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Berger nails first PGA Tour win in Memphis

Associated Press Associated Press 12/06/2016

American Daniel Berger held his nerve as the big names stalked to become the 13th first-time winner on this year's PGA Tour with victory at the St Jude Classic.

Having been forced to wait out a three-hour rain delay before his final round got underway, the 23-year-old Floridian shot a three-under 67 to finish at 13-under 267, three strokes ahead of Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Brooks Koepka.

It was the first time Berger, the son of former world top-10 tennis professional Jay Berger, had been in the final group on Sunday - and the pressure was really on when Mickelson closed within a stroke on the back nine.

But Berger responded with birdies on three of his next four holes, highlighted by a 32-foot putt on the par-3 14th that pushed his lead to three at 13 under.

"To kind of get it done today means a lot," Berger said.

"To do that with so many great players, Hall of Famers behind me, it's something that I'll never forget and I just love the way I hung in there and was able to get it done."

Mickelson and Stricker shot 67, and Koepka had a 66.

Dustin Johnson had a 63, setting the back-nine record with a 29, to finish fifth at nine under.

Matt Jones was the best-placed Australian in a tie for 26th at two under after he closed with an even-par round.

Mickelson was left hoping his runner-up finish was not a portent of things to come heading to the US Open - the only major he is yet to win - having finished second in the event on six occasions.

"For the most part I hit a lot of good shots, played pretty well and seems," Mickelson said.

"It almost feels like US Open came a week early to finish another second place.

Berger will head to Oakmont trying to do something no one has ever done before by following up a tour title by winning the US Open.

Only 11 golfers have ever won a major after winning on tour the previous wee - Rory McIlroy the last when he won the PGA Championship the week after taking the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in 2014.

"When I played in the Masters for the first time I think I finished 10th, five shots behind and didn't really play that great," Berger said.

"So, you know if I can go in there next week and play good, then obviously I have what it takes to get the W."

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