Round 4 - Sergio Garcia wins in a playoff
May 21, 2016
Sergio Garcia shot a 62 the first round he played at the Byron Nelson and tied for third as a 19-year-old kid in 1999. He won there five years later, again with Lord Byron watching.
With another win at the Nelson, Garcia matched Seve Ballesteros for the most PGA Tour victories by a Spanish-born player.
Garcia made a par on the first playoff hole Sunday to beat Brooks Koepka for his ninth career PGA Tour victory. He then touched the likeness of Nelson that tops the championship trophy and wiped away tears while sharing a moment with Peggy Nelson, the late golfer's widow.
''I just said thanks for everything, that it was great to see her again,'' Garcia said. ''It's been a very emotional week and obviously Peggy finished it off by making me cry, which I didn't think I was going to do.''
The 36-year-old Spaniard overcame four bogeys, and two balls in the water on the back nine, for a 2-under 68 to get to 15-under 265. He was two groups ahead of the final pairing of hometown favorite Jordan Spieth and Koepka, who bogeyed the 14th and 15th holes and just missed a birdie chance at 18.
''To be up there with Seve, it means the world to me and I kind of - you can kind of say I went a little bit a la Seve today,'' he said. ''I definitely wasn't driving the ball great until the end and a couple of iron shots here and there, but I was chipping and putting great. Some of his wins were like that and I'm very proud of it.''
Koepka, who started the day with a two-stroke lead over Spieth, was 17 under after his last birdies of the day, at Nos. 7 and 9. He shot 71.
When they went back to 413-yard 18th again for the playoff, Koepka went first and drove into the water before taking his drop and leaving his approach short of the green. Garcia hit a drive of more than 300 yards and followed with a wedge to about 17 feet.
''I drew it back into the wind. I was hoping it might hit the rocks,'' Koepka said. ''I really didn't have much the last 36 holes. I had no idea where the ball was going.''
Garcia also won the 2004 Nelson and is the first two-time winner in the 34 tournaments since the event moved to TPC Four Seasons in 1983.
Matt Kuchar was a stroke out of the playoff at 14 under after a 65.
Spieth, the world's No. 2-ranked player, had two bogeys in his first five holes Sunday and went on to shoot 74. He finished tied for 18th at 10 under.
''Just didn't really get anything going and kind of stinks, given I had a chance here at a hometown event,'' Spieth said.
Koepka hit each of his first two shots into the rough at the 14th and 15th holes. Those bogeys allowed Garcia to match the lead.
Even after his drive at No. 18 went into the right rough, Koepka still had a chance to win without a playoff when he made a nice shot to the green. But his 16-foot birdie chance curled just under the cup.
Garcia was 15 under for the third time in his final round when he made a short birdie putt after a nice chip shot at the par-5 16th. He had a pair of 12-foot birdie chances after that, but the ball stopped short at the par-3 17th and curled around the cup at No. 18.
In his 301st PGA Tour start, Garcia improved to 5-6 in playoffs and got a check for $1,314,000. Koepka was in his first playoff in his 55th tournament, a year after his only victory in the Phoenix Open.
Spieth first played in the Byron Nelson as a 16-year-old six years ago, when he tied for 16th - still his best finish in his six starts there. The Dallas native missed his high school graduation ceremony the following year after again making the cut there as an amateur.
Six weeks after his misery at the Masters, and a week after missing the cut at The Players Championship in his only other tournament since that blown five-stroke lead on the back nine when trying to win at Augusta for the second year in a row, Spieth was pretty much out of contention at home after his two early bogeys.
''Frustration, yeah,'' Spieth said, describing how he felt. ''I mean don't go from the final group in second place alone and finish in 18th ... there's not many positives you'll be able to take out of that other than the last hole I played I made birdie.''
That came on the same day that third-ranked Rory McIlroy won the Irish Open, his home tournament where he had struggled over the years.
AT&T, which sponsors the Nelson and Spieth, gave away 8,000 bobbleheads on Saturday. There were huge crowds watching his every move and his picture was plastered everywhere at TPC Four Seasons, but he had three bogeys in his first eight holes Sunday.
Round 3 - Brooks Koepka leads by two shots
May 21, 2016
Brooks Koepka overcame two early bogeys and the huge shadow of being in the same group with Jordan Spieth at home, shooting a 5-under 65 on Saturday to take the lead into the final round of the Byron Nelson.
Kopeka was at 16-under 194 to match the best 54-hole score at the Nelson and put him two strokes ahead of Spieth.
Koepka took the lead with a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 14. That was the same hole where Spieth hit his drive into the water, had to punch into the fairway and then drained a 23-foot bogey putt in his round of 67.
Spieth played his first PGA Tour event at the Nelson as a 16-year-old amateur six years ago. He is now the world's No. 2-ranked player and the crowd favorite. His image is everywhere, including the 8,000 bobbleheads given away Saturday.
Matt Kuchar, Bud Cauley and Sergio Garcia were tied for third at 13 under.
