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HP Byron Nelson Championship. Keegan Crumbles, Korean Bae Wins.

Korean Sang-Moon Bae won the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Texas, with a last round of -1 under par, 69,  for a total of -13 under par. Keegan Bradley crumbled under the pressure and could only manage a last round of par, finishing two strokes behind the leader at -11 under par.

Sang-Moon rising

Sang-Moon Bae with his first PGA Tour Trophy/ Pennington / Getty Images

Sang-Moon said winning a PGA Tournament was something he had always dreamed of;

“It’s something I’ve always dreamed of, winning on the PGA TOUR. It was surreal to have Mrs. Nelson there and with all the history, I was in awe, actually, so almost I didn’t know how to react.”

Sang-Moon’s  previous best finish on the PGA TOUR was a playoff loss to Luke Donald at the 2012 Tampa Bay Championship. He said he was happy that he played the back nine better;

” When my iron play came back in the latter part of the round, I had confidence. On that shot on 17, I knew it was short, and the wind pushed it over to the right, and I was happy and relieved that it turned out OK.”

Despite struggling all day Keegan was uplifted by a birdie putt on 15, and thought he could then go on and be the first player since Tom Watson in 1980 to win this competition wire to wire;

“I’m pretty disappointed but Moon played very well. I just didn’t play great today, but I hung in there. I chipped away. When I made that putt on 15, I was pretty confident that I was going to win.”

South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters Champ, shot a last round of -2 under par, 68, to finish in third place on his own third at -10 under par.

 

 

 

HP Byron Nelson Championship. Keegan Crushes the Course.

Keegan Bradley crushed the TPC Four Seasons Resort course with an opening record scoring round of -10 under par 60, at the  HP Byron Nelson Championship.

HP Byron Nelson

Record holder Keegan Bradley / Pennington / Getty Images

Keegan Bradley set a new course record at the TPC  Four Seasons Resort course in Irving Texas, as they say, everything comes up big in Texas, and -10 under par for one round of golf is big. He now has a three shot lead over second placed Charl Schwartzel, who had a wonder round himself, shooting a -7 under par, 63. Usually that kind of round would give you the lead on the Tour, but not this week.

Keegan said the thought of a 59 had crossed his mind, talking about the putt for it, he said;

“It was going right at it, a 59 crossed my mind for a second, and it would be unbelievable if I buried this. But I had 3 feet to shoot 60, I was actually very nervous, uncomfortable over it and thank God I made it. It was rare to match up a ball-striking day and make everything. It happened today, the hole looked huge. Even the putts I missed almost went in.”

Charl was was happy they had played in the morning;

“Seems like you don’t get many of those opportunities, so being out here first was a bit of an advantage. So much rain, it softened up. Played long off the tee, but it’s a big advantage going into the greens with the second shot. You could attack flags.”

There are three players tied in third place at -6 under par for the tournament with opening rounds of 64, they are; Ted Potter Jnr, Harris English and Robert Karlsson. They must all be hoping that Keegan does not go out tomorrow and shoot another low round, which would probably wrap up the tournament.

Young Chinese player Tianlang Guan finished at even par, he was happy with his round;

“I missed a couple of birdie putts in the middle but overall not a bad round. After the Masters and New Orleans, I still feel nervous on the first tee but not too much, and I handle it pretty good in the middle fairway and kept it going.”

