Sang-Moon Bae watched anxiously after hitting his tee shot at the par-3 17th hole Sunday in the Byron Nelson Championship. When the ball landed...
IRVING, Texas — Sang-Moon Bae watched anxiously after hitting his tee shot at the par-3 17th hole Sunday in the Byron Nelson Championship.
When the ball landed on the front edge of the green fronted by water, he bent his knees and leaned backward obviously relieved. He was only a few shots away from his first PGA Tour victory and a congratulatory hug from the widow of the tournament’s namesake.
After squandering a four-stroke lead in the final round, the 26-year-old South Korean beat Keegan Bradley by two stokes for a win in the United States to go with his 11 international victories on the Korea, Japan and Asian tours.
“It’s something I’ve always dreamed of, winning on the PGA Tour,” Bae said. “It was surreal to have Mrs. (Peggy) Nelson there and with all the history. … I was in awe, actually, so almost I didn’t know how to react.”
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Bae finished at 13-under 267 with a closing 1-under 69 on a day with wind gusting to near 40 mph at times, similar to conditions two years ago when Bradley got his first PGA Tour win at TPC Four Seasons. Bradley shot 72 this time.
Four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the front nine gave Bae a four-stroke advantage in the final group. But he made double bogey at No. 9 and a bogey at the next hole.
After some nice par saves, Bradley finally got even with a birdie at the 15th hole, a 17-footer that had just enough to get into the cup. But he missed a short birdie putt at the next hole to fall behind for good.
Bradley was trying to become the Nelson’s first wire-to-wire winner since Tom Watson in 1980. Bradley set the course record with an opening 60 even with two bogeys.
Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champ, shot a 68 to finish third at 10 under. Justin Bolli shot a bogey-free 65 for the best round of the day and matched his career-best finish of fourth. A stroke further back at 272 were Morgan Hoffmann (66), Martin Kaymer (68) and Scott Piercy (72).
• Graeme McDowell won the Volvo World Match Play Championship, beating Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee 2 and 1 in the final at Thracian Cliffs in Kavarna, Bulgaria. McDowell will move to the top of the European Tour money list and up one place to No. 7 in the world.
• Jennifer Johnson rallied to win the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic in Mobile, Ala., for her first tour title, birdieing four of the final six holes for a one-stroke victory over Jessica Korda and Pornanong Phatlum. Johnson, a 21-year-old American, closed with her second straight 7-under 65 for a tournament-record 21-under 267 total.
Former Cougar Kim Welch (77) tied for 62nd. Former Husky Paige Mackenzie (75) and Washington resident Wendy Ward (75) tied for 67th.
• American Peter Uihlein won the Madeira Islands Open in his 16th European Tour start for his first professional title, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory in Santo Antonio da Serra, Portugal.
• Former South Carolina player Mark Anderson ran away with the BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greer, S.C., for his first Web.com Tour title, closing with a 6-under 65.