By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- After his PGA TOUR win Sunday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, Sang-Moon couldn't sleep that night. Then he rested for a couple of days, responded to 100 phone calls and 200 text messages, had a celebratory dinner with other Korean-born players on TOUR, contemplated his move from Los Angeles to Dallas, and now wants to regain his competitive focus for another important week.
He's hoping to play well enough at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial to qualify for next month's U.S. Open at Merion.
Bae needs to be ranked in the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking next Monday. He enters Thursday's first round at Colonial ranked 64th, having moved up from 106th thanks to last week's win at TPC Four Seasons.
"I have to play well this week," Bae said Wednesday.
The Korean is registered for a U.S. Open qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, on June 3.
"But I don't want to play," he said. "I have to play hard (this week) to get in."
Bae played in his first Crowne Plaza last year. He played the first three rounds but shot 77 in the third round and didn't make the second cut prior to the final round. He said he didn't have much energy that week.
He likes the course, though, and he obviously has momentum and confidence.
"I will try my best," he said.
Sang-Moon executed a low-trajectory, high-spin shot en route to victory. (Pennington/Getty Images)
By Mark Immelman, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Lord Byron‘s event at TPC Four Seasons always attracts a stellar field as the PGA TOUR’s finest travel to the Lone Star State to pay homage to one of golf’s greatest champions and finest men.
The course layout is demanding from tee to green and play is normally defined by the warm and gusty North Texas winds. Hence it is those players who can flight the ball and control their shot trajectory (and make putts) who normally prevail around the firm and fast course conditions. This year, however, a band of severe Wednesday night thunderstorms changed the personality of the course and the first round became a birdie-fest with Keegan Bradley leading the assault on par with a 10-under 60.
The winds kicked up over the next three rounds and scoring became tougher. In the end it boiled down to a battle between the two members of the final Sunday pairing, Sang-Moon Bae and Bradley.
Both combatants were tied at 12 under as they headed up the par-5 16th. After getting their second shots into position, Bae faced an uphill pitch from about 40 yards and Bradley faced a pitch of about 50 feet from right of the green. Bae drove a low-spinning wedge into the green which gripped and spun back to about 5 feet from the cup. Not to be outdone, the gusty Bradley clipped a low and aggressive spinning wedge shot to just inside of his playing partner. Both shots were absolutely gorgeous and certainly worth learning how to play.
How to play the low, spinning wedge shot:
This shot starts at address. Move the ball back to around the middle of the stance and favor your lead foot (left for right-handers) as you set the bulk of your weight there. Lean the shaft slightly to the left (for righties) as you set your hands a little ahead of the clubface and the ball.
As you make your backswing, hinge your wrists up to steepen the shaft plane which will assist you to make a crisp, descending strike. It is recommendable to make a slightly shorter backswing as this will give you the freedom to accelerate through impact without the fear of the shot going too far.
Begin your downswing by rotating your lower body back to the left and swing your arms down through impact with the lead arm closer to the body and the left hand leading the clubface through impact. That lead hand should retain control of the action throughout the delivery so that the trail hand does not shut down the clubface. Once contact has been made, swing and extend the arms past the body into a shorter, balanced follow-through. Once again, the lead arm and hand should dominate the delivery and holding the club a little tighter with the last three fingers of the left hand will certainly help.
Get out and practice this shot; it will surely shave strokes off your score.
Mark Immelman, the brother of PGA TOUR professional Trevor Immelman, is a well-respected golf instructor and head coach of the Columbus State University (Ga.) golf team. For more information about Mark and his instruction, visit his web site, markimmelman.com or follow him on Twitter @mark_immelman or “Like” Mark Immelman Golf Instruction on Facebook. He also has a golf instruction e-book called “Consistently Straight Shots – The Simple Solution” available on iTunes/iBooks.
Sang-Moon Bae stayed positive despite some challenges on Sunday. (Pennington/Getty Images)
By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Sang-Moon Bae, who captured the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday, did not look like a novice who had never won before on the PGA TOUR. Rather, he showed the composure of a seasoned veteran with many victories under his belt. Observing the thoughts and behaviors of Bae can bring many valuable lessons to amateurs about how to handle pressure down the stretch of a golf tournament.
Here are some key mental game insights to bring to your game:
1) Bae said he was nervous on the last few holes of the tournament. Amateurs need to understand that everyone gets nervous when an event is important. Anxiety is not your enemy. The secret to your success will be how you handle those nerves.
