Berger rides hole-outs into Monday Honda mix


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.”

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Berger grew up in nearby Jupiter, Fla., and turned pro after just two years at Florida State. After successfully navigating the 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: