‘A Good Learning Experience’ - Berger Reacts To Honda Classic Heartbreak

The 28-year-old Floridian endured a nightmare final round to throw away a five-shot lead and finish in 4th place

Daniel Berger sinks to his knees after missing another putt in his disappointing final round of the Honda Classic which ultimately saw him throw away a five-shot lead
(Image credit: Getty Images)

 

Daniel Berger was left to rue the one that got away after throwing away a five-shot lead going into the final round to finish 4th in the Honda Classic, three shots behind winner Sepp Straka. The four-time PGA Tour winner started the final round at 11-under-par, five clear of the chasing pack, but endured a torrid start and had fallen behind by one shot by the 6th hole.

Despite rallying to reach the turn as joint leader with Shane Lowry, Straka birdied the final hole just before the weather turned against the final group to close with a 66, 4-under-par on the day and 10-under-par for the week. Florida-born Berger had played beautifully for the first three days at the PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, but his closing 74 meant he had to settle for 4th place, three behind Straka at 7-under-par.

“Today was a good learning experience” he reflected afterwards. “I was prepared and ready to play well today, and I just didn't hit the shots I need to hit. That's the way golf goes. There are plenty of guys that hit great shots today, and that's why they're winning the golf tournament. It's unfortunate, but that's the game.

“I did a really good job the first three days of not short-siding myself, and then as the day went on today I hit a lot of shots that were just in some horrible spots. I just couldn't get up and down. Unless you made a 20-footer it wasn't going to be a par. That's the way golf goes. I fought hard all day, and so that's something to be proud of. It can happen at any time. I'm not going to dwell on it too much.”

Berger had only dropped two shots all week going into the final round, but four bogeys - including one on the 18th when the heavens opened just as he and Shane Lowry were about to start the final hole - as well as one double bogey put paid to any chance he had of a home victory.

“I just didn't hit quality shots at the right time”,” he said. “I probably would've had a chance to win if I made a few more putts but I don't think I made a single putt today. I don't know what happened. I just didn't feel good over the putter today.”

Jeff Kimber
Jeff Kimber

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!