There are a few takeaways from the 2021 Pebble Beach Pro-Am. One of them is that Jordan Spieth might be back. The other, though, is that I am considering retiring from my day job and becoming a professional gambler. Why, you ask? Well, because after eight tournament previews, I have finally gotten a pick correct. I would like to thank Daniel Berger for winning his fourth career PGA Tour win and making me look smart.
Final Round Recap
After a double-bogey on the 18th hole during Saturday’s third round of the event, Berger started the final round two-strokes behind the leader, Jordan Spieth. Berger quickly made up for it with an eagle at the second and a birdie at the third, getting to 14-under par. After getting to 15-under par, Berger failed to save par on the eighth, dropping back to 14-under par while Nate Lashley was 15-under par through nine holes.
A birdie at the 10th for Berger tied the lead, while Lashley extended the lead once more at the 11th. Berger would tie the lead again with a birdie at the par-five 14th, but it looked like Lashley would match him all day, easily closing out this tournament for the win. It looked that way… until the 16th hole.
4 putts from 13 feet.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 14, 2021
Nate Lashley was tied for the lead before this triple bogey. pic.twitter.com/kGR3YQbUzG
With that, Lashley is out of contention. Though, the tournament far from over. Maverick McNealy, who started the round one behind Berger, jumped into contention with a great back nine. McNealy took the clubhouse lead at 16-under par after three straight birdies at the 11th, 12th, and 13th, adding two more birdies at 15th and 18th. After Berger’s mishap on the 18th in the third round, I was nervous for my pick when he was tied for the lead on the 18th. He would make up for it, to say the least. After finding the fairway, Berger found the green in two on the par-five. Needing two putts to win, Berger felt two was unnecessary.
Jordan Spieth Might Actually Be Back
Like last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Spieth entered the final round with lead. Once again, he failed to convert that to a win. After a birdie at the second, it looked like Spieth was going to capture his first win since 2017. After a bogey at the third and fifth, Spieth wasn’t able to catch up to Berger and Lashley on Sunday. He would add four birdies to his round, but a bogey in a crucial moment on the back nine took him out of contention.
Should failing to convert a 54-hole lead two weeks in a row be looked at as a negative? For many, yes, it would be a negative. If it happens in Spieth’s next start, it might be an issue and something we need to address. For now, though, I think it’s a positive that Spieth can have a 54-hole lead. Since his last win, he hasn’t been himself on the golf course. Here is Spieth at the 2020 U.S. Open:
“Standing on a tee at the U.S. Open and not exactly knowing where the ball is going to go is not a great feeling.”Jordan Spieth on his on-course issues, per The Score
Now, in early 2021, Jordan Spieth is starting to look and feel like himself again.
He had this to say after his final round last week at the Phoenix Open.
“I believe in what I’m doing. A result like this just helps confirm what I was already feeling, and that just moves the needle the right direction.”Jordan Spieth on contending again, per Golf Channel
Jordan Spieth will tee it up again next week at the Genesis Invitational. If he’s learned a thing or two from these last two starts, it could be a long week for everyone else in the field. Though, the PGA Tour should be warned. If Jordan Spieth is back, no golf course is safe.