Is Daniel Berger Healthy for Waste Management Open? He Explains Back Injury & Pebble Beach Withdrawal
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Daniel Berger
One of the biggest questions entering the Waste Management Phoenix Open from a betting and daily fantasy sports perspective is the health of Daniel Berger.
Berger withdrew from the Pebble Beach Pro-Am a week ago, citing a back injury. That’s an injury that has caused him problems in the past and left him out of the field without a chance to defend his title.
He’s in the field this week in Scottsdale and is someone bettors and DFS players have circled as one of the best course fits. If healthy, Berger could be a bet. So, is he?
GolfBet’s Jason Sobel caught up with Berger from TPC Scottsdale on Wednesday via Twitter Spaces. Berger believes he’s healthy and ready to go.
“It’s always tough to not be able to defend a tournament that you won and that you love so much, but I didn’t feel healthy enough to compete for four days,” Berger said. “I took the time that I didn’t play, and I worked on my body, and I got the treatment and did the stuff in the gym that I needed to do, and I’m thankful for it because now I feel better and I’m ready to go.”
Berger explained he has an SI joint sprain that he played through at Torrey Pines but didn’t want to make it worse by playing through it at Pebble Beach.
“I would have played…but you have a long season ahead of you and you have to think about events in the future,” he said. “I didn’t want to do something that was going to make it harder for me to come back in the weeks going ahead, so that’s why I made the decision.”
From a DFS standpoint, he’s even lower. At $9,200 on DraftKings, Berger is cheaper than the five aforementioned players plus Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka and Sam Burns. He’s just ahead of Scottie Scheffler, who is $9,100.
In his last start, Berger finished T20 at the Farmers Insurance Open, five strokes behind Will Zalatoris and Luke List. He was T5 in early January at the Tournament of Champions. He was T7 in December at the Hero World Challenge.
Berger missed the cut at last year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, but he was T9 in 2020.