PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Daniel Berger now has the longest active streak of consecutive cuts made at 13, taking over for Jordan Spieth (20), who missed the cut last week at Torrey Pines.
Both are more than a fraction away from the all-time record of 142 set by Tiger Woods over seven years, a streak that outside ended Dallas in 2005 at the Byron Nelson Classic.
Spieth was only 11 when it ended, yet he remembers it well.
He was there.
Woods was right on the cut line in the middle of the 18th fairway at Cottonwood Valley when he put a 7-iron into the left bunker, blasted out to 15 feet and missed the par putt.
“I was on that hole when he missed the cut there,” Spieth said. “I was a kid watching the tournament and was pretty upset because … nobody missed out on Tiger on the weekend in seven years, and now I just missed out on the weekend of Tiger.”
Spieth hates missing the cut. This was one time he hated seeing it happen to someone else.
“I’m not sure if that one will be surpassed,” he said of the streak.
How Jon Rahm would set up PGA Tour courses
All it took was no wind and a record score at Kapalua for chatter about how easy it was becoming on the PGA Tour. One of the best players in the world questioned aloud whether the PGA Tour or the European Tour presented the strongest test. There was talk that low scoring led to more first-time winners.
This wasn’t last month. It was 19 years ago.
Ernie Els began the 2003 season by finishing at 31-under par for an eight-shot victory at Kapalua, which had virtually no wind all week. That was a record that stood until this year when Cameron Smith won Kapalua at 34 under with no wind over four days. The difference was Smith only won by one shot over Jon Rahm.
It was Rahm who two weeks later was caught on a fan’s video saying The American Express in the California desert had become a putting contest.
So what would he do if he were in charge?
“A lot of it depends on the golf course, but I would like a set-up that would challenge us in every aspect of the game,” Rahm said. “I like fairways to be narrow, I like the rough to be up so you can’t just miss the fairway and go for the green with whatever you want. I would like the greens to be firm.”
If that sounds like a US Open, consider the comments from Jeff Sluman in 2003.
“You don’t want 40 US Opens,” Sluman said. “Guys would be in a rubber room by the end of the year.”
Daniel Berger has played the same kind of irons since high school
Daniel Berger found a set of irons he liked his senior year of high school in 2011, and he hasn’t found anything to replace them.
He used the TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons (4-iron through pitching wedge) at Florida State, stuck with them while on the Web.com Tour and then starting his PGA Tour career.
“I’ve done a bunch of testing and it’s the best iron for me. So I don’t see why I need to go out there and look for something else,” Berger said.
It’s not the exact same iron. He’s accumulated plenty of backups over the years. Some are available online, and others who know of his affinity for the clubs have reached out to him. He said he has “an extremely large amount” of sets at home in Florida.
“I have plenty of clubs right now to last me for a while,” he said. “And until something else comes out that is better I’m going to stick with what I have.”
Why hall-of-famer Karrie Webb has played lately
World Golf Hall of Fame member Karrie Webb had not played on the LPGA Tour since missing the cut at the Pelican Women’s Championship in November 2020, and then the 47-year-old Australian decided to play last week in the Gainbridge LPGA. Webb, who captured all four LPGA majors in a shorter span than anyone in history, made the cut and tied for 52nd.
“Being away from the game as long as I have, I would make a birdie and then make a bogey,” Webb said. “I could never get ahead of the game.”
That was evidence she had been away for some time. And there was evidence how long she has been around. Webb played the weekday rounds of Sue Oh, who was coming off a victory in the Australian Women’s PGA that earned a trophy named the Karrie Webb Cup.
Webb lives close enough to Boca Rio Golf Club that she was able to drive to the course.
“It’s not a real tour experience, because I got to stay at my own home. I never had to pack bags or get on a plane,” she said. “I did enjoy it. It was good to see everyone again and catch up with people. I guess where I am with golf … if it fits in with my life, rather than life fitting in with golf, I might play a couple.”
The AT&T event will make PGA Tour charity history
The Monterey Peninsula Foundation reaches a big milestone in charity this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am as the first PGA Tour event to surpass $200 million in donations.
The foundation is the host organization of Pebble and the chief beneficiary of the tournament’s net proceeds. Its charity dates to 1947, with money going to nonprofit organizations throughout Monterey and the surrounding communities.
“To reach this significant milestone speaks to the support of our title sponsor, partners, fans, and volunteers,” said Clint Eastwood, chairman of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. “The tournament has had a lasting and incredibly positive impact on our local communities.”
The PGA Tour also said it raised more than $173 million for charity in 2021, bringing the all-time total to $3.37 billion.
Yuka Saso became a citizen of Japan, in part because of golf
Yuka Saso became the first major champion from the Philippines when she won the US Women’s Open last year in a playoff at Olympic Club.
Now she’s playing under the Japanese flag.
Saso’s mother is Filipino and she was born in the Philippines. Her father de ella is Japanese, and she grew up in both countries. She was a member of the Japan LPGA when she won the Women’s Open last June. A month later, she tied for ninth in the Olympics while playing for the Philippines.
Japanese law requires a decision on citizenship before turning 22. The 20-year-old Saso decided late last year, though the LPGA still had the Filipino flag next to her name at the CME Group Tour Championship to end the year.
“Obviously for me it doesn’t really matter,” Saso said during the Florida swing. “I’m very proud of my dual citizenship. Whatever I represent, I’m Filipino. So it was just for passport more, because if I have Japanese passport then I can travel mostly everywhere with no visa. And that will be very helpful for my game, for my career.”
Collin Morikawa, Nelly Korda voted GWAA players of the year
Collin Morikawa, who won three times last year, was voted the male player of the year by the Golf Writers Association of America, beating out Jon Rahm. Nelly Korda won the female player of the year, while Phil Mickelson was senior player of the year. … Daniel Island Club just north of Charleston, South Carolina, is getting its first USGA championships. It will host the 2023 US Junior Amateur and the 2026 US Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. … European online car retailer Cazoo is expanding its presence on the European tour as the title sponsor of the French Open. Cazoo already sponsors tour events in Wales and England. … Derek Markham has won the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award from the USGA for his biography of him on golf course architect William Herbert Fowler.
Golf stat of the week
Luke List joined Tiger Woods as the only players who have shot 66 or lower multiple times in the final round at Torrey Pines since 1999.
Golf quote of the week
“If I could play any golf course with my buddies, I would play Pebble Beach or Cypress Point because the walk is just unparalleled. The ocean’s right there. For tournament golf, I actually think Riviera might be the best tournament golf course in the country.” — Patrick Cantlay