IRVING, Texas – Play by play coverage of the playoff between Ryan Palmer and Keegan Bradley for the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship:
FIRST PLAYOFF HOLE: 18th hole
Bradley tees off first, with his drive landing on the opposite of the cart path to the right of the fairway. The ball ends up under a tree. He’ll have 163 yards to the pin but doesn’t appear to have a clear shot.
Palmer follows, and his drive also sails right into the rough. He’ll have 148 yards to the pin and will have a slight advantage.
Marshals move a concession storage cart that is between Bradley’s ball and the green.
Bradley sends his second shot down the right of the trees and curls it back toward the green. The ball ends up just on the collar of the green, between the pin and the water.
Palmer is also under a tree that appeared to restrict his backswing. His approach shot finds the water and he’ll have to take a one-shot penalty. Bradley has the big advantage.
Palmer’s drop ends up on the slope down toward the water. He chips onto the green and will have a putt from 12 feet, 10 inches for bogey.
From 54 feet, 6 inches, Bradley uses his putter and hits a nice birdie putt to two feet.
Palmer makes his bogey putt but it doesn’t matter. Bradley drains his short par putt for the win.
IRVING, Texas – Thanks to a clutch birdie on the 18th hole, Ryan Palmer has forced a playoff with PGA TOUR rookie Keegan Bradley for the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship.
The sudden-death playoff will start on the 18th hole, then, if necessary, go to the 17th hole, then back to the 18th hole.
Palmer, the 54-hole leader, struck a superb approach shot to six feet at the 18th, then rolled in the birdie putt. It’s just the second birdie recorded all day at TPC Four Seasons Resort’s finishing hole.
Palmer shot a 2-over 72 in Sunday’s final round, while Bradley shot a 2-under 68. That was one of just nine sub-par rounds recorded on Sunday.
Palmer will be seeking his fourth TOUR win. Bradley is a rookie this year; he has two top-10 finishes.
Neither player has been involved in a playoff at a TOUR event.
This is the 10th playoff on TOUR this year.
PGATOUR.COM’s TOUR Report will carry shot-by-shot coverage of the playoff.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Thanks to a weather forecast of wind gusts to 35 mph, Ryan Palmer expects Sunday's final round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship to be a matter of survival.
Yet Palmer himself doesn't plan to sit on his one-shot lead. He promises to stay aggressive. That's the way he plays, and he's not about to change his approach now.
"There is something to playing aggressive and it can bite you at times," Palmer said. "But I'm not going to go out there tomorrow and try to survive.
"I'm going to try to win by 3 or 4. I'm not going to hold back at all."
Had Palmer not suffered three bogeys in his last five holes Saturday to shoot a 3-over 73, his lead would be more substantial. But he wasn't complaining about that. He was just glad that he played so well in the first two days, shooting 65-67 to share the 36-hole lead with Sergio Garcia.
Garcia shot 74 on Saturday and is Palmer’s closest pursuer. Arjun Atwal and Ryuji Imada are tied for third, two shots back.
"I think that was what was big about my first two rounds, and Sergio as well," Palmer said. "We kind of separated a little bit knowing the conditions ... The first two rounds were huge considering the wind today and tomorrow."
Palmer, the 34-year-old native of Amarillo, Texas, who now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has held or shared the 54-hole lead two other times in his PGA TOUR career. He won one time (the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii) and came in second the other time (the 2010 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational).
That's one reason he likes his chances on Sunday ... even though until this week, he had never played well at the HP Byron Nelson, having missed the cut six times in seven previous starts.
"We didn't think we would be in this position coming into the week," Palmer said. "I think we've already won, so it's about having fun tomorrow."
IRVING, Texas – Wind gusts up to 35 mph created tough scoring conditions in Saturday’s third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship It also produced a bunched-up leaderboard going into Sunday’s final 18 holes.
Ryan Palmer will take a one-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round, with Sergio Garcia his closest competitor.
Those two had a chance to separate themselves from the pack but they gave up strokes down the stretch -- as did almost everybody else in the field Saturday. As a result, that brought several players back into the chase.
Palmer was 8 under through 13 holes and had a two-shot lead over Garcia. But he suffered three bogeys in his final five holes to finish with a 3-over 73 that leaves him at 5 under for the tournament.
“My bad round’s out of the way,” Palmer said, “and I still lead by one.”
Garcia was still at 6 under through 15 holes, but he bogeyed two of his last three holes to fall to 4 under.
“I got nothing out of my round,” Garcia said. “I could not shoot one shot higher than I did today. So if you look at it that way, and I'm only one shot back behind Ryan, and I have tomorrow, I think it's pretty positive.”
Both players will be paired together for the second consecutive day in the final pairing at 1:15 p.m. ET.
Thanks to posting the lowest round of the day – a 3-under 67 – Arjun Atwal moved into a tie for third with Ryuji Imada, who shot an even-par 70. Both are at 3 under.
“It was truly a really tough day today,” Atwal said. “There’s not too many birdies out there. I mean, par’s really good on almost every hole, and I’m just lucky to shoot 67.”
Gary Woodland, Matt Kuchar and Joe Ogilvie are another shot back at 2 under.
Dallas 17-year-old amateur Jordan Spieth shot a 2-over 72 and is 1 under for the tournament.
Ryan Palmer is still over par -- and still in the lead. That’s how tough the hot, windy conditions have been at TPC Four Seasons here in the third round.
Palmer was by by two, but his second bogey of the day, this one on the 14th, dropped him back to 7 under for the week and 1 over on the round.
He’s not the only one struggling, though.
Sergio Garcia is 2 over and alone in second. After that? There’s some distance with four players currently at 3 under for the week.
