event in the past six years and 10th overall in Memphis.

Now he will head to Oakmont trying to do something no one has ever done before by following up a tour title by winning the U.S. Open. Only 11 have ever won a major after winning on tour, and Rory McIlroy was the last when he won the PGA Championship the week after taking the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in 2014.

He'll be arriving pretty confident too.

''When I played in the Masters for the first time I think I finished 10th, five shots behind and didn't really play that great,'' Berger said. ''So, you know if I can go in there next week and play good, then obviously I have what it takes to get the W.''

The thunderstorms slowed down the confident Berger, and only for a hole. He had hit only hit three shots when the horn sounded. Play finally resumed at 4 p.m., and Berger resumed by two-putting from 10 feet on No. 1 for bogey.

Berger already had finished second twice with a total of nine top 10s in his young career. He shook off the bogey by stringing together four straight pars with Koepka catching him atop the leaderboard at 9 under before bogeying No. 8.

He birdied Nos. 6 and 11 to make the turn at 11 under.

He stumbled on No. 10, two-putting from 10 feet again for bogey. Mickelson went to 9 under with two birdies on his first three holes on the back nine, which included a 44-footer on the par-4 12th. Then Mickelson's putter failed him as he just missed from 11 feet on No. 13 and 17 feet on No. 14 chasing his first win since the 2013 British Open.

Berger had no such issues as he rolled in putts of 8 feet on No. 12, the 32-footer on No. 14 - the same hole he put his tee shot into the water Saturday and double bogeyed - and a 22-footer on No. 15. That proved more than enough margin as Mickelson birdied the par-5 16th.

Johnson rebounded from a 73 by shooting the best round this week before heading to Oakmont. He chipped in for eagle on No. 16 from 16 feet and holed out from 22 feet on No. 18 to set the back-nine record. That put him a stroke back of Berger who had 11 holes to play, but Johnson felt good about his game with the U.S. Open next.

''On the back nine, I had great looks on every hole,'' Johnson said. ''Struck it a little better. I got a little sloppy with my setup the first couple days. Caused me to mishit some shots. I'm real comfortable, real confident going into next week.''

Round 3 - Daniel Berger maintains advantage

June 12, 2016

Daniel Berger has yet to win on the PGA Tour. He's confident enough to believe that's just a matter of time, and he has put himself in position to make the FedEx St. Jude Classic his first title.

Having Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker just three strokes behind isn't shaking his self-assurance either.

''If it was Tiger Woods behind me, I would have the same mentality,'' Berger said Saturday after a 1-under 69 that left him with the same three-stroke lead he had after 36 holes. ''It doesn't matter. It's golf. The golf course doesn't know who is playing it, so I'm just going to go out there and be aggressive and have some fun, and that's all I can do.''

Berger, the 2014-15 rookie of the year, had led after a round on tour only once before this event back in 2014. Now he has led consecutive rounds, and Berger had four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey on a hot, sticky day to reach 10-under 200.

Mickelson (68), Stricker (66) and Points (64) were 7 under.

Seung-yul Noh (67), Colt Knost (67) and Brooks Koepka (69) were 6 under.

Mickelson has 42 career wins and is looking for his first win since the 2013 British Open. Berger, who refused to concede a 1-foot putt to Mickelson in March at the WGC-Dell Match Play, said Woods was the player he admired growing up. The 23-year-old Floridian also calls Mickelson by his full name Phillip.

''He says only his wife calls him that, I can't call him that until I win on the PGA Tour,'' Berger said. ''But I still call him that anyway.''

Mickelson played two groups ahead of Berger on Saturday and will be in the group ahead of the leader in the final round.

''That's always an advantageous spot if you can get off to a good day,'' Mickelson said. ''It's much more difficult to follow birdies than it is to lead by them.''

With so many experienced players and big names chasing him on a day where the temperature felt close to 100 degrees, Berger hit 13 of 18 greens playing conservatively enough with six straight pars at one point that he finished Saturday with the same three-stroke lead he had after the second round.

Berger couldn't hold onto the lead after the opening round of the 2014 OHL Classic at Mayakoba and wound up tied for 51st. He already has three top 10s this season and is looking for more before heading to Oakmont for the U.S. Open.

He kept his three-stroke lead with a birdie on No. 3. After a bogey on No. 5, Berger came right back with a birdie before running into trouble on the par-3 14th. He hit his tee shot into the water in front and two-putted from 16 feet for bogey trimming his lead down to a stroke.

Mickelson, who had strung together seven straight pars of his own, birdied the par-5 16th to tie Berger atop the leaderboard at 8 under.

