PGA Tour

Bae captures Byron Nelson

2013-05-20 07:07
Bae Sang-Moon (AFP)

Texas - South Korea's Bae Sang-Moon won his first US PGA title on Sunday, firing a one-under par 69 to win the $6.7 million Byron Nelson Championship by two strokes over American Keegan Bradley.

In windy conditions at the TPC Four Seasons Resort course, the 26-year-old South Korean finished on 13-under 267 to hold off 2011 PGA Championship winner Bradley, who shot 72, with 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel third on 270.

"This course was really tough," Bae said. "The winds were very stong but I did very well."

Bae, who had won 11 prior times worldwide but never in a US tour event, made his first appearance at the Byron Nelson a memorable one, becoming the US PGA's first Asian-born winner since American Kevin Na in 2011 at Las Vegas.

"I'm very very happy. I had a great time," Bae said. "I was a little nervous but I did my best today(Sunday)."

Bae, who won the Japan Tour money title in 2011, tapped in a four-footer for par at the 18th to seal the victory, raised his arms and looked skyward with a big smile.

Bradley, who won his first US PGA title at the 2011 Byron Nelson, was foiled in his bid to be the event's first wire-to-wire winner since Tom Watson in 1980. He led Bae by a stroke when the final round began.

"I'm disappointed but I'll get over it," Bradley said. "Moon played really well. He's a great guy and very good player."

Bradley matched Bae for the lead at the par-4 15th hole by sinking a 17-foot birdie putt while the Korean saw his five-foot par putt lip out.

Bae's bogey opened the door for South Africa's Schwartzel, who sank a six-foot par putt seconds later at 17 to stay one behind the leaders, but a bogey at the last doomed Schwartzel's title bid.

At the par-5 16th, Bae sank a six-foot birdie putt and Bradley lipped out on a four-foot birdie bid, putting Bae back on top with two holes remaining.

Bradley went over the green at the par-3 17th and took another bogey to fall two strokes off the pace while Bae made clutch pars on the final two holes to secure the triumph.

American Justin Bolli was fourth on 271, one stroke ahead of Germany's Martin Kaymer and Americans Morgan Hoffmann and Scott Piercy with Americans John Huh and Charley Hoffman on 273.

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa closed with a 67 to share 10th on 274 with Canada's Graham DeLaet. Ishikawa's best prior finish this season was a share of 38th last month at the Masters.

Bae birdied the third hole to move ahead by a stroke after Bradley took a bogey, then the Asian star birdied the par-3 fifth and sank a six-foot birdie putt at the par-4 sixth, stretching his lead to three strokes.

Bae missed a 34-foot eagle putt at the par-5 seventh but tapped in from four feet for his third birdie in a row and a four-stroke edge at 16-under.

At the ninth, Bae found the water on his approach and took a double bogey while Bradley escaped a greenside bunker and made a 15-foot par save to move within two strokes as the back-nine drama began.

Bae took a bogey at the 10th but Bradley stumbled with a bogey at the 11th, missing a five-foot par putt to boost Bae's lead back to two strokes.

Bradley made up-and-down pars at 13 and 14 to stay on the heels of Bae but was matched for second on 11-under when Schwartzel made a 10-foot birdie putt at the 16th, setting the stage for the final tense holes.

Leading scores on Sunday after the final round of the $6.7 million US PGA Byron Nelson Championship (USA unless noted, par 70)

267 - Bae Sang-Moon (KOR) 66-66-66-69

269 - Keegan Bradley 60-69-68-72

270 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 63-70-69-68

271 - Justin Bolli 69-69-68-65

272 - Morgan Hoffmann 69-71-66-66, Martin Kaymer (GER) 68-67-69-68, Scott Piercy 66-68-66-72

273 - Charley Hoffman 68-68-70-67, John Huh 69-64-69-71

274 - Ryo Ishikawa (JPN) 71-68-68-67, Graham DeLaet (CAN) 67-67-70-70

275 - Ricky Barnes 68-71-70-66, Marc Leishman (AUS) 66-70-69-70, Angel Cabrera (ARG) 65-69-70-71, D.A. Points 69-68-67-71, Tom Gillis 69-63-67-76

276 - Brendon Todd 69-68-72-67, Freddie Jacobson (SWE) 68-69-70-69, Charles Howell 67-69-70-70, Harris English 64-70-68-74

277 - Colt Knost 68-70-71-68, Jason Bohn 71-68-69-69, John Rollins 74-64-70-69, Chez Reavie 69-67-71-70, Justin Hicks 69-70-68-70, Jerry Kelly 69-70-66-72

278 - Wes Short 68-71-71-68, Will Claxton 66-73-69-70, Brian Harman 68-69-70-71, Jimmy Walker 68-68-70-72, Ted Potter 64-70-70-74, Jason Day (AUS) 72-68-66-72

Read more on:    byron nelson championship  |  golf
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