PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Daniel Berger used some timely wedge shots to make a late charge up the leaderboard Sunday at the Honda Classic.
Berger holed a bunker shot for birdie on No. 17 near the end of his third round, then holed a chip shot on No. 11 during the final round for a birdie on his final hole before darkness fell at PGA National. At 4 under, he shares fourth place heading into Monday.
While it was the shot from the fringe on No. 11 that pulled him within three shots of co-leaders Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, the rookie credited his prior hole-out from a tricky downhill lie in the sand as the shot that changed his fortunes for the better.
“Hit a really nice bunker shot on 17,” Berger said. “Holed that from what was looking like a bogey or double, and came away with a birdie there. So that was very nice.”
Berger grew up in nearby Jupiter, Fla., and turned pro after just two years at Florida State. After successfully navigating the Web.com Tour last year, the 21-year-old reflects the confidence level of a player rising quickly through the ranks.
“I put a lot of work in leading up to this week, so it’s not anything I wasn’t expecting,” he said.
Berger already has four top-25 finishes in five starts this year, including a T-10 finish at Pebble Beach in his most recent start, and Monday will look to finish off what could be a career-best result.
“It’s going to be a little seven-hole match for myself,” he said. “Just stay patient and give myself some birdie chances and not think about it too much.”
Below is Berger's hole-out for birdie on No. 11 in the final round: