Lee Kyoung-hoon won the US PGA Tour Byron Nelson tournament for the second year in a row on Sunday at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, with a career-low nine-under-par 63.
Lee of South Korea, who won his first US tour championship at the tournament in suburban Dallas last year, successfully defended his title by rallying from a four-shot overnight deficit to post a 26-under-par total of 262 and beat three-time major winner Jordan Spieth by one stroke.
“Feels like a dream again, like last year,” said Lee, who was greeted at the 18th green by his wife, Yu Joo-yeon and their baby daughter Celine, who was born weeks after Lee won last year. “It’s an amazing feeling.”
Lee got things started early on a windy day north of Dallas, sinking a 51-foot birdie putt at the second hole.
Following a seven-foot birdie at the third, he blasted out of a greenside bunker to two feet for birdie at the fifth, then added birdies at six and nine before eagleing the par-five 12th.
He added a 14-foot birdie at the 13th and a birdie at the par-five 18th, where his 25-foot eagle putt came up an inch short of the cup.
Lee overtook overnight leader Sebastian Munoz, who started the day one stroke ahead of Spieth at 21-under.
Both players started slowly, with bogeys on the first hole. Spieth went on to shoot a five-under 67 with eight birdies and three bogeys, while Munoz shot a 69 to tie for third on 264 with former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, who shot a 10-under-par 62 to storm up the leaderboard.
Lee kept his one-shot lead alive with a tenacious par save at the par-three 17th, where his tee ball landed in the left rough with an uncomfortable stance in a bunker.
He saved par with a 12-foot putt.
Although Spieth was unable to force a playoff with an eagle, he had a strong week ahead of the PGA Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a victory would complete his career grand slam.
“It was a good week, good momentum into next week, last two starts being a win and a second,” Spieth said.
“But this one will sting just a little bit just looking back on the day,” added the American, who perhaps regretted most a three-putt bogey at the 10th.
“But I played the holes from there exactly how they were supposed to be played,” Spieth said, “grabbed three more birdies and it just wasn’t quite good enough.”
Xander Schauffele, the Olympic champion from Tokyo, also finished strongly. After missing the cut on Friday, he shot an 11-under 61 to tie for fifth place on 265 with Justin Thomas and Ryan Palmer.
“(I’m) seeing the ball go in the hole, which is a really important thing before a major,” Schauffele said.
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