AT&T Byron Nelson
World No. 76 Billy Horschel, a pre-tourney 100/1 outright, erased a 1-shot deficit with a 1-under 35-34=69 in the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson to match past champ and playing competitor Jason Day on 12-under 268, and then won with par on the first hole of sudden death, the par-4 18th.
This is the Florida alum's fourth PGA TOUR title in 166 career starts (165 pro), first since the 2014 TOUR Championship 64 starts ago, where he led or co-led after every round. Prior to Sunday's victory, he had not led or co-led after any round since.
It’s Horschel's second come-from-behind win, joining his maiden title at the 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
The long-awaited triumph comes in his third Nelson after missed cuts in 2011 (77-76) and 2012 (73-80). That’s a cumulative 26-over-par in his prior two visits.
After kicking off in 68-65-66, the 30-year-old began in solo 2nd on 11-under, one back of 54-hole leader James Hahn, who completed the final threesome.
He landed 10 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation (GIR), gaining 1.882 strokes off-the-tee and 2.981 strokes tee-to-green.
The Florida native and resident went out in even-par, exchanging circles at 3 and 6 with squares at 5 (3-putt from 41'4") and 9, now sharing the top spot with both playing competitors.
He came home in 1-under, outpacing bogeys at 12 and 13, his second and third, 3-putt bogeys of the day, with birdies at 11 and 14 (from 59'3"), and a 2-putt birdie at the par-5 16th.
In the playoff, Horschel won with a 2-putt par from 17’2” while Day 3-jacked from 48'4" for bogey. He improves his record in sudden death to 1-1, having lost to rookie Mackenzie Hughes in a 5-man playoff at the RSM back in November.
Despite a -1.022 in Strokes Gained: Putting in the finale, Horschel was still No. 1 for the week in SGP at 8.368.
Horschel wins in his 16th start of the season, is a fifth top 25 and second top 10 (RSM). He arrived with seven missed cuts on the season, including his last four straight, one of those while teamed with fellow Gator Matt Every at the Zurich.
Horschel was already exempt through the 2018-19 season as the 2014 FedExCup champion. He earns invites to the 2017 PGA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and the 2018 SBS Tournament of Champions and 2018 Masters.
Horschel also qualifies for the U.S. Open in four weeks via the updated world-rankings.
With a Strength of Field rating of 335 (up from 286 last year), Horschel banks 50.00 world-ranking points and jumps 32 places to 44th in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). His career high is 12th after the 2015 CIMB Classic.
He earns 500 FedExCup points for the victory and jumps 56 spots to 15th in the standings. His career high is 1st after the 2014 TOUR Championship.
Horschel is in the published field at this coming week’s DEAN & DELUCA Invitational in nearby Fort Worth.
Horschel’s 1st-place prize: $1,350,000
Horschel's Position by Round:
Field Scoring Average:
This was the 64th playing of the Byron Nelson, 10th consecutive where TPC Four Seasons Resort was the sole host, and the final edition at the venue after first co-hosting in 1983.
7,166 yards; par 70 (35-35)
Horschel’s rounds: 68-65-66-69 for 14.474 SG: Total.
Note: The start of Round 4 was delayed 3 hours, 29 minutes due to thunderstorms in the area. Originally scheduled at 7:01 am CT with twosomes off a single tee; began at 10:30 am with threesomes off split tees.
Horschel’s Key Stats:
1stin par-4 scoring
1st in SG: Putting
T1 in putts made from greater than 10 feet with 13
Horschel’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 74 players):
Birdies: 21 (2nd)
Bogeys: 9 (T18)
Par-3 Scoring: 3.13 (T48)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.83 (1st)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.25 (T9)
Driving Distance (all drives): 295.0 yards (T29)
Driving Accuracy: 32/56 (T17) at 57.14 percent
GIR: 51/72 (T5) at 70.83 percent
Proximity to hole: 40’4” (70th)
Putts per GIR: 1.706 (15th)
Total Putts: 112 (T25)
Putts by Round: 27-26-27-32
Scrambling: 15/21 (T7) at 71.43 percent
SG: Off-the-Tee: 2.621 (22nd)
SG: Approach-the-Green: 0.618 (43rd)
SG: Around-the-Green: 2.868 (9th)
SG: Tee-to-Green: 6.105 (20th)
SG: Putting: 8.368 (1st)
A total of 76 players from a field of 156 made the 36-hole cut of 2-over 142:
43 (of 78) EARLY/late
33 (of 78) LATE/early
12 players finished in the top 10 with EIGHT of those EARLY/late, including the champion.
