Local golfer celebrates surprise victory at prestigious Pebble Beach Pro-Am

You could excuse Silver Springs’ Ted Potter Jr., if he envisioned never winning another tournament on the Professional Golfers Association Tour.

After all, it seemed whenever something good was going to be in the cards for the graduate of Lake Weir High School, adversity would rear its ugly head.

But any one who knows Potter knows he is very down-to-earth and humble and keeps his emotions on an even keel.

They know he never forgets a friend. In fact, he still plays a round-or-two of golf with his buddies at the local courses. Besides toting a golf bag with his pals, Potter has been known to be seen carrying a shotgun or fishing pole with the same bunch of homeboys.

Ted Potter Jr.

This past weekend, Potter answered the question of another title when he won the prestigious  Pebble Beach Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, California.

Despite sweating making the cut prior to round 3, Potter went on hot streak to a three-shot victory shooting a score of 17-under par.

The four people who tied for second included super-stars Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Chez Reavie.

The win was Potter’s second of his career.

He won the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, but things have been downhill since.

Adversity almost cost Potter that 2012 tournament.

He was forced to go into a playoff round for the victory. He missed a five-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole.

The win put Potter into the 2013 Masters. He did not win the big event, but he won the pre-event, par-3 tournament.

Potter learned the game of golf from his father, Ted, Sr.

His dad, who has for many years been a golf-course maintenance worker locally, put clubs in the young boys’ hands when he was a 2-year-old.

A natural-born right-hander, the younger Potter copied his dad so thoroughly; he began hitting golf balls left-handed like his southpaw dad.

At Lake Weir High School, the youngster was named all-district three times and made it to the state championships twice as an individual.

But his coronation came when, as an 18-year-old, Potter won the Marion Masters, a three-day amateur tournament at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Summerfield.

He not only won it, but was a whopping 17 strokes ahead of the second-place finisher.

His biggest obstacle came in July of 2014 when a misstep in a pair flip-flops resulted in a broken ankle. It came at a time when he was struggling to keep his PGA card.

It virtually wiped out his PGA career for four years.

That obstacle may have defeated a less dedicated person, but Potter showed his resiliency with Sunday’s victory.

That resiliency was evident earlier in his career.

In his first year on the Web.com Tour (previously the Nationwide Tour) in 2004, Potter missed all 24 cuts.

He came back to win several mini-tour victories and earned his PGA card for the first time in 2011.

After his injury and several other frustrations, Potter got his card back in 2018.

Potter can be excused for having to fight back the tears after his victory.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” a tearfully happy Potter said. “The broken ankle has been five years and you never know what it is going to do to your game or swing.”

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