Berger took the lead back to himself by taking advantage of the par-5 at No. 16. He hit his approach onto the fringe of the long green and two-putted from 33 feet for birdie. Berger then pushed his lead back to three strokes with his second straight birdie. After putting his approach into the rough beside the green, Berger chipped in from 26 feet to go back to 10 under.

Mickelson hit his third shot 22 feet past the hole on the par-4 17th. He missed the par putt just right and wound up with his first bogey in 22 holes. Mickelson hit his tee shot on No. 18 into a fairway bunker and had to roll in an 18-footer to save par after his first putt attempt came up short of the green.

Now he only wants to hit his irons a bit closer Sunday.

''Hopefully, I'll find it for tomorrow's round because it's only going to take a few more fairways hit and a few more birdie opportunities the way I'm putting to try to get this done,'' Mickelson said.

Stricker, 49, hasn't won since the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, but he tied for seventh at the Valspar Championship in March. The captain of the U.S. team for the 2017 Presidents Cup had a four-birdie, bogey-free day to keep close to Berger. He'll play with Mickelson on Sunday.

''I'll be nervous,'' Stricker said. ''It's been a while since I've been up there and have an opportunity to win. I'm excited for the challenge. That's what we want to be out here for is to get into that position.''

Round 2 - Daniel Berger takes lead with a 64

June 11, 2016

Daniel Berger shot a season-best 6-under 64 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead in the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee.

Berger had six birdies in his bogey-free morning round to reach 9-under 131 at TPC Southwind, and nobody caught him atop the leaderboard. Berger has started well, despite breaking in a new driver and 3-wood after his old clubs finally cracked last week from age.

Tom Hoge, part of a three-way tie for the lead after the first round, was second after a 69. He birdied the final two holes in the next to last group.

Dustin Johnson, the 2012 champion, had a chance to catch Berger until dropping three strokes on the final two holes. Johnson finished with a 69 after wiping out four birdies and an eagle with three bogeys and a double bogey on No. 18 with what he called bad swings at the end.

That finish left Johnson tied with Phil Mickelson (65) and Brooks Koepka (65) at 5 under. Mickelson, winless since the 2013 British Open, matched his low round this year with six birdies and one bogey. He's here fine-tuning his game for the U.S. Open next week, the one major that has eluded him in his career.

Round 1 - Tom Hoge leads with opening 65

June 10, 2016

Tom Hoge fired a bogey-free, five-under-par 65 to share the opening-round lead at the PGA Tour's $6.2 million St. Jude Classic.

Shawn Stefani and South Korea's Noh Seung-Yul on Thursday also carded 65s while Dustin Johnson, Brian Gay, Steve Stricker, Colt Knost, Argentina's Miguel Angel Carballo and Wales' Jamie Donaldson shared fourth place at 66.

"The key to the round was hole nine. I had to lay up to 130 (yards). I was able to get up and down and keep the momentum going," the 27-year-old Hoge said.

Eight players, including Justin Leonard and South Africa's Retief Goosen, are tied for 10th at 67 at the TPC Southwind course.

Hoge made consecutive birdies on numbers four, five and six, then added another two straight at No. 12 and 13.

"I got off to a little bit of a slow start there," said Hoge, who is ranked 237th in the world. "I was in good position the first few holes and didn't hit it close at all. Luckily, I pieced together a few good shots."

Hoge is appearing in his 45th career PGA Tour event, and is still looking for his first career win.

He posted his first two top-10 finishes earlier this season, comprising a pair of ties for ninth at the RSM Classic and the Valero Texas Open.

He failed to make the cut in seven of 17 tournaments this season.

Noh, 25, is seeking his second win on the PGA Tour in his 132nd event. In 2014, he won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Scores

