KH Lee Holds off Jordan Spieth, Wins Once more at Low-scoring Byron Nelson

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KH Lee ran throughout the golf green to attempt to get a greater view of the important thing shot in his second consecutive victory within the Byron Nelson.

The South Korean should have identified it might be shut, similar because the low-scoring drama round him that included hometown favourite Jordan Spieth and a few different main winners in Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas.

Lee’s 240-yard shot on the par-5 Twelfth gap stopped lower than 5 toes from the pin, and the eagle put him in entrance for good Sunday on the best way to a 9-under 63 and a one-shot victory over Spieth at birdie-besieged TPC Craig Ranch.

Spieth shot a 67 to complete a stroke forward of Matsuyama (62) and Sebastián Muñoz (69), who held or shared the lead the primary three rounds.

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Xander Schauffele had a career-best 61 and tied for fifth with Ryan Palmer (66) and Thomas (67), who was a part of an eight-way tie for the lead at 20 below early within the remaining spherical.

A 12 months in the past, Lee was taking part in for a spot within the PGA Championship, the place he’ll be once more subsequent week at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This time it was for a spot in historical past because the 30-year-old joined Sam Snead (1957-58), Jack Nicklaus (1970-71) and Tom Watson (1978-80) as the one repeat winners on the Nelson.

Lee’s career-best spherical overcame a four-shot deficit going into the ultimate spherical and put him at 26 below, one shot higher than final 12 months. Each of his PGA Tour wins have come on the Nelson.

“It nonetheless seems like I’m dreaming,” stated Lee, a first-time winner as a father after his spouse was pregnant when he gained final 12 months. “Final 12 months and this 12 months, to make a superb reminiscence.”

Spieth needed to accept one other career-best end within the occasion he so badly desires to win, a 12 months after the three-time main champion was ninth however by no means actually shut in a disappointing remaining spherical.

This remaining spherical was actually shut.

Main by one, Lee made a curling 12-foot putt to avoid wasting par on the par-3 seventeenth after a brief chip ran lengthy when Lee tried to seek out his footing within the sand with the ball above his toes simply outdoors the bunker.

Spieth missed a 9-foot birdie putt on 17 that might have pulled him even, then needed to have eagle on the par-5 18th after Lee’s tap-in birdie. Spieth’s eagle chip stayed left of the outlet.

After two bogeys within the first three holes, Spieth had one other with a three-putt inside seven toes on 10, and the wait will proceed 12 years after his exceptional tour debut as a Sunday contender when he was a 16-year-old excessive schooler.

“I like taking part in at house. I might like to win it some day,” stated Spieth, who gained his earlier begin at Hilton Head the week after the Masters. “I had a superb probability right here, I don’t assume I ever actually had the lead by myself. However it might be good to shut one out.”

With brief par 4s and reachable par 5s, the birdies by no means stopped at TPC Craig Ranch, the second-year house of the Nelson.

There have been 2,228 birdies after 2,007 a 12 months in the past, which was probably the most on tour final season. Eagles had been plentiful, too. Final 12 months, six gamers reached 20 below. This time it was 14.

Even missed possibilities at eagles had been pricey, comparable to on No. 12 when Muñoz’s 6-footer circled the cup and stayed out, leaving him a stroke behind not lengthy after Lee adopted his clutch shot by making the brief putt.

Matsuyama, who completed thirty ninth on the Nelson final 12 months when he was the defending Masters champion, had six birdies on the entrance and three on the again earlier than a bogey stopped his momentum. An eagle on 18 obtained him nearer.

Masters champ Scottie Scheffler, who shared the hometown highlight with Spieth as a pair of former Texas golfers, shot 69 and completed 19 below. The highest-ranked participant by no means was a severe contender after profitable 4 of his earlier six particular person begins.

Schauffele posted a clubhouse lead at 23 below with a birdie on 18 simply because the final teams had been making the flip. The Twelfth-ranked participant stated he didn’t determine on hanging round lengthy with the scoring so low.

He was free to go after Matsuyama’s eagle at 18 put the 2021 Masters champion a shot forward. Nonetheless, Schauffele’s turnaround was exceptional in his first occasion since teaming with Patrick Cantlay to win the Zurich Traditional.

The reigning Olympic champion was 26 below over the ultimate 49 holes, beginning with eight birdies from No. 6 on within the second spherical to rally from 3 over and make the lower on the quantity (5 below). He started the ultimate spherical 9 pictures again.

Schauffele holed a 97-yard wedge for eagle on the brief par-4 sixth then added eight birdies over the past 11 holes for the third rating of 61 or higher this week. Muñoz opened along with his second 60 of the season, a primary on tour.

“I had no strain to shoot a low rating,” Schauffele stated. “The leaders are anticipated to shoot at the least 5 – 6 (below) to sort of hold the tempo. So I used to be actually simply attempting to birdie as many holes as attainable whereas being sensible as properly.”

Justin Decrease recorded the second of two aces within the spherical within the stadium setting on 17, touchdown a low 9-iron from 135 yards excellent of the pin earlier than the ball backed up and rolled in.

Marc Leishman had the primary hole-in-one on the 213-yard fifteenth, land a 7-iron brief and watching it roll in. It was Leishman’s second profession ace and the primary on the Nelson since Tyler Duncan in 2018.

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