2014 Byron Nelson Championship: Winners and Losers from TPC Four Seasons
The Byron Nelson Championship is the first half of the brief Texas swing prior to the Memorial Tournament. As the tour's best continue to refine their games and jockey for position ahead of the U.S. Open in less than a month, the two weeks in Texas are always interesting.
Entering the final round of Lord Byron's tournament, Brendon Todd and Louis Oosthuizen were tied for the lead at 10 under.
Following the round, one of the two was a winner. The other—appearing hampered by a sore back—was not.
Click through for the other winners and losers from the Byron Nelson Championship.
Winner: Brendon Todd
Todd carded four birdies and 14 bