PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Daniel Berger believes he is among the best in golf. No longer much less than he stopped wanting assigning his own ranking.
He is segment of the fabled highschool graduating class of 2011, with the exception of Berger is incessantly listed in the “other” class. The group entails Jordan Spieth together with his three legs of the profession Wide Slam among 14 victories worldwide, and Justin Thomas together with his 13 worldwide wins and a PGA Championship.
Xander Schauffele used to be simplest mentioned after his two-win rookie season integrated the Tour Championship, and then he backed that up with a World Golf Championships title, reputedly fixed appearances cease to the top of the leaderboard in majors and a world ranking that now not steadily is out of the top 10.
Berger used to be now not even among the top 100 when golf returned from the COVID-19 pandemic in June. He had modified swing coaches to Cameron McCormick. He used to be convalescing from wrist accidents that left him wondering if he’d ever score abet.
And then he received at Colonial in a playoff. He virtually received at Hilton Head. He used to be runner-up at a World Golf Championship in Memphis, Tennessee, on the TPC Southwind route where he had received twice.
Extra validation arrived at the AT&T Pebble Seashore Authentic-Am, a tournament he perhaps will must have been playing more steadily. He tied for 10th in 2015. He didn’t return unless final year and tied for fifth (albeit 10 shots at the abet of Gash Taylor).
Whereas his victory Sunday received’t plod down as the greatest of his four PGA Tour titles by world ranking standards, it could perhaps perchance also honest need been the most spirited the manner he received.
Berger misplaced a fraction of the lead Saturday on the par-5 18th by flaring his pressure out to the appropriate, over a bunker and by inches out-of-bounds, main to double bogey. He arrived on the 18th hole Sunday in a tie for the lead with Maverick McNealy, who shot 31 on the abet 9.
“One in every of the best ending holes I’ve ever performed,” Berger acknowledged. “Clearly, with all the pieces that occurred on Saturday, hitting that ball out-of-bounds, to step up there and hit a gigantic pressure and then regarded as one of the best 3-woods I’ve ever hit in my existence, and then to manufacture that putt is as sincere because it gets for me.”
He hit 3-wooden from 250 yards to 30 ft, and wanting simplest to 2-putt for the win, watched it dropped for eagle. It used to be his fourth eagle of the week, tying a file at Pebble since such statistics started being saved in 1983.
That’s two victories in his final 16 starts over eight months, and whereas he simplest moved up two spots to No. 13 in the world thanks to the broken-down field, it’s higher than when he returned.
And the self belief is now not lacking.
“I deem at the present time if truth be told solidified my effect of living as regarded as one of the best golfers out here and I sincere wish to continue to develop the things I’ve been doing,” he acknowledged. “And I feel love there’s no, there’s no restrict to what I’m in a position to enact.”
Patrick Reed detached gets a onerous time for saying he felt he used to be regarded as one of the top-5 avid gamers after his victory at Doral in a World Golf Championship in 2014. Reed meant that as an adjective, and when chatting about it at the open up of the year, pointed out that he had three wins in his final 14 starts. In the route of that stretch, he couldn’t deem of many higher.
Berger used to be pondering more about the “now” and the device worthy higher he could perchance also score.
It used to be six years ago in some unspecified time in the future of a convention spherical at the Valspar Championship that four avid gamers from that class of ’11 were together — Spieth, Thomas, Berger and Ollie Schniederjans, who detached hasn’t received and now not has a PGA Tour card. They were lined up in accordance to birthdays in 1993 — Berger used to be the oldest by three weeks and a day over Thomas.
Spieth used to be the youngest. They all were 21. Spieth had sincere crossed $9 million in profession earnings, and he would originate $20 million that year in prize money and a FedEx Cup bonus.
Berger used to be by no manner the first to be mentioned from that highschool class, and he detached isn’t. But then, he is liable to being overpassed and that doesn’t bother him.
“I deem quite a bit of the guys that they give credit score to deserve credit score,” Berger acknowledged. “But I’ve been somewhat fixed and I’ve accomplished quite a bit for the immediate amount of time that I’ve performed out here on tour. You watch at some of the other guys and what they have accomplished, I’m sort of appropriate in accordance to that.
“My aim has repeatedly been to be the No. 1 player in the world and some other individuals will chortle at that and that’s preferrred-wanting,” he acknowledged. “But that’s something that daily I score up and I strive for.”
He is playing next week at Riviera, a field that boasts 9 of the top 10 in the world. It’s another probability to manufacture a reputation for himself.