1 USA Daniel Berger -13 67 64 69 67 267
T2 USA Brooks Koepka -10 70 65 69 66 270
T2 USA Phil Mickelson -10 70 65 68 67 270
T2 USA Steve Stricker -10 66 71 66 67 270
5 USA Dustin Johnson -9 66 69 73 63 271
6 USA Brian Gay -8 66 70 70 66 272
T7 USA Russell Henley -7 68 68 70 67 273
T7 KOR Seung-Yul Noh -7 65 72 67 69 273
T9 USA Ken Duke -6 70 66 70 68 274
T9 USA Shawn Stefani -6 65 71 73 65 274
T9 USA Brett Stegmaier -6 67 69 69 69 274
T12 RSA Retief Goosen -5 67 70 71 67 275
T12 USA Luke Guthrie -5 68 72 69 66 275
T12 SWE Fredrik Jacobson -5 72 66 70 67 275
T12 USA Boo Weekley -5 70 69 66 70 275
T16 KOR Michael Kim -4 69 70 69 68 276
T16 USA Harold Varner III -4 71 69 69 67 276
T18 USA Abraham Ancer -3 71 68 69 69 277
T18 USA Bronson Burgoon -3 72 66 71 68 277
T18 USA Chad Collins -3 72 66 74 65 277
T18 USA Colt Knost -3 66 71 67 73 277
T18 USA John Merrick -3 68 70 67 72 277
T18 USA D.A. Points -3 71 68 64 74 277
T18 USA Wes Roach -3 67 70 73 67 277
T18 RSA Tyrone Van Aswegen -3 70 68 70 69 277
T26 USA Jon Curran -2 70 70 68 70 278
T26 WAL Jamie Donaldson -2 66 74 69 69 278
T26 USA Harris English -2 69 69 67 73 278
T26 USA Charles Howell III -2 72 69 68 69 278
T26 AUS Matt Jones -2 70 69 69 70 278
T26 USA David Toms -2 70 69 68 71 278
T32 USA Alex Prugh -1 70 70 66 73 279
T32 USA Johnson Wagner -1 74 66 68 71 279
T34 USA Chad Campbell Par 68 69 74 69 280
T34 USA Tom Hoge Par 65 69 74 72 280
T34 KOR Whee-su Kim Par 69 72 68 71 280
T34 ITA Francesco Molinari Par 68 70 70 72 280
T34 USA John Rollins Par 72 69 69 70 280
T34 USA Sam Saunders Par 69 68 72 71 280
T34 USA Hudson Swafford Par 70 66 72 72 280
T41 USA Ben Crane 1 68 70 69 74 281
T41 CAN David Hearn 1 71 69 71 70 281
T41 USA Andrew Landry 1 70 71 70 70 281
T41 USA Rob Oppenheim 1 72 65 71 73 281
T41 AUS Cameron Percy 1 69 67 75 70 281
T41 USA Scott Stallings 1 67 72 72 70 281
T41 USA Vaughn Taylor 1 68 70 70 73 281
T41 USA Steve Wheatcroft 1 71 69 69 72 281
T41 KOR Charlie Wi 1 70 68 73 70 281
T50 USA Robert Garrigus 2 70 69 76 67 282
T50 USA Luke List 2 70 71 71 70 282
T52 IND Arjun Atwal 3 72 68 71 72 283
T52 USA Michael Bradley 3 73 68 70 72 283
T52 ARG Miguel Angel Carballo 3 66 75 75 67 283
T52 USA Billy Hurley III 3 69 71 71 72 283
T52 USA Justin Leonard 3 67 72 71 73 283
T52 USA Will MacKenzie 3 70 66 73 74 283
T58 USA Eric Axley 4 69 68 74 73 284
T58 USA Wesley Bryan 4 70 66 78 70 284
T58 BRA Lucas Lee 4 74 67 73 70 284
T58 COL Camilo Villegas 4 73 66 72 73 284
T62 AUS Stuart Appleby 5 68 71 72 74 285
T62 USA Erik Compton 5 71 70 73 71 285
T62 USA Wes Homan 5 72 68 77 68 285
T65 USA Zac Blair 6 70 71 69 76 286
T65 USA Stewart Cink 6 75 66 73 72 286
T65 SWE Henrik Norlander 6 67 74 76 69 286
T68 USA Troy Merritt 7 72 69 70 76 287
T68 USA Ryan Palmer 7 71 68 73 75 287
T70 AUS Steven Bowditch 8 70 70 76 72 288
T70 USA Justin B Hicks 8 69 71 78 70 288
T70 SWE Carl Pettersson 8 71 67 76 74 288
73 USA Brian Stuard 10 67 73 75 75 290
CUT USA Joe Affrunti 2 74 68 - - 142
CUT USA Tyler Aldridge 2 70 72 - - 142
CUT AUS Robert Allenby 2 72 70 - - 142
