May 20 2012
QUICK RECAP: FINAL ROUND
IRVING, Texas -- It took Jason Dufner 164 starts on the PGA TOUR to win his first title. It took him two more starts to win his second one.
Dufner survived a tough start to make the most important putt of the day, a 25-1/2 footer for birdie at the 18th hole to claim the HP Byron Nelson Championship in a Sunday shootout at the TPC Four Seasons Resort.
By making birdie on the final hole, Dufner finished at 11 under and avoided a playoff with Dicky Pride, who had poured in a similar putt for par at the 18th to finish at 10 under.
“I’ve been in a couple of playoffs,” Dufner said. “Really didn’t want to get in another one.”
Pride was looking for his first TOUR win in nearly 18 years. Had he won, he would’ve set a PGA TOUR record for most time between wins.
Instead, Dufner gets his second in the last month, having claimed the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in a playoff.
“Jason made a great putt,” Pride said. “He’s a really good player.”
Dufner bogeyed two of his first three holes, but immediately bounced back with two birdies en route to shooting a 3-under 67.
Four players finished tied for third – Joe Durant, Marc Leishman, Jonas Blixt and J.J. Henry.
Henry, playing with Dufner in the final group, had the lead to himself at 11 under through 16 holes. His round was jump-started with a hole-in-one at the par-3 fifth. But he double bogeyed the par-3 17th after a poor tee shot and a three-putt.
Phil Mickelson, starting the day six strokes off the lead, made some noise with four straight birdies on the front side. But pressing down the stretch, he finished with consecutive bogeys and drop into a tie for seventh with Ken Duke.
LIVE UPDATES: FINAL ROUND (all times ET)
5:34 p.m. – Jason Dufner wins the HP Byron Nelson Championship with a birdie putt of 25 feet, 5 inches at the 18th hole. It’s just the eighth birdie at that hole in the final round. It’s Dufner’s second win in his last three starts and moves him to the top of the FedExCup standings.
5:23 p.m. – What a par by Dicky Pride at the 18th. He found the water with his tee shot, but rolled in the par putt from 23 feet. That keeps him at 10 under and with a share of the lead.
5:19 p.m. – The par-3 17th may prove to be the decisive hole. J.J. Henry, with a 7-iron, airmailed the green, then three putted for a double bogey. Meanwhile, Jason Dufner also missed the green but made a nice recovery shot. The final group heads to the 18th with Dufner now at 10 under and Henry at 9 under. With Dicky Pride, also at 10 under, in trouble at the 18th, Dufner has the advantage.
5:15 p.m. – Jonas Blixt joins the crowded clubhouse at 9 under after shooting a 66. It was a good run for the rookie, who will be guaranteed his second straight top-10 finish.
5:04 p.m. – Both players in the final twosome of the day, J.J. Henry and Jason Dufner, birdied the par-5 16th with short putts after splashing out of the greenside bunker. Henry is now 11 under; Dufner is 10 under. Meanwhile, Marc Leishman has joined Joe Durant in the clubhouse at 9 under after shooting a 4-under 66.
4:58 p.m. – J.J. Henry is now the solo leader after Jonas Blixt birdied the par-3 17th following a poor tee shot. Henry could add to that lead, as he’s playing the par-5 16th.
4:54 p.m. – Joe Durant entered this weekend having posted just two rounds in the 60s in his last 24 rounds on TOUR dating back to late last year. Now he’s carded consecutive 65s here to finish at 9 under. He’s currently the clubhouse leader.
4:49 p.m. – Marc Leishman missed his 4-foot putt for par at the 17th. That drops him to 9 under and out of a tie for the lead.
4:46 p.m. – Add J.J. Henry’s name to the list at 10 under, thanks to a 32-foot putt at the par-4 15th. With the par-5 16th next, Henry has the advantage over his co-leaders, who have already played that hole.
4:45 p.m. – Jonas Blixt has a share of the lead at 10 under with a birdie at the 16th.
4:38 p.m. – Marc Leishman just took the solo lead with a birdie at the par-5 16th. That moves him to 10 under. Leishman is a bogey-free 4 under for the day.
4:35 p.m. – The five players atop the leaderboard have a combined six wins on the PGA TOUR. Joe Durant has the most, with four wins, but he hasn’t won since 2006. Neither has J.J. Henry, whose only TOUR win came that year. Rookie Jonas Blixt and past Rookie of the Year Marc Leishman are still looking for their first TOUR wins. And Jason Dufner won his only TOUR even last month.
4:32 p.m. -- With five players tied for the lead on the back nine, a playoff is a definite possibility. It would be typical for this tournament. Sine 1968, the HP Byron Nelson Championship has had 17 playoffs, most on the PGA TOUR in that span.
4:28 p.m. – Phil Mickelson after his final-round 66: “It was a fun day. The wind was calm and left the golf course susceptible to bridies. I got hot with the putter … made a good move. The last couple of holes were disappointing but it was still fun.”
4:07 p.m. -- While Phil Mickelson taps in for a bogey-bogey finish on the 18th, Jason Dufner avoids back-to-back bogeys with a 9-foot par-saving putt on No. 12. Dufner remains at 9 under, tied with Marc Leishman, J.J. Henry, Jonas Blixt and Joe Durant for the lead.
3:50 p.m. – A bogey by Jason Dufner at the 11th hole drops him into a tie for the lead again at 9 under.
3:46 p.m. – Any opportunity Phil Mickelson had of winning likely vanished at the par-3 17th. After a terrific tee shot put him inside 15 feet for birdie, Mickelson ran his birdie putt 3 feet past the hole, then saw his par putt horseshoe out as he suffered his first bogey of the day. It’s the third three-putt Mickelson has suffered this week. The bogey drops him to 7 under and three shots off the lead with just one hole to play.
3:35 p.m. – With his sixth birdie of the day, this one at the par-5 16th, Phil Mickelson moves to 8 under. But he’s running out of holes.
3:33 p.m. – Jason Dufner rolls in a 17-1/2 foot birdie putt at the par-4 10th to take the solo lead. J.J. Henry missed his birdie putt from 12 feet.
3:25 p.m. – Dicky Pride has joined the co-leaders at 9 under after draining a 26-foot putt at the 10th hole. He’s now in a four-way tie for first with Marc Leishman, Jason Dufner and J.J. Henry.
3:20 p.m. – The final twosome of Jason Dufner and J.J. Henry have just completed their opening nine holes. Dufner is 4 under on the back nine in the first three rounds; Henry is 8 under on the back nine and has been bogey-free on the back nine in the last two rounds.
3:07 p.m. – Marc Leishman has joined the leaders at 9 under, thanks to two consecutive birdies. He birdied the par-4 ninth with a putt from 8-1/2 feet and the par-4 10th with a 4-1/2 foot putt.
2:54 p.m. – Jason Dufner is back into a tie for the lead thanks to a birdie at the par-5 seventh. Co-leader J.J. Henry was unable to birdie the easiest hole on the front side.
2:52 p.m. – The final groups are still a few holes away from making the turn, but it’s evident that the TPC Four Seasons Resort course is playing easier than expected. The lack of stiff crosswinds is providing good scoring conditions, and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio’s Dennis Paulson also noted that was a “lot more moisture on the greens” than anticipated. The current scoring average is 69.938, meaning it’s playing just under par.
2:47 p.m. – Dicky Pride birdied the par-5 seventh and moves to 8 under, one shot behind J.J. Henry. Pride had opened his final round with six consecutive birdies.
2:33 p.m. – After a string of three consecutive pars, Phil Mickelson posted his fifth birdie of the day, rolling in a 15-footer at the par-4 12th. That moves him to 7 under for the tournament and into a tie for third.
2:25 p.m. – Info on J.J. Henry’s hole-in-one … he used a pitching wedge … it’s his second ace of the year; he also had one in Puerto Rico … and his third career ace on the PGA TOUR … it’s the first hole-in-one in this event since 2010 when Ken Duke had one in the second round.
2:21 p.m. – After watching J.J. Henry’s hole-in-one, playing partner Jason Dufner answered with a birdie at the fifth, moving him within one shot of Henry’s lead.
