FORT WORTH, Texas – This isn’t the first time Daniel Berger has endured an extended hiatus from the PGA Tour.
Berger was limited to just 20 starts last season playing on a major medical extension after being sidelined by a lingering injury to his left wrist. Having gone through the rehab process, he was familiar with the emotions this week’s return to competition would bring at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
“I would say I was nervous on the first tee both times, more nervous with the wrist injury because I hadn't actually played competitive golf in such a long period of time,” Berger said. “I don't care what any golfer says: You step up to the first tee of a competition, whether it's nerves or excitement, you have some butterflies going. I felt that way from the beginning of the week.”
Despite those early nerves Berger was able to defeat Collin Morikawa with a par on the first playoff hole to win his third Tour title and his first since 2017.
Since returning from his wrist injury Berger has been steadily improving, and he had posted three consecutive top-10 finishes before the Tour schedule was halted in March. He's posted 28 consecutive rounds of par or better dating back to last fall's Zozo Championship in Japan.
His long road back to winner’s circle is particularly rewarding after everything he’s endured.
“When I won my first couple times, I took it a little bit for granted, thinking that every year it was just going to be easy and you'd have that chance to win, but it's tough out here,” he said. “It's cutthroat, and the best players in the world every week are showing up. I worked my butt off the last year to be in this position, and I'm just glad it all paid off.”