Brendon Todd completed a fantastic four days in Irving, Texas, to win the 2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship over some tough competition.
Mike Weir, Charles Howell III and Marc Leishman all had strong performances on Sunday to make it a tough challenge for the eventual winner. However, Todd was able to do enough on the final day to stay ahead of the field and earn his first title of the year.
Here is a complete breakdown of the tournament with day-by-day results.
Day 4 Recap
It was a wild final day at the TPC Four Seasons Resort as a few different contenders seemed likely to take home the title. However, it was Todd who eventually walked away as the 2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship with a final score of 14 under after shooting a four-under 66 on Day 4.
Here is a complete look at the top 10 after the fourth round:
|T3||Charles Howell III||-10||67|
Full leaderboard available at PGATour.com.
Todd could not quite replicate his 64 from Round 2, but he avoided mistakes throughout the round and pulled off enough birdies to come away as the tournament champion.
The 28-year-old was able to come through in a variety of ways on Sunday. On the second hole, he managed to knock it in from the bunker:
He then got creative toward the end of the round, according to Jason Sobel of Golf Channel:
Brendon Todd just chipped one lefty and sank the par-saver. Mr. Todd's Wild Ride.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) May 18, 2014
In the end, Todd remained bogey free and finished the tournament 14 strokes under par, which was two better than anyone else in the field.
Of course, Weir was the most impressive player early on as he was able to quickly gain the lead with a hot start, detailed by Golf Channel:
Although he was eventually brought back to earth with two bogeys, his front nine was still surprising compared to what he has shown in recent years, via Bob Weeks of ScoreGolf:
Mike Weir finishes the front side in 33, one back of the lead. Today was first time he's led a tour event since 2007. #WeirTheNorth— Bob Weeks (@Bobatscoregolf) May 18, 2014
While Todd regained the lead, it did not stop Weir from making tough shots like this one:
Unfortunately, he simply ran out of holes as his 67 was not enough to catch the leader, finishing the tournament in second place at 12 under.
Howell also did a good job of putting himself in contention with five birdies plus this impressive shot for eagle on No. 16:
The problem was that he also had four bogeys on the day, including on the final hole of the tournament to put him four strokes off the lead when he went into the clubhouse.
Dustin Johnson also had a notable day as his 66 put him into the top 10. His round would have been even better if not for a miserable double bogey that took place on the eighth hole.
One of the more disappointing performances of the day came from Louis Oosthuizen, who was tied for first entering the day after an impressive 64 in Round 3. Unfortunately, he was inaccurate early and then completely fell apart down the stretch with four bogeys on the back nine.
The South African finished tied for 11th with a final score of six strokes under par.
Still, this was just more good news for Todd, who was able to remain in front of the pack despite some tough challengers throughout the day. He will hope that this victory will fuel him to more success as he gains confidence going forward.
The PGA Tour will continue next week with another Texas tournament in in the Crowne Plaza Invitational. The event will take place at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, and it will once again feature many of the big names in the sport.
With just a few more weeks to prepare for the U.S. Open in June, everyone will hope to perform their best in all four rounds.
Day 3 Recap
Friday was Brendon Todd's time to shine. Moving Day? That belonged to Louis Oosthuizen.
The South African carded the day's only six-under 64, moving to 10 under overall to tie Todd atop the leaderboard at the Four Seasons Resort. Oosthuizen started the day in 15th place and actually began his round by moving backward. Bogeys on two of the first four holes sent Oosthuizen spiraling toward the back of the pack until a critical birdie on the par-three fifth turned his day around.
Oosthuizen would go on to three straight birdies and then shoot a 30 on the back nine to finish the day six under. He birdied four of his final five holes on the day.
Oosthuizen's 64 is the low round of the day and came despite starting with 2 bogeys in his first four holes. Leads at -10.— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) May 17, 2014
Todd, who took advantage of a favorable back nine for his 64 on Friday, came back to earth a bit in his third round. While never struggling a great deal, Todd was continually unable to card red numbers. He hit three birdies against two bogeys for a 68—his third straight under-par round.
Coming into Sunday, the biggest story might be just how many players have a shot at winning the tournament. There are nine players within two strokes of the lead and 12 within three shots. Chief among them is Padraig Harrington, whose last win on any professional tour came at the 2008 PGA Championship. The 42-year-old Irishman had been cut in six of the 10 tournaments he'd played in this season coming into the week and had finished no higher than 27th.
Three straight under-par rounds, including a four-under 66 on Saturday, has him on the edge of contention at eight under.
Not among the leaders is Paul Casey, whose back-nine 27 vaulted him into second place coming into the third round. Casey struggled with his stroke from the outset, carding five front-nine bogeys playing alongside Todd en route to a three-over 73. He's three under overall and part of a gaggle of players tied for 27th.