2) When Bae felt the nerves creep into his game, he indicated that he focused on his game. In other words, he was not thinking about his score or winning but the process of making a good swing. When nerves enter your game, have a swing thought that you can trust, then focus on the process of making good swings.
3) In the middle of the round on Sunday, Bae struggled. He had a double bogey on No. 9 and then made a sloppy bogey on No. 10. Throughout your round, you will face a few real challenges. I call them dragons. You must be able to slay the dragons and not let them get you down or have them kill your confidence. Stay calm and collected like Bae and realize your game will rebound if you do not hit the panic button.
4) Have lots of fun during the heat of competition. Bae said he had a great time during the tournament. It is hard to be very nervous when you are enjoying the moment. Joy will push out the nerves.
Bae won his first tournament because he had the mental fortitude to handle the pressure. Follow his lead and you will be much more solid under pressure as well.
Bio: Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players as well as top collegiate and junior golfer. Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf, and you can get your autographed copy at www.drgreggsteinberg.com.
Sang-Moon Bae captured his first PGA TOUR victory after a final-round 69 at the HP Byron Nelson on Sunday.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Sang-Moon Bae surged to the lead on the front nine, battled swing issues in the middle of his round, and fought off playing partner Keegan Bradley down the stretch to win the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday at the TPC Four Seasons Resort.
For the 26-year-old Korean, it's his first PGA TOUR win in his second season on TOUR. With 500 FedExCup points, Bae moves from 95th to 18th in the standings. He also becomes just the fifth Korean player to win a TOUR event.
Bae shot a final-round 1-under 69 to finish at 13 under, with Bradley shooting a 2-over 72 for 12 under. Charl Schwartzel was third at 10 under, with Justin Bolli, after a bogey-free 65, in solo fourth.
Bae is the third first-time TOUR winner in the last four weeks on TOUR (Billy Horschel and Derek Ernst the other two) and the eighth first-time winner of the season.
"The course was really tough," Bae said. "The winds were very strong. I did very well this week."
Bae and Bradley were tied going to the par-5 15th. After both players hit excellent third shots, Bae made his birdie putt from 5 feet, 3 inches, while Bradley -- on the same line -- saw his birdie putt from 3 feet, 11 inches horseshoe out.
"I wouldn't have hit the putt any different," Bradley said. "It's surprising to miss like that."
It was the second par for Bradley on TPC Four Seasons two par 5s on Sunday, as he also parred the seventh hole. Through the first 54 holes, Bradley had posted five birdies and one eagle on those two par 5s and had led the field in par-5 scoring.
Bradley had also led the tournament for the first three rounds, seeking to win his second HP Byron Nelson title and fourth TOUR event. He entered Sunday leading Bae by one shot, but saw that lead quickly disappear.
"I'm pretty disappointed but Moon played very well," Bradley said. "He played better than me today, so I'm happy for him."
Bae posted four birdies in his first eight holes while Bradley bogeyed the par-4 third. When Bae walked off the eighth green, he had a four-stroke lead.
But he double-bogeyed the ninth and bogeyed the 10th. When he bogeyed the 15th while Bradley posted his first birdie of the day, the two were now co-leaders.
Just as quickly, though, Bae went back in front at the 16th when Bradley's putt lipped out.
Sang-Moon Bae carded a final-round 69, coming from behind to win the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday for his first PGA TOUR victory.
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IRVING, Texas -- Sang-Moon Bae hit his approach shot from 132 yards at the par-4 sixth to within 5 feet to set up his birdie putt in the final round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Bae currently leads Keegan Bradley by two shots through 13 holes Sunday.
IRVING, Texas -- Sang-Moon Bae, in chasing after leader Keegan Bradley, rolled in a 32-foot birdie putt at the par-3 second hole in Saturday's third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Bae is 2 under on his round through eight holes, putting him at 10 under at that point.
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- Overnight leader Matt Kuchar won't tee off for more than two hours but he's already been overtaken and tied early during the second round of the Northern Trust Open.
Bae started on the back nine on the spectacularly sunny Fridya morning and opened with four straight birdies. He has moved to 8 under for the tournament through 11 holes. Sergio Garcia is playing the opposite nine and is 1 under, pulling even with Kuchar, one stroke off Bae's lead.
Luke Donald and Charl Schwartzel, who, like Garcia, are making their 2013 PGA TOUR debuts, are tied with John Merrick at 6 under. Merrick is 3 under through 11 holes while Schwartzel and Donald are 4 under through 11 and 10, respectively.