Monday, May 20, 2013



By PGATOUR.COM wire services

IRVING, Texas -- Sang-Moon Bae watched anxiously after hitting his tee shot at the par-3 17th hole Sunday in the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

When the ball landed on the front edge of the green fronted by water, he bent his knees and leaned backward obviously relieved. He was only a few shots away from his first US PGA Tour victory and a congratulatory hug from the widow of the tournament's namesake.

After squandering a four-stroke lead in the final round, the 26-year-old South Korean beat Keegan Bradley by two stokes for a win in the United States to go with his 11 international victories on the South Korea, Japan and Asian tours.
Bae picked up 500 FedExCup points with the win, moving to 18th in the season-long standings.
"It's something I've always dreamed of, winning on the US PGA Tour," Bae said. "It was surreal to have Mrs. (Peggy) Nelson there and with all the history ... I was in awe, actually, so almost I didn't know how to react. `'
Bae, who is 26 going on 27 years old, finished at 13-under 267 with a closing 1-under 69 on a day with wind gusting to near 40 mph at times, similar to conditions two years ago when Bradley got his first US Tour win at TPC Four Seasons. Bradley shot 72 this time.
Four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the front nine gave Bae a four-stroke advantage in the final group. But he made double bogey at No. 9 and a bogey at the next hole.
After some nice par saves, Bradley finally got even with a birdie at the 15th hole, a 17-footer that had just enough to get into the cup. But the American missed a short birdie putt at the next hole to fall behind for good.
"When my iron play came back in the latter part of the round, I had confidence," Bae said. "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."
Bradley was trying to become the HP Byron Nelson's first wire-to-wire winner since Tom Watson in 1980. Bradley set the course record with an opening 60 even with two bogeys.
"I'm pretty disappointed but Moon played very well," Bradley said. `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."

Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champ, shot a 68 to finish third at 10 under. Justin Bolli shot a bogey-free 65 for the best round of the day and matched his career-best finish of fourth. A stroke further back at 272 were Morgan Hoffmann (66), Martin Kaymer (68) and Scott Piercy (72).
Bae won $1.2 million, nearly matching his total US PGA Tour career earnings of $1.6 million in his 42 previous starts. He tied for second last year in the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank after getting into a four-man playoff. He is the fourth South Korean-born player to win on the US Tour, joining K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and Kevin Na.
Bradley's birdie at 15 was the only one he made all day. It gave him a share of the lead when Bae missed a par putt there from just inside 6 feet.
But after Bae sank a 5-foot birdie at the par-5 16th hole, Bradley had a shorter putt on the same line -- it horseshoed around the hole and didn't fall. He then hit his tee shot at the 171-yard 17th over the green.
"I hit that right down my line, right perfect," Bradley said. "I just hit it too good. I ripped it through the wind."
That made it irrelevant that he finally had a par at No. 18, the hole he bogeyed the first three rounds. Especially with Bae's final drive landing in the middle of the fairway.
Players wore red ribbons during the final round in memory of Ken Venturi, the 1964 U.S. Open champion and longtime CBS golf analyst who died Friday. 
With the gusty winds and dried-out greens, the scoring average was 71.8 on Sunday. That was two strokes higher than Thursday's first round, after inches of rain. Players were able to lift, clean and place their balls the first two days.
"Feels a little like the British Open without rain," Martin Kaymer said about the conditions Sunday.
At No. 14, Bradley drove into the left rough between some trees and missed the green before chipping to 5 feet to save par. On the par 3 just before that, his tee shot settled behind the green, but he hit from there to 8 feet and made that putt as well.
Bradley scrambled for pars on the first two holes, and gave up the lead at the 502-yard third hole when his drive went left into the water. He bogeyed and Bae rolled in a 27-foot birdie putt.
Bae was 16 under and four strokes ahead after three consecutive birdies, on the fifth through seventh holes.
Notes: Tom Gillis, in his 150th US PGA Tour start and still without a win, started the final round only two strokes out of the lead. He shot 76, including a triple-bogey 7 at the sixth hole that already had him 6 over for the round. ... Ryo Ishikawa had an eagle, five birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey in his closing 67. ... Defending champion Jason Dufner was 4 over through eight holes Sunday on way to a 72. He finished at 279, tied for 33rd. .

About the winner: Sang-Moon Bae

• Sang-Moon Bae moves from No. 95 to No. 18 in the FedExCup standings. Last year as a rookie, he finished 96th in the FedExCup standings.
• Bae, currently in his sophomore season, has made 11 of 13 cuts this year, with his only other top 10 coming at the Northern Trust Open (T8).
• Bae’s previous best finish on TOUR was a playoff loss to Luke Donald at the 2012 Tampa Bay Championship.
• Bae is the fifth golfer of South Korean-descent to capture a US PGA Tour title: K.J. Choi (8), Y.E. Yang (2), Kevin Na (1), John Huh (1).

• There have been 11 players that have claimed their first TOUR win at the HP Byron Nelson Championship: Don January (1956), Johnny Pott (1960), Charles Coody (1964), Mark Hayes (1976), Neal Lancaster (1994), Robert Damron (2001), Ted Purdy (2005), Brett Wetterich (2006), Jason Day (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Sang-Moon Bae (2013).

Par 280 (4x70)
Players from USA unless stated
267 Sang-Moon Bae (South Korea) 66 66 66 69.
269 Keegan Bradley 60 69 68 72.
270 Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) 63 70 69 68.
271 Justin Bolli 69 69 68 65
272 Morgan Hoffman 69 71 66 66, Martin Kaymer (Germany) 68 67 69 68, Scott Piercy 66 68 66 72

281 Padraig Harrington (Ireloand) 70 70 71 70 (T48)
283 Gary Christian (England) 69 69 70 75 (T63)





Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google