Overall, 58 of the remaining players are even par or better. Given what we've seen the last two days, odds are that number will increase on Sunday. And whoever winds up wielding the 64 scepter will probably be coming out on top.
Day 2 Recap
Eight players held a share of the lead on Friday at TPC Four Seasons—before Brendon Todd finished his day with a bang.
Todd stormed 12 spots up the leaderboard in Round 2 and broke free of the hodgepodge of names flirting with the top spot thanks to a birdie-birdie finish to his day, including this pretty exclamation point on the 17th hole:
Todd started the day even, but seven birdies has a way of changing the complexion of one's tournament in a hurry.
Here is how the leaderboard shaped up after Round 2:
|Position||Name||Total||Round 1 Score|
|T2||Charles Howell III||-6||66|
Hanson's Round 2 provided a word of caution for Todd—it can all come crashing down in one round. Yesterday's leader shot a 73 on Friday and as a result dropped 25 spots. There's still time to recover, but hope is fading fast.
Duval's flirtation with relevancy came crashing down on Friday, too. He shot a 76 and plummeted 83 spots before landing below the projected cut line.
As for the victor from TPC Sawgrass, Kaymer kept his momentum alive with yet another 67 to bring his total to a six-under mark, good enough to make him one of eight players tied for second place.
Despite the good round, he told Jason Sobel of The Golf Channel that his expectations are not getting too outlandish:
Martin Kaymer on potentially winning 11 in a row, like Byron Nelson once did: "Of course it's possible, but it's not possible."— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) May 16, 2014
Alas, Kaymer is on a roll and can join just Tiger Woods and Duval as the only players in history to win the Players and Byron Nelson in consecutive weeks.
But the best performance of all on Friday went to Paul Casey, who jumped 66 spots on the leaderboard after an eight-under 27 on the back nine, which was only one shot off a PGA Tour record for a nine-hole tally.
The PGA Tour itself poked fun at Casey's stunning Day 2 scorecard:
The remarkable day of course registered the greatest shot of all:
We'll see if Casey's momentum can translate to a productive final two rounds. For now, he's in contention with the big boys and a threat to get hot at any moment.
Day 1 Recap
To say the leaderboard is clogged after Day 1 in Texas is an understatement. Hanson pulled away late, but a three-way tie for second place, and eight players tied at three under, means the deck has some shuffling to do in the next three rounds.
Here's a look at how the top 10 shaped up after Round 1:
|Position||Name||Total||Round 1 Score|
Hanson himself is a bit of a surprise after withdrawing from the Wells Fargo Championship recently, following an opening round of 80.
On Thursday, Hanson was back to form in a big way and birdied three of his first five holes to get an early start, and then did so yet again on No. 7 and No. 9 to assume the lead and never look back. The PGA Tour's Twitter account documented the moment on the ninth hole:
In all, Hanson shot six birdies to offset a lone hiccup on No. 14.
The shocking David Duval is another noteworthy development in a tournament that makes a habit of hitting fans with storylines out of nowhere.
Duval hasn't won since the 2001 Open Championship, so to say his early contention is a surprise is a bit of an understatement. The veteran tallied four birdies on Nos. 5 through 9 to explode up the leaderboard, capped off with this pretty shot:
To further add to the head-scratching development that is Duval's success, he wasn't even sure he could participate, as explained by ESPN's Richard Durrett:
Not bad for the man who ranks No. 890 in the world.
A little further down the leaderboard rests one Martin Kaymer, who kept the ball rolling after his dramatic, late-night triumph at The Players Championship last weekend with a three-under 67 on Thursday. As Golf Central illustrates, Kaymer demonstrated how to master the course in Austin by excelling in his approach:
As for the defending champ, it does not look like Sang-Moon Bae will be in contention after shocking the field and winning it all last year. A three-over 73 has a way of doing that to any player, and six bogeys and a double bogey (No. 8) put a sour note on five overall birdies.
Those in search of a triumph from 20-year-old sensation Jordan Spieth will have to wait, as not even a hometown advantage could propel him to the top on Thursday. On Wednesday, he spoke about how being a local player would help him this weekend, according to Mike McAllister of PGAtour.com:
The support is incredible. There is no place like it than at the hometown event here. Off the course, it's all positive, it's all great. I can feed off it. It feels like the city of Dallas is behind me and rooting for me this week. It can only do wonders for me.
Spieth responded by breaking even with a 70 on the day, somewhat continuing his unraveling from the tail ends of last weekend's event. Two late birdies saved him, to say the least.
He is, of course, one of the major players to watch the rest of the way. Hanson is a noteworthy leader, but the most interesting story of all to hatch from Day 1 is Duval's quest for a comeback. He has to manage to keep his form to do so, but this sure is the top of the food chain for a player who has relied on sponsorship exemptions recently.
Keep an eye on Kaymer, too. Conventional wisdom says his stunning day will translate into further success. The approach is key at TPC Four Seasons, and Kaymer seems to have the hard part down already.