PGA Tour: At the AT&T Byron Nelson in Texas, K.H Lee halted a poor run of form by overcoming a star-studded leaderboard and completing an unexpected championship defence.
The world No. 88, who had only one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour since his breakthrough triumph in last year’s event, recovered a four-stroke deficit on the final day at TPC Craig Ranch to win by four strokes.
Lee shot a bogey-free 63 to finish the week on 26 under par, beating his own tournament record set a year ago, and becoming the first player since Tom Watson in 1980 to win the AT&T Byron Nelson twice.
“It [winning] feels amazing,” Lee told Sky Sports. “I’ve struggled with my game the past couple of months and I’ve had no top-10s this year, but when I’m here I’m more comfortable and more confident. I’ve tried my best and maybe being here has helped me.”
Despite a five-under 67, home favourite Jordan Spieth ended a shot behind the leaders, while Hideki Matsuyama tied for third with overnight leader Sebastian Munoz after a final-round 62.
Lee had his first of four birdies in a five-hole stretch at the second, and he added another at the par-five ninth to reach the turn in 31.
He was eight-under for the round after an unbelievable approach from the middle of the 12th fairway set for a close-range eagle and a 15-foot birdie at the next, but he missed the opportunity to expand his lead when he three-putted from 40 feet to par the driveable 14th hole.
Lee made crucial putts at the 16th and 17th holes to stay ahead of Spieth and the pursuing pack heading to the par-five 18th, where a two-putt birdie from 25 feet set an impossible clubhouse aim.
Spieth had a shaky start, making bogeys on both sides of an eight-foot birdie at the second, but then scored four birdies in five holes from the fifth, only to make a three-putt bogey from inside eight feet at the par-four tenth.
3-putt from under 7 feet.
Jordan Spieth moves from co-leader to 1 back. pic.twitter.com/AZJuP7Eqj4
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 15, 2022
The former world No. 1 picked up strokes at the 12th and 14th holes before capitalising on a missed birdie opportunity at the 17th to take advantage of the par-five 18th.
With 14 players finishing 20 under or better during a birdie-filled event, Justin Thomas shared fifth place with Ryan Palmer and Xander Schauffele, who both carded a round-of-the-day 61.
Seamus Power of Ireland qualified for the PGA Championship in a tie for 17th place, while England’s halfway leader David Skinns finished in a tie for 38th place following rounds of 74 and 70 over the weekend.
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