2:17 p.m. – J.J. Henry just aced the par-3 fifth hole from 153 yards. That moves him to 9 under and gives him a two-shot lead. “That’s just crazy,” said John Maginnes on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
2:15 p.m. – Defending champ Keegan Bradley has yet to make anything happen. He’s 1 over for his round through eight holes and has yet to post a birdie.
2:11 p.m. – Jason Dufner has bounced back after two consecutive bogeys with a birdie at the par-4 fourth. That moves him back to 7 under. He’s now tied with Dicky Pride and J.J. Henry for the lead.
1:50 p.m. – Phil Mickelson pars the ninth, goes out in 31. He's 3 under total on the back 9 this week at TPC Four Seasons.
1:45 p.m. -- While Phil Mickelson waits in the fairway on the par-4 ninth, J.J. Henry birdies to take the lead at 8 under. Jason Dufner, a slow starter on the front nine this week, bogeys the second to drop to 7 under.
1:30 p.m. – Phil Mickelson’s on fire. He just posted his fourth consecutive birdie, rolling in a 30-foot putt at the par-4 eighth. That moves him to 6 under and into a tie for fifth, just two strokes off the lead.
1:27 p.m. -- J.J. Henry opened with a birdie, thanks to his approach shot at the opening hole that landed 3 feet from the pin. He’s now at 8 under and tied with playing partner and 54-hole leader Jason Dufner.
1:17 p.m. – Third consecutive birdie for Phil Mickelson, this one at the par-5 seventh with an 11-foot putt. He’s now at 5 under for the tournament and tied for seventh.
1:10 p.m. – David Mathis is having a good day; he’s 3 under through 10 holes, moving him to 4 under for the tournament. No surprise that Mathis is playing well today; he ranks second on the PGA TOUR in final-round scoring average this year. Click for stats
1 p.m. – About the lack of noise from Phil Mickelson? Well, he just woke up. Mickelson rolled in a birdie putt from 11 feet at the par-3 fifth, then followed with another birdie from 7 feet at the par-4 sixth. He’s now at 4 under for the tournament and into a tie for 10th.
12:55 p.m. – Local resident J.J. Henry, one shot behind playing partner Jason Dufner in the final twosome, may have a slight advantage over the rest of the field. “I was actually a player consultant with Harrison Frazar for the D.A. Weibring redesign (of TPC Four Seasons in 2008),” Henry said. “So I feel like I know this golf course pretty well.” Henry and Dufner will tee off at 1:15 p.m.
12:50 p.m. – Jason Day, the 2010 HP Byron Nelson champ who’s in a three-way tie for second going into the final round, said the strategy for winning Sunday is fairly simple: “The guy that obviously makes the least amount of mistakes out there (Sunday) is going to win. That’s just how things are going to go.” Day tees off in 15 minutes with playing partner Dicky Pride in the penultimate group of the day.
12:45 p.m. – Jason Dufner is at the top of the leaderboard entering the final round despite his putter. Through 54 holes, Dufner ranks 66th out of 71 players left in the field in strokes gained-putting. He’s given up 3.5 strokes to the field on the green this week. This is not unusual for Dufner – he entered this week ranked tied for 117th on the PGA TOUR in strokes gained-putting. Fortunately, his ball-striking has been impeccable – he ranks second in driving accuracy and first in greens in regulation in this week’s field.
12:35 p.m. – Phil Mickelson, starting the day six shots off the lead, was hoping to make some early noise, but it hasn’t worked out thus far. He missed a birdie putt inside 9 feet at the first hole and had routine pars on the next three holes. Click here to follow the rest of Mickelson’s round on Shot Tracker
12:30 p.m. – With the leaders teeing off in 45 minutes, a few players with earlier tee times have already jumped out to nice starts. D. A. Points has made the turn at 4 under on his round and is 5 under for the tournament. Ken Duke is 3 under for the day through six holes and also at 5 under. Alex Cejka has already finished, having posted his second 65 of the week; unfortunately, he shot 73-76 in the middle two rounds, leaving him at 1 under for the tournament.