May 19 2013
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.