IRVING, Texas -- Texas native Ryan Palmer is hanging tough in windy conditions while local favorite, teenage amateur Jordan Spieth, is dropping back.
Although Palmer is having trouble finding fairways -- he hit just two of his first 10 on Saturday -- he's even par on his round and 8 under for the tournament. That gives him a two-shot lead over playing partner Sergio Garcia, who suffered two bogeys on his front nine and has yet to post a birdie today.
Nick Watney, Ryuji Imada and Joe Ogilvie are tied for third at 4 under.
Spieth, the 17-year-old from Dallas, has had a rollercoaster round that includes two double bogeys and three bogeys. He's been able to minimize some of the damage with four brides, but he's still 3 over on his round.
Spieth's high school graduation starts at 5 p.m. ET. He's on the 17th hole now, so he likely will not miss much of the ceremony.
Just eight sub-par rounds have been posted thus far, with Arjun Atwal's 67 the low round in the clubhouse.
Just how difficult has the scoring been on a hot, windy day outside Dallas? Well, the overnight leaders have gone backwards and one of them, Ryan Palmer, still leads.
Palmer is 1 over through nine holes and leads by one over Sergio Garcia, who made the turn in 2 over to fall to 6 under.
After that there’s a little separation with three players, including Jeff Overton, at 4 under.
The lowest round in the clubhouse so far? A 67 by Arjun Atwal, who is also 3 under for the tournament.
In all, just 19 players are under par for the week at the moment.
Take away the second round and Jeff Overton would be 9 under. Of course you can’t do that, but Overton has nonetheless found a way to recover from his 74.
Through his first nine holes on Saturday, Overton is 3 under and as a result has moved back into contention just two shots back.
The two players Overton is chasing? Ryan Palmer and Sergio Garcia, both of whom are 1 over through six holes.
As for Jordan Spieth, the 17-year-old high school senior who began the day five shots back? He raced out of the tee box with birdies on each of his first two holes, but he gave those back on the fourth hole with a double bogey. Spieth then made another bogey on the par-4 ninth to make the turn in 1 over on the day.
The good news for Spieth, of course, is that the leaders have gone backwards as well and he’s still just five shots back.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas – The player who can thrive the best in windy conditions should have a huge advantage in Saturday’s third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Wind gusts from the south of up to 35 mph are expected in the afternoon, which should make things tricky for the leaders.
“There are going to be some tough moments,” said second-round co-leader Sergio Garcia, who will tee off at 1:15 p.m. ET in the final group with the other co-leader, Ryan Palmer.
Garcia, the 2004 champion of this event, has shown he can manage his game in the wind.
Palmer is a Texas native and lives in the area, but he has never enjoyed much success in PGA TOUR events in his home state. Prior to this week, he had missed the cut in six of his previous seven starts at TPC Four Seasons Resort.
But he’s letting his caddie, James Edmondson, decide on club selection and target off the tee this week, allowing Palmer to swing with an uncluttered mind. So far it’s working.
“He points and I just pull the trigger,” Palmer told the PGA TOUR Network prior to teeing off Saturday. But with the winds, Palmer added, “He’ll have his work cut out for him today.”
Palmer and Garcia have never been paired together prior to Saturday.
“There’s going to be quite a few people out there,” Palmer said. “It’s going to be a fun day.”
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- At one point during Friday's second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship, Ryan Palmer let his mind drift. With a commanding lead at that point, he was tempted to look ahead to Sunday. His parents are coming to town, and Palmer thought about how great it would be to win while they were in attendance.
Then he caught himself.
"Wait a minute," Palmer said. "This shot. I need to hit this shot."
No worries. Palmer hit plenty of good shots Friday en route to a 3-under 67 that left him at 8 under for the tournament. When he walked off the final green Friday, he had a four-shot lead, although the afternoon group had just begun to tee off.
For the second consecutive day, he let his caddie James Edmondson call the shots on the tee box with club and target selection. Palmer said there was really only one time Friday in which he wondered about Edmondson's club choice -- at the par-4 18th hole.
Palmer normally hits driver. Edmondson had him use a 5-wood.
"What am I going to do, hit 5-wood, 5-wood?" Palmer asked.
Said Edmondson: "Let's practice for the British Open. Hit the 5-wood hard."
So Palmer did, finding the middle of the fairway. He then hit 5-iron to 25 feet for an easy two-putt par.
Joked Palmer: "He's playing steady golf, too."
Palmer said he is getting more comfortable with that approach, which was implemented for this week's event.
"I keep surprising myself how calm I am when it's that way," Palmer said. "You wonder why don't you do it every week ...
"This is a golf course that I've struggled on so it's nice to not to think about it, just get up and hit the shot, and if I don't hit the shots it's on me. So it's nice to be free swinging like that."
With good vibes off the tee, Palmer also wants to make sure he keeps his short game in order. He said he's been "fighting my chipping for a while," so he spent an hour with coach Randy Smith on Thursday night after his first-round 65, working strictly on the short game.
His ball-striking certainly has been tremendous this week. He was getting so close with his approach shots that he shot the 67 on Friday without needing to make a putt longer than nine feet. In fact, for the first 36 holes, he's only needed to make one putt longer than 10 feet.
"It just shows how solid I'm hitting the golf ball," said Palmer, who could move up to 14th in the FedExCup standings should he win. "... I'm not making that many long ones, but I'm not having that many as well. So that's good."
Now the challenge for Palmer is to continue his steady play for another 36 holes. He said he's comfortable when he's at or near the top of the leaderboard going into the weekend.
"I can look back on when I've been in this position, I've come out on top or close," he said.
That’s good news for Palmer. Perhaps bad news for everybody else in the field.