17 tourneys this season with a traditional draw.
EARLY/late: 13 (76.4%)
Yahoo! Low Rounds:
R2: Jason Kokrak (62); career low
R3: Jason Day (63)
R4: Nick Taylor (65)
R1: James Hahn (64)
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: James Hahn. Drops to 1-for-4 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.
R1: Ricky Barnes finished T59 (64-75-72-72). Drops to 0-for-3 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.
R2: Jason Kokrak. Drops to 0-for-2 as 36-hole leader/co-leader.
R3: James Hahn. Drops to 0-for-2 as 54-hole leader/co-leader.
Jason Day: Past champ and World No. 4 turned in a 2-under-par 34-34=68 after the final round to match playing competitor Horschel on 12-under 268, and then lost on the first hole of sudden death, 3-putting from 48'4" for bogey. It was his only 3-putt of the tournament.
The 2012 winner was vying for an 11th TOUR title in his 201st career start, first since a wire-to-wire win at the 2016 PLAYERS, but settles for a ninth career runner-up, dropping his record in extra time to 1-1.
It's Day’s fourth top 25 at the Nelson in five tries, all four doubling as top 10s, and a second top 10 of the season in 10 starts (T5, AT&T Pro-Am).
After opening in 68-69-63, the 29-year-old began T3 on 10-under, one back of Horschel and two shy of leader Hahn. He found 10 (of 14) fairways and 13 GIR, posting 3.603 SG: Tee-to-Green though -0.644 SG: Putting.
The Aussie went out in 1-under, circling birdie-4 at 7, now tied with Hahn and Horschel. He came home in 1-under also, outpacing a lone bogey-5 at 12 (failed scramble) with a 6-footer for birdie-3 at 10 and a pitch-in 3 at the par-4 15th from 78'3" away.
James Hahn: First-round co-leader and 54-hole leader backed up with a 1-over-par 36-35=71 in the final round to post 11-under 269, down two places to solo 3rd, one stroke shy of the playoff.
The Seoul, South Korea, native was chasing a third TOUR title in his 125th career start, first since the 2016 Wells Fargo, but settles for a fourth career podium.
This was his fourth cash at the Nelson in four tries and second top 10, supplanting a previous-best T5 on debut in 2014. The UC-Berkeley alum nets his fourth top 25 of the season in 17 starts and first top 10.
After opening in 64-70-64, rounds 1 and 3 bogey-free, he began with a 1-shot lead over Horschel, two clear of Day.
The World No. 83 landed 10 (of 14) fairways and just eight GIR, but posted 2.254 SG: Tee-to-Green, No. 1 in SGTTG with a cumulative 14.320.
He played his first half in birdie-less 1-over, squaring bogey-4 at 2 (missed par-saver from 4'4"), but still co-led with Horschel and Day at the break.
The 35-year-old broke the ice with back-to-backs birdies at 10 and 11, now leading by one, but then squared three straight at 12-14, including a 3-putt at 14 from 46'10".
He was two back coming the 72nd hole and nearly holed his second to the par 4, lipping out a would-be eagle from 122 yards away that would’ve gotten him into the playoff, but did convert the birdie from 45 inches to secure solo 3rd.
Top 10 in OWGR (this week’s finishes):
1. Dustin Johnson (T13)
2. Rory McIlroy (idle)
3. Jason Day (P2); UP one
4. Hideki Matsuyama (idle); DOWN one
5. Henrik Stenson (idle); UP two
6. Sergio Garcia(T20)
7. Jordan Spieth (CUT); DOWN one
8. Adam Scott (idle); UP one
9. Justin Rose (idle); DOWN one
10. Rickie Fowler (idle)
14 of the Top 50 in OWGR were in the field
2 finished in the top 10:
No. 4 Jason Day (P2)
No. 20 Matt Kuchar (T9)
In total, 12 players finished in the top 10. Average world ranking: 146th
Other Notable Finishes:
No. 15 Patrick Reed (T20)
No. 18 Louis Oosthuizen (T18)
No. 19 Brooks Koepka (T50)
No. 92 Sean O’Hair (T5)
No. 125 Danny Lee (T5)
No. 128 Jason Kokrak (4th); 36-hole leader by five
No. 133 Bud Cauley (T5)
No. 233 Nick Taylor (T9)
No. 246 Cameron Tringale (T9)
Consecutive top 10s on TOUR:
Bud Cauley (T5-T5-T10-T9)
Byeong Hun An (T5-T8)
Nick Taylor (T9-T8)
Consecutive top-10 streaks ended:
Kevin Tway (T20-T5-3rd-T3)
First-timers and/or Rookies:
Top-10 finishes: 1
Byeong Hun An: World No. 58 carded a 1-under-par 34-35=69 in the final round to conclude on 8-under 272 (68-66-69-69), up four places to T5.
