5 Things: Bae holds steady to win HP Byron Nelson
Monday, May 20, 2013
Sang-Moon Bae broke away after being tied late with Keegan Bradley (who had posted a 60 in the first round and led the first three days), leading Bae to his first PGA Tour win at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Here are 5 Things to Know about the Byron Nelson Championship:
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1. No "Vacay" For Bae
Prior to Sunday's win in Texas, Sang-Moon Bae might have been most famous for the lyrics in the latest Golf Boys video.
But his game did all the talking at TPC Four Seasons Resort, overcoming a major winner and holding off a second in securing his first Tour victory -- and the third first-time winner in the last four Tour starts.
Bae jumped out early, picking up four birdies during his first seven holes and taking a four-shot lead over Bradley in the process.
But a double bogey on No. 9, followed by a bogey on No. 10, tightened things up.
Bae's turning point came on the par-5 16th, making a 5-footer for birdie after a nice third shot from the fairway. After making his putt, Bradley lipped out on a 4-footer to match the birdie.
Bae isn't a stranger to the winner's circle, with the Byron Nelson his 12th career victory.
Bae's previous best finish on the PGA Tour was a playoff loss in the 2012 Transitions Championship in Tampa, Fla. He is also the first Asian-born player to win since Kevin Na in Las Vegas in 2011.
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2. No Coast-To-Coast For Bradley
Keegan Bradley started the tournament by flirting with 59, but leaves still searching for his first victory since the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August 2012.
Bradley didn't pick up a birdie until the par-4 15th – which brought him even with Bae at 12 under – but gave it back with a bogey at the par-3 17th en route to a 2-over 72.
Bradley had 10 birdies Thursday, but had only 10 over the next 54 holes.
Bradley has been knocking on victory's door all season, with Sunday's second-place finish his fourth top-four-or-better performance of the season.
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3. Schwartzel Slips Late
2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel couldn't quite stay bogey-free Sunday, posting one on the 18th to wrap up a 68 and finish third.
Not only was it his lone bogey of the day, it was his only bogey on Nos. 15-18 all week.
Schwartzel's best finish this season was T-3 at the Northern Trust Open in February, when he missed out on a playoff by one shot after finishing with eight straight pars.
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4. One-Hit Wonders Pay Off
Bradley wasn't the only golfer who fired off an impressive opening round, then hover around par the rest of the way en route to a strong payoff this week.
• Angel Cabrera opened with a 65 and was even par the rest of the way (69-70-71) to finish T-13 at 5 under.
• Marc Leishman opened with a 66 and was 1 under the rest of the way (70-69-70) to finish T-13 at 5 under.
• Harris English opened with a 64 and was 2 over the rest of the way (70-68-74) to finish T-17 at 4 under.
Justin Bolli did the reverse, opening 69-69-68 then shooting 65 – Sunday's best round – to climb 15 spots to finish fourth at 9 under.
And John Huh rode a second-round 64 to a 7-under week, going 69-69-71 the rest of the way.
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5. Short Shots
Morgan Hoffmann and Ricky Barnes closed with 4-under 66s. Hoffmann climbed 15 spots to T-5, Barnes 40 spots to T-13. . . . Ryo Ishikawa's 3-under 67 sent him to the clubhouse in line for his first top-10 since the Memorial last year. . . . Louis Oosthuizen cited trouble with his neck in withdrawing before Sunday's final round; he had been T-32 at 3 under through three rounds. . . . Michael Bradley also withdrew before the final round, citing trouble with his back; he had been 2 under. . . . John Daly bogeyed his last six holes en route to a 77 that cost him 34 spots after starting the day T-32 – and $18,626 compared to what T-33 paid. . . . Former Texas Longhorn Jordan Spieth struggled on the weekend. After two under-par rounds to make the cut, he failed to break par – and a pair of double bogeys Sunday keyed his worst round of the tournament, 75, as he finished 5 over and T-68. . . . Defending champion Jason Dufner bogeyed four of his first eight holes Sunday en route to a 72 and a 1-under finishing score at T-33.
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