Greenbrier Classic 2012: Ted Potter Jr.'s Win Won't Translate to British Open
Ted Potter Jr.'s victory in the Greenbrier Classic is as unlikely as it gets. He entered the tournament ranked No. 218 in the world. It was his first PGA Tour victory and 11th professional victory overall.
This provides a great story similar to when Webb Simpson hoisted the crown in the 2012 U.S. Open, but it won't continue. The British Open looms large in August, and that's a whole different ballgame.
Not only will Potter Jr. have to play better than he did to win the Greenbrier Classic, he will have to play the best golf of his life on a major stage.
Nothing against the Greenbrier Classic, but it's not a major.
The moment can become too big for even the world's best golfers when the biggest tournaments are involved, and Potter Jr. is no different. He will have to be patient in his ascent up golf's ranks. His victory this weekend was incredible, and unlikely, but him continuing that success next month is even less likely.
It's tough to say he can't do it right now. He overcame a four-stroke deficit on Sunday's final four holes to chase down Troy Kelly and force a playoff. He showed his fortitude, but he still has a long way to go.
Playing one period of timely golf isn't going to be enough to win one of the world's toughest golf tournaments.
I'm not taking anything away from Potter Jr. Shooting a 64 in each of this tournament's final two rounds was an excellent answer and allowed him to climb the leaderboard. It landed him in position to force the playoff and eventually set up his tourney-winning birdie putt.
He played two admirable rounds culminating in an epic performance down the back stretch, but we've seen this several times this year. He's the sixth first-time winner this year, and none of those competitors have been able to catch that lightning again, at least up to this point.
Potter Jr. will start planning for the British Open now. He'd better if he wants to make an impact.
He's never played on that size of a stage, and he'd better not underestimate the difference in atmosphere, required skill and sheer attention placed on every stroke.
It was a wonderful win on Sunday, but Potter Jr. isn't ready to take the next step.
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