HP Byron Nelson Championship, Jason Dufner Wins

I'll have another

Jason Dufner Carroll/Getty Images

Jason Dufner birdied the 18th hole to win the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort,  Irving, Texas, by one shot from Dickie Pride. Jason had a last round of -3 under par 67 for a tournament total of -11 under par. This is Jason’s second Tour win in four weeks, and also the second of his career. This win gives Jason the lead in the FedEx Cup standings. Jason was pleased with his weeks work;

 “Great week for me golfwise. Tough conditions throughout the week. Today was easier. That’s why I think you saw the leaderboard jam up there toward the top, made for exciting golf toward the end. Good bit of guys had a chance to claim the trophy.It was nice to have a birdie putt there at the end to win, and not to be in a playoff for once. So just all in all a great week the last month. You couldn’t ask for anything more professionally or personally, for what’s been going on”

Dickie Pride was alone in second place on -10 after his -3 under par last round. Dickie enjoyed his tournament and also praised Jason;

 “It was fun. Apparently that was not a very difficult putt on 18, from the long right !!  It was downhill about a cup and a half out, and I made it, and I was pretty happy about that. Jason made a great putt. He’s a really good player.I think we’re all seeing that, we’ve known that, now he’s just winning tournaments, but I have a lot of respect for Jason. When we had our pro-am in Tuscaloosa for Tornado Relief, he was the first guy. He said, “I’m coming, I’m bringing a team and how can I help,” and that says a lot about him. For a guy that doesn’t say much, that says a lot about him. I’m happy for Jason. He went to Auburn, everyone is making a big deal about that, but he married a woman from Alabama to show him around, guys, someone has to do it!

Four players tied for third spot at -9 under par, they were; Joe Durant, Marc Leishman, Jonas Blixt and J.J. Henry. Unlucky J. J. stood on the par three 17th tee with a one shot lead, but an errant club selection saw him airmail the green, and he suffered a double bogey 5, to drop out of contention. The seven iron was way too much club, Phil Mickleson by comparison hit just a wedge onto the same green. Phil finished tied for 7th place on -6 under par for the tournament.

J.J Henry talked about 17;

 “Obviously it’s disappointing. I played great all day, and to be honesty thought I had a great shot on 17. I hit the line exactly where I tried to, and it carried about 6 or 7 yards too far and it’s disappointing but that’s golf. You take the good with the bad. Great crowds out here. Everybody was very supportive. To play so well for that long, and actually like I said, I thought I had a good shot on 17 but the golf gods thought otherwise. I’m happy. This is the best I’ve played here, carry momentum into Colonial, right there where I live, and it’s always fun to play at home.”

Phil Mickelson enjoyed the week with his family, apart from his poor golf form;

“We had such a great week. There was so much to do here in Dallas: The two Ranger games, water parks. She and I had a special week, and I really had a great time here. This is a well-run event and I’m happy I was able to come back., I didn’t strike it well this week, and when the wind came up this week my misses were magnified and I hit into some crazy spots. Today there wasn’t any wind, they were more playable and manageable, and I was able to get hot with the putter. It’s not like I knocked down the flag by any means, but I tried to make some on the greens.”

 

Ernie Els finished tied for 41st place at 1 over par, another sad tournament for the South African Major winner.

Next week is the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial CC, Ft. Worth, Texas, where the defending champion is David Toms.

HP Byron Nelson Championship, 2nd round, Jason Dufner leads.

                                                                                     

Jason Dufner leads the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas, after he carded birdies at four of the last five holes to lead at 7 under par for the tournament. He said after the finish of his round;

 “Had a couple of chip-ins, you don’t really expect those. I’ve played pretty solid for two days.”

Late rally to the lead

Carroll/Getty Images

He leads by just one shot from a posse of six players, who will all be aiming to gun him down tomorrow. In the chasing pack are;

Chad Campbell, Ryan Palmer, Pat Perez, Dicky Pride, Marc Leishman and last weeks winner Matt Kuchar.  Ryan commented on getting a birdie at the last hole;

 “I stayed in the moment and survived. To birdie the last hole is an awesome feeling going into tomorrow.”

Making the cut were Phil Mickleson and Ernie Els, but both of them struggled on this par 70 course.

Not here tomorrow are some notables, in Adam Scott, who disappointingly finished at 4 over par for the tournament and Louis Oosthuizen who crashed out at +5 over. Joining them in the trash can are Y.E. Yang and Mike Weir, with scores so high it is too embarrassing to report.

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