Lee Kyoung-hoon fired a career-low nine-under-par 63 on Sunday to win the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.
South Korea’s Lee, who won his first PGA Tour title at the tournament in suburban Dallas last year, made his second victory a successful defence as he erased a four-shot overnight deficit to build a 26-under-par total of 262 and beat three-time Major winner Jordan Spieth by one stroke.
South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel finished eighth on 22 under.
“Feels like a dream again, like last year,” said Lee, who was greeted at the 18th green by his wife Yu Joo-yeon and their baby daughter Celine, who was born weeks after Lee won last year. “It’s an amazing feeling.”
On a windy day north of Dallas, Lee got going early with a 51-foot birdie putt at the 2nd hole.
After a seven-foot birdie at the 3rd he blasted out of a greenside bunker to two feet for birdie at the 5th, then added birdies at 6 and 9 before sticking his approach at the par-five 12th within five feet for an eagle that put him atop the leaderboard.
He added a 14-foot birdie at the 13th, then sealed the victory with a birdie at the par-five 18th – where his 25-foot eagle putt stopped an inch from the cup.
Lee powered past overnight leader Sebastian Munoz, who began the day at 21 under and one shot in front of Spieth.
Both got off to a slow start with bogeys at the 1st. Spieth went on to post eight birdies with three bogeys in his five under 67 while Munoz had four birdies in a 69 that left him tied for third on 264 alongside former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, who charged up the leaderboard with a 10-under-par 62.
Lee preserved his one-shot lead with a gritty par save at the par-three 17th, where his tee shot left him in the left rough with an awkward stance in a bunker.
He made a 12-foot putt for the save.
Although Spieth couldn’t come up with an eagle to force a playoff, it was a solid week as he heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the PGA Championship where a victory would have him complete a career grand slam.
“It was a good week, good momentum into next week, last two starts being a win and a second,” Spieth said.
“But this one will sting just a little bit just looking back on the day,” added the American, who perhaps regretted most a three-putt bogey at the 10th.
“But I played the holes from there exactly how they were supposed to be played,” Spieth said, “grabbed three more birdies and it just wasn’t quite good enough.”
Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele also finished on a high note. After making the cut on the number on Friday, he had nine birdies and an eagle in his impressive 11 under 61 to share fifth on 265 alongside Justin Thomas and Ryan Palmer.
“I’m seeing the ball go in the hole, which is a really important thing before a Major,” Schauffele said.
© Agence France-Presse