Go try and figure this one out. Try and figure out how a guy ranked 246th in the world went out Sunday at Pebble Beach and basically beat the tar out of the world’s No. 1.
Go try and figure out how Ted Potter Jr., a guy with one PGA Tour win from five years ago, who lost his card, broke his ankle and scratched his way back onto the tour could look so cool and calm as he basically ran circles around Dustin Johnson, a guy with superior fire-power who is anywhere from 40-50 yards longer and has about three box-cars more physical talent than the portly Potter.
Go try and make some sense of what transpired Sunday afternoon over the windy, chilly Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Someone go drag Bill Murray out of the bar and have him do his “Cinderella Boy” lines from Caddy Shack.
Cinderella, heck Ted Potter Jr. makes Cinderella look like a two-touchdown favorite.
“How does this happen? It’s a fairy tale kinda deal. He just played fantastic!”
That’s how Gary McCord put it and McCord has that gift of cutting to the chase.
He’s right — how did this happen?
When you consider that Potter held the overnight lead with D.J. at 14-under then nervously three-putted the first hole to start the final round, D.J. was probably thinking to himself: “I got this.”
By the time he reached the famous par three 17th, it was Potter who was most likely thinking: “I got this.”
After that shaky three-putt led to an opening bogey, Potter was absolutely superb the rest of the way. Four front nine birdies, including a marvelous chip-in for two at the short seventh, got him to 17-under, pushing him well in front of D.J. and everyone else, including world-class players like Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson.
Yeah, No. 246 squashed ’em like ants.
Potter set the table for this mammoth upset on Saturday when he flirted with 59 over a the Monterey Peninsula Golf Club. He shot 62 and did that with a bogey-bogey finish. It was his career round and the low round of the week.
After he made the turn on Sunday, Potter looked simply unflappable. No mistakes. Nine straight pars, great defense, no offense needed, no one else could get to 15, D.J. did briefly but doomed himself with bogeys at 11 and 15.
“He out-played everybody,” said Nick Faldo with the afternoon’s understatement.
“You’ve been to hell and back,” proclaimed foot-soldier Peter Kostis, noting he hadn’t even talked to Potter since that only win of his back in 2012 at The Greenbrier.
“It’s just unbelievable,” said Potter, his voice cracking with emotion, perhaps remembering the pain when he broke his ankle stepping off a curb when he was in Canada back in 2014.
He had to fight his way back on the Web.com Tour and eventually finished high enough last season to get back to the PGA Tour.
“It’s so good right now,” Potter went on. “This has been a blast this week. It’s unbelievable right now.”
No. 246 took down everyone, including No. 1, head-to-head.
Yeah, McCord was right.
Somewhere, Dustin Johnson was on his way to Los Angeles, probably asking himself:
“How did this happen?”