CUT AUS Aaron Baddeley 2 70 72 - - 142
CUT USA Blayne Barber 2 71 71 - - 142
CUT USA Jason Bohn 2 72 70 - - 142
CUT RSA Ernie Els 2 70 72 - - 142
CUT USA Tom Gillis 2 70 72 - - 142
CUT ARG Fabian Gomez 2 70 72 - - 142
CUT USA Jason Gore 2 69 73 - - 142
CUT AUS Mark Hensby 2 74 68 - - 142
CUT SCO Martin Laird 2 72 70 - - 142
CUT USA George McNeill 2 70 72 - - 142
CUT USA Dicky Pride 2 72 70 - - 142
CUT USA DJ Trahan 2 70 72 - - 142
CUT NZL Tim Wilkinson 2 69 73 - - 142
CUT USA Bobby Wyatt 2 72 70 - - 142
CUT RSA Thomas Aiken 3 72 71 - - 143
CUT USA Cameron Beckman 3 69 74 - - 143
CUT USA Derek Fathauer 3 72 71 - - 143
CUT JPN Hiroshi Iwata 3 69 74 - - 143
CUT CHN Dong-Hwan Lee 3 75 68 - - 143
CUT USA Peter Malnati 3 72 71 - - 143
CUT USA Ben Martin 3 71 72 - - 143
CUT USA Mark Wilson 3 73 70 - - 143
CUT KOR Si Woo Kim 3 70 73 - - 143
CUT USA Gary Woodland 3 73 70 - - 143
CUT USA Chesson Hadley 4 71 73 - - 144
CUT USA Morgan Hoffmann 4 75 69 - - 144
CUT USA Lee McCoy 4 71 73 - - 144
CUT AUS Rod Pampling 4 71 73 - - 144
CUT USA Robby Shelton 4 74 70 - - 144
CUT USA Heath Slocum 4 69 75 - - 144
CUT USA Kyle Stanley 4 71 73 - - 144
CUT USA Will Wilcox 4 73 71 - - 144
CUT USA Bud Cauley 5 75 70 - - 145
CUT ZIM Brendon de Jonge 5 71 74 - - 145
CUT USA J.J. Henry 5 71 74 - - 145
CUT USA Scott Langley 5 74 71 - - 145
CUT USA Billy Mayfair 5 72 73 - - 145
CUT MEX Carlos Ortiz 5 74 71 - - 145
CUT USA Tim Petrovic 5 74 71 - - 145
CUT USA Ted Purdy 5 73 72 - - 145
CUT RSA Richard Sterne 5 72 73 - - 145
CUT USA Philip Barbaree 6 73 73 - - 146
CUT USA Derek Ernst 6 77 69 - - 146
CUT USA Steve Flesch 6 70 76 - - 146
CUT KOR Sung-Hoon Kang 6 75 71 - - 146
CUT USA Andrew Loupe 6 71 75 - - 146
CUT NIR Graeme McDowell 6 73 73 - - 146
CUT ARG Andres Romero 6 73 73 - - 146
CUT USA Darron Stiles 6 72 74 - - 146
CUT RSA Drikus Van der Walt 6 70 76 - - 146
CUT USA Brice Garnett 7 75 72 - - 147
CUT AUS Rhein Gibson 7 78 69 - - 147
CUT USA Jerry Kelly 7 77 70 - - 147
CUT CAN Richard T. Lee 7 77 70 - - 147
CUT USA Matthew NeSmith 7 74 73 - - 147
CUT ENG Greg Owen 7 72 75 - - 147
CUT USA Martin Piller 7 73 74 - - 147
CUT USA Kyle Reifers 7 71 76 - - 147
CUT USA Hayden Springer 7 71 76 - - 147
CUT USA Michael Thompson 7 72 75 - - 147
CUT ENG Brian Davis 8 76 72 - - 148
CUT USA Andres Gonzales 8 74 74 - - 148
CUT USA Tim Herron 8 73 75 - - 148
CUT USA Brendon Todd 8 74 74 - - 148
CUT USA Frank Lickliter II 9 75 74 - - 149
CUT USA Steve Marino 9 72 77 - - 149
CUT USA Shaun Micheel 9 76 73 - - 149
CUT USA Scott Pinckney 9 71 78 - - 149
CUT USA Chris Smith 9 74 75 - - 149
CUT USA Cameron Tringale 9 71 78 - - 149
CUT USA Marc Turnesa 9 73 76 - - 149
CUT IRL Padraig Harrington 10 77 73 - - 150
CUT USA Kelly Kraft 10 76 74 - - 150
CUT USA Jeff Overton 10 78 72 - - 150
CUT USA Frederick Janneck 11 75 76 - - 151
CUT RSA Trevor Immelman 12 69 83 - - 152
CUT USA Mark Hubbard 13 71 82 - - 153
CUT AUS Cameron Smith 13 71 82 - - 153
CUT USA Loren Personett 14 76 78 - - 154
RET USA Scott Brown 8 72 - - - 72

 





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