Sang-Moon Bae won the Byron Nelson Championship by two strokes for his first U.S. PGA Tour title.
The South Korean, playing in his 43rd event on golf’s richest circuit, finished at 13-under-par 267 after a final-round 1-under-par 69 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas. Keegan Bradley, who won the tournament in 2011 for his first career title on the tour, was second at 11-under par after a 72 yesterday.
“The course was really tough out there,” Bae said at a news conference. “The winds were really strong, but I told myself, hang in there and just keep trying to focus on my game. That’s what I did.”
The victory is worth $1.2 million to the 26-year-old Bae, the first Asian-born champion on the PGA Tour since Kevin Na won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in 2011. Bae’s previous best result was a playoff loss to Luke Donald at the 2012 Tampa Bay Championship.
Bae is the fifth golfer of Korean descent to capture a PGA Tour title after eight-time winner K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang, Na and John Huh. The tour has now produced eight first-time winners this year and three in the past four weeks.
Bae, who had won 11 times previously in Asia, held a two-shot lead on the tee at the 15th hole yesterday. His putt for par hit the lip of the cup and stayed out, while Bradley made birdie to leave the pair tied for the lead at 12-under par.
Bae birdied the next hole to take the outright lead as Bradley’s birdie attempt from just inside four feet (1.2 meters) missed. Bradley bogeyed the 17th hole to drop back to 11-under and both players made par at the last hole.
The tour now moves about 32 miles (51 kilometers) southwest to Fort Worth, Texas, for the $6.4 million Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial Country Club.