May 20 2012
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
IRVING, Texas — J.J. Henry rode the seesaw of emotion on Sunday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. The highlight was on the fifth hole when a 9-iron from 153 yards found the cup for a hole-in-one. The lowlight came on the final two holes when he went double bogey-bogey to finish third despite holding a one-shot lead on the 17th tee. He was visibly shaken after the round, receiving consolation from friends.
Classy ending: When Jason Dufner rolled home his winning birdie putt on the 18th hole, Dicky Pride had an immediate reaction and it did not consist of hanging his head or slumping his shoulders. Pride clapped. Having lost his chance to win the tournament, Pride clapped for a full 30 seconds for Dufner and then walked over to congratulate Dufner's wife. Pride should be proud of his week and comportment.
High-five: Jonas Blixt introduced himself to the golf world on Sunday. His third-place finish gives him back-to-back top 10s, allowing the PGA TOUR rookie to likely keep his card for 2013. Blixt could not contain his enthusiasm on the 16th hole, when after making birdie to move to 10 under, he ran up the hill and handed out high-fives to fans.
Full circle: On Thursday, Marc Leishman hit a 264-yard 2-iron and made eagle at the par-5 16th hole. On Sunday, Leishman hit the same 2-iron from 255 yards and had a putt for eagle. Alas, it did not quite come full circle as Leishman missed the putt and made birdie, going on to finish tied for third.
Foot slip: Pride stood on the 18th hole tied for the lead and hit his tee ball into the water after his foot slipped. Pride could feel it slide as he began the downswing and tried to save the shot by flipping his hand, but the damage was done. His ball started at the water, tried to fade but did not clear the pond. Pride still made par but it could have been a possible birdie if his foot had not slipped.
Par 3: Jason Dufner hit so many quality shots during his victory but one could be overlooked. After Henry aced the fifth, the whole golf course erupted in cheers. It would have been easy to be distracted but Dufner was nonplussed, calmly waiting for the applause to diminish before hitting his own 9-iron to within six feet and making the putt. Dufner won the tournament with a birdie on the 72nd hole but stayed in the tournament with that birdie at the fifth.
18th hole: You can't blame Jason Day if he's not a fan of the redesigned 18th hole. He played the 428-yard par-4 in 5 over for the week. He double-bogeyed the hole on Thursday and vowed to never hit driver off that tee again. True to his word, Day hit iron off the tee and still struggled, hitting it into the water again in the final round. Day finished tied for ninth at 5 under and was 5 over on that final hole.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and inside the ropes this week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.