Round 2 - Ben Crane edges ahead at halfway
May 20, 2016
Ben Crane made a 14-foot birdie putt on his last hole Friday for a 7-under 63 and a one-stroke lead after two rounds at the Byron Nelson.
At 12-under 128, Crane was one stroke ahead of Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka and Bud Cauley.
Spieth had a 65. He's playing only his second tournament since squandering a five-stroke lead on the back nine at the Masters. The world's No. 2-ranked player missed the cut last week at The Players Championship.
The last time Crane led a tournament was at Memphis two years ago, the last of his five PGA Tour victories.
Crane first took the lead after six birdies in an eight-hole stretch, including a 70-foot shot from a greenside bunker at the par-4 third hole, his 12th of the day. The closing birdie came right after his only bogey.
Koepka had a 64, Cauley shot 65, and Garcia 66.
Round 1 - Jordan Spieth one off lead
May 20, 2016
Jordan Spieth covered his mouth in disbelief on the 16th green when his long eagle putt stopped short of falling in for a share of the lead. His group then rushed to complete the final two holes before dark.
Spieth finished with consecutive pars for a 6-under 64 on Thursday and was within a stroke of the lead when the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson was suspended because of darkness.
The world's No. 2-ranked player and Dallas native, whose first PGA Tour event was the Nelson as a 16-year-old amateur six years ago, is playing only his second tournament since squandering a five-stroke lead on the back nine at the Masters. He missed the cut last week at The Players Championship, but had only one three-putt to start at rain-softened TPC Four Seasons.
''This week felt a bit different than the past couple years as a professional. I don't know what it is,'' Spieth said. ''I came out and maybe kind of the bad weather has kind of softened the crowds and hasn't felt the same. ... Everything has been a bit more calm this week and it's been a lot easier to just stay in a normal rhythm.''
Sergio Garcia, Danny Lee and Johnson Wagner shared the lead at 7-under 63. Garcia played in the morning, and Lee and Wagner, like Spieth, were just able to complete the round that started 2 1/2 hours late after early morning rain.
Dustin Johnson and Freddie Jacobson matched Speith with 64s.
Tom Hoge, one of 30 players who have to finish their first rounds Friday morning, was 6 under through 14 holes. His only bogey was after he missed the green and then two-putted from 10 feet at the par-3 fifth, the last hole he completed. His final shot Thursday was an approach at the par-4 sixth, onto the green and 41 feet from the cup.
Garcia finished his round with eight consecutive one-putts. Wagner and Lee, the 25-year-old South Korean who lives in Irving and is playing on his home course, also were bogey-free.
There was a loud cheer at No. 1 when Spieth teed off, and another when he holed a shot from the intermediate rough for a birdie after missing the first green.
Spieth was 3 under through 10 holes before four consecutive holes without a par. He made a short birdie at 11 and a 20-footer at No. 12 before his only three-putt, from 50 feet at the par-3 13th. He quickly got back that stroke with a 13-foot birdie putt at No. 14.
Then at the par-5 16th, Spieth's 40-foot eagle chance that was rolling toward the middle of the cup when it stopped just short.
The 64 matched Spieth's best round at the Nelson, where his best finish is still a tie for 16th in his debut as a teenager. He tied for 30th last year when he played after winning the Masters.
After his short appearance at The Players, Spieth talked about needing to do a better job being positive and having more fun. This was a good start at the Nelson.
''It's just kind of something that everyone goes through. You got to learn to deal with it your own way and everyone gets frustrated when you play golf. You can't be perfect in this game,'' he said. ''It's just little bits and pieces here where I can maybe stay a little more neutral and yeah, when you're playing well, when you're 4, 5-under par, it's a lot easier to be happy.''
Garcia had a quick answer for what he changed midway through the opening round when all of his putts started going into the hole, including a 60-foot eagle putt on the par-5 seventh after a 25-foot birdie putt the previous hole.
''Nothing,'' said Garcia, the 2004 Nelson champion. ''The hole got in the way. Simple as that.''
Garcia finished a stroke off his Nelson-best 62 he shot as a 19-year-old in 1999 in his first round at Lord Byron's tournament on the way to a third-place finish. He is back for the first time in five years.
He had only one birdie and needed 18 putts on his first 10 holes, including a 21-foot par-saver after his tee shot into the greenside bunker at the par-3 17th.
''Nice par putt on 17 to stay 1 under and then kind of caught fire on the other nine,'' Garcia said.
|T4||USA||Charles Howell III||-13||65||70||66||66||267|
|T10||USA||Justin B Hicks||-12||70||65||68||65||268|
|T41||USA||Billy Hurley III||-7||69||65||73||66||273|
|T63||RSA||Tyrone Van Aswegen||-3||70||67||68||72||277|
|CUT||RSA||Drikus Van der Walt||-1||74||65||-||-||139|
|CUT||CAN||Richard T. Lee||Par||69||71||-||-||140|
|CUT||USA||Frank Lickliter II||5||72||73||-||-||145|