K.H. Lee weathers storm, wins AT&T Byron Nelson, earns spot in PGA Championship

K.H. Lee earned first PGA Tour title and did it just in time to earn a spot in the second major of 2021.

K.H. Lee weathers storm, wins AT&T Byron Nelson, earns spot in PGA Championship

MCKINNEY, Texas — For those on the cusp of their first PGA Tour title, it’s easy to get a little damp in the palms.

Mother Nature enhanced this scenario on Sunday for K.H. Lee.

With some of his round played in an utter downpour, the South Korean who has slowly but surely climbed up the rankings finally had his day in the sun — scratch that — winner’s circle. Despite a lengthy weather delay, Lee finished the event at 25 under, topping the field at the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch by three strokes.

Sam Burns, who led after 54 holes, was alone in second while Scott Stallings, Daniel Berger, Charl Schwartzel and Patton Kizzire were all third at 21 under.

The conditions didn’t make it easy for Lee. With rain streaming from the sky and significant puddles on the fairways, his drive on the 16th hole measured just 223 yards, despite being well struck. To put that in perspective, the driving average on the same hole in Thursday’s opening round was 292.4 yards.

Soon after, thunder and lightning forced a delay and Lee was forced to think about a potentially life-changing victory for roughly two hours.

Coming out of the delay, Lee missed a short putt and made bogey — just his third of the week — and playing partner Sam Burns seemed to have new life with a few holes to play.

But Lee followed by sticking a shot to inside 4 feet on the par-3 No. 17 and buried the putt to push his lead back to three — and take any pressure off the final hole.

“Long day for me, I think for everybody. I mean, but I just try to keep patient and positive thinking. So I don’t want to be looking on the leaderboard, so just try my golf, and then successful now, so I’m very excited and happy,” he said. “Before a lot, I imagine when I win, like what is that? Like, yeah, like fist pump or I imagine a lot of things, but too excited over there. Almost forget everything.”

The long trek to victory started with Lee moving to the United States in 2016, after toiling on the Japan Golf Tour for four years, to play on the then-Web.com Tour (now the Korn Ferry Tour). He finally became a full-time member of the PGA Tour in 2019.

The Seoul native’s best previous finish was earlier this year when he finished T-2 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, just behind Brooks Koepka.

Lee, who had been listed as the third alternate for next week’s PGA Championship, got into the event with the victory and is the final entrant in the field. He also gained full exemption for Tour events through the 2022-23 seasons and jumped to 29th in the FedEx Cup standings.

K.H. Lee

K.H. Lee and his wife Joo Yeon Yu pose with his trophy following the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Lee also had a little inside knowledge of the course, which was enjoying its first year as the host site of the Byron Nelson. His caddie, Brett Waldman, played at TPC Craig Ranch back in 2010 during PGA Tournament qualifying.

Meanwhile, one who got off the course before the rains came was Kizzire, who bounced back from a 71 on Saturday to posted 10 birdies on Sunday en route to a 63. The former Auburn star said he eased up prior to the final round.

“(On Saturday) I felt like I put a little too much pressure on myself, and today the pressure was kind of off and I felt like I put my head down and went out there to make birdies,” he said. “We had the same wind we’ve had the last few days and it wasn’t raining yet, so I just got out there and started giving myself opportunities. I’ve been putting really well, so I did that, I putted great today.”

Jordan Spieth, who had high hopes after an opening-round 63, wasn’t thrilled with a 71 on Sunday, but still finished T-9 and was happy to be rolling after battling COVID. Especially with a major in the near future.

“All in all, coming in I didn’t think this was necessarily the best golf course for me. Historically I didn’t feel that way,” said Spieth, who hails for the Dallas area. “Obviously, after the first round I liked the position I was in, but I’m happy with kind of the way things turned out for the week as a whole.

“Today was a little disappointing. It just was tough. What a battle. We don’t normally get rain in Texas without electricity very often, and so that was definitely a test. But it was fun. I thought the tournament was great out here, and after having a month off just kind of coming out and hitting a lot of good shots, picking back up where I left off, was a big confidence boost.”

Bryson DeChambeau, the FedEx Cup points leader, shot an unspectacular 72-69 after reaching the weekend and finished T-55 at 10 under.

Source : Golf Week More   

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Methodist women pull off comeback win at NCAA Division III National Championship

Methodist made up ground the final day to overtake Carnegie Mellon for the NCAA Division III national title.

Methodist women pull off comeback win at NCAA Division III National Championship

Once again, Methodist’s women are the NCAA Division III national champions in women’s golf, having edged Carnegie Mellon on May 14 at Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Michigan, to win their 14th national title.

The week – particularly the final round – was a battle for Methodist. The Monarchs had some ground to make up on the final day but started chipping away at Carnegie Mellon’s lead early. Methodist erased a four-shot deficit in the first six holes.

The team played the fourth and final round in 14-over 302, the best round of the day.

Full results: NCAA Division III Women’s National Championship

At 79 over for 72 holes, Methodist finished five shots ahead of Carnegie Mellon.

George Fox was third and Redlands rounded out the top 5.

Methodist claimed two players inside the top 3 individually as Ingrid Steingrimsen and Jillian Drinkard both tied for third at 19 over.

George Fox’s Makensie Toole was the individual medalist.

Source : Golf Week More   

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