We were so entranced in the Stewart Cink / Ben Crane / Rafa Cabrera Bello story that we forgot all about the defending champion.
Daniel Berger’s Sunday 66 saw him zoom up the leaderboard to win his second straight FedEx St. Jude Classic on Sunday, edging Kim Meen-whee and Charl Schwartzel by a single stroke.
He was spectacularly dull on Sunday, with two birdies on the front nine, two more on the back, and 14 boring pars while the competition crumble around him. Berger made sure his opponents knew early on how focused he was, nailing a 25-foot chip in to save par on No. 3.
He entered the day three strokes off the lead.
“We hear a lot about the young guns and about the Justin Thomases and Jordan Spieths, but I feel like I kind of get forgotten a little bit,” Berger said. “I’m pretty good, so I’m just going to try and keep doing my thing and see if I can’t get a few more.”
Berger joins a list of four men who have won the St Jude Classic in back-to-back years. He’s the first man to do it since David Toms in 2003-2004.
Saturday’s three co-leaders all took swan dives down the leaderboard. Cink and Crane both went down with 73s, while Cabrera Bello hung around with a 71. At one point, nine different players were tied for first at 8-under.
Amateur Braden Thornberry, the 2017 NCAA champion, closed with a 65 to tie for fourth.