The first-time member though not a rookie posts his third top 25 of the season in 14 starts, all doubling as top 10s, and second straight top 10 after arriving off T8 at the Wells Fargo.
TOUR Rookies: 20
Top-10 finishes: 1
Joel Dahmen: World No. 562 shot 3-under-par 32-35=67 in the final round to finish on 7-under 273 (68-70-68-67), up 15 spots to a career-best T9. Of note, he beat playing competitor and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson by two shots in the finale.
The University of Washington product was making his ninth career start, eighth as a member, and records just a third cash. His previous best was T48 at the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach where he was an 18-hole co-leader.
It’s the first time this season that the 29-year-old has claimed top-rookie honors and the top 10 earns him an exemption into the FedEx St. Jude Classic in three weeks (if not already exempt).
Top 10 in FEC standings (points):
1. Dustin Johnson (2,270)
2. Hideki Matsuyama (1,865)
3. Justin Thomas (1,855)
4. Jon Rahm (1,499)
5. Pat Perez (1,381)
6. Adam Hadwin (1,229)
7. Jordan Spieth (1,192)
8. Rickie Fowler (1,074)
9. Brendan Steele (1,062)
10. Brian Harman (1,047)
16 winners were in their 20s
10 were in their 30s (Horschel: age: 30)
3 were in their 40s
19 of 26 winners (minus Match Play and team-Zurich) have emerged out of the FINAL group on Sunday, including Horschel. The seven outliers:
Si Woo Kim (PLAYERS): Penultimate twosome; erased 2-shot deficit w/ 3-under 69; won by 3
Brian Harman (Wells Fargo): Third-to-last twosome: erased 2-shot deficit w/ 4-under 68; won by 1
Wesley Bryan (Heritage): Third-to-last twosome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 4-under 67; won by 1.
Marc Leishman (API): Penultimate twosome: erased 3-shot deficit w/ 3-under 69; won by 1.
Hideki Matsuyama (WMPO): Penultimate threesome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 5-under 66; won in playoff.
Jon Rahm (Farmers): Fifth-to-last threesome: erased 3-shot deficit w/ 7-under 65; won by 3.
Brendan Steele (Safeway): Third-to-last threesome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 7-under 65; won by 1.
54 hole leaders/co-leaders (minus team-Zurich):
Converted: Hideki Matsuyama (WGC-HSBC), Mackenzie Hughes (RSM Classic), Justin Thomas (SBS TOC), Justin Thomas (Sony), Jordan Spieth (AT&T Pro-Am), Dustin Johnson (Genesis), Rickie Fowler (Honda), Adam Hadwin (Valspar), Sergio Garcia (Masters), Kevin Chappell (VTO)
Failed: Patton Kizzire (Safeway), Anirban Lahiri (CIMB), Luke List, Chris Kirk (Sanderson Farms), Lucas Glover (Shriners), Gary Woodland (OHL), Adam Hadwin (CareerBuilder), Patrick Rodgers, Brandt Snedeker (FIO), Byeong Hun An (WMPO), Justin Thomas (WGC-Mexico), Kevin Kisner, Charley Hoffman (API), Chris Stroud (PRO), Sung Kang (SHO), Justin Rose (co-Masters), Jason Dufner (Heritage), Patrick Reed (Wells Fargo), J.B. Holmes, Kyle Stanley (PLAYERS), James Hahn (Byron Nelson)
12 players have held a 1-shot lead thru 54 holes
2 have gone on to win: Hughes (playoff), Chappell
The TOUR stays in Texas for this week’s DEAN & DELUCA Invitational at Colonial CC in Fort Worth.
Stay tuned to this space for all the latest player news and analysis as the TOUR readies for its 29th tournament of the season (of 47).