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Potter outplays Johnson for Pebble Beach win

From ESPN - February 11, 2018

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Ted Potter Jr. outplayed the world's No. 1 player and held off everyone else Sunday to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National for his first victory since a broken ankle nearly ended his career.

Potter holed a chip from behind the green for birdie on the par-3 seventh hole to build a 2-shot lead over Dustin Johnson, and no one got any closer the rest of the way. He finished with 11 straight pars for a 3-under 69 and a 3-shot victory over Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Chez Reavie.

Potter was unflappable while playing alongside Johnson, who next week will complete one full year at No. 1 in the world. That changed when he tapped in for par on the 18th hole, and he choked back emotion of a week he wo not soon forget.

He stepped off a curb in Canada in August 2014 and broke his ankle, keeping him out of golf for two years and back to the minor leagues a year ago. Potter's only other victory was at The Greenbrier Classic in 2012. He has missed the cut in 55 percent of the PGA Tour events in his career.

Then he did not flinch next to Johnson, with Mickelson making a late charge and Day never too far behind.

"It's been a struggle," he said. "You break your ankle, and you do not know what's going to happen with your swing, with your career. It's unbelievable right now. ... This has been a blast this week."

Potter, who came into the week at No. 246 in the world, earns a trip to the Masters for the first time in five years. He finished at 17-under 270 and earned $1,332,000, nearly half of his career earnings going into the week.

It was another disappointment for Johnson going into the final round. He has now won five out of 12 times when he took at least a share of the 54-hole lead into the final round. Johnson led briefly when Potter three-putted for bogey on the opening hole. That did not last long, and the tone of the final round was set along the ocean holes on the front nine.

Johnson lost a good birdie chance when his flip wedge found a bunker on No. 4. He hit his worst shot of the week on the tee at No. 5, which sailed right and over the cliff and forced him to make a good up-and-down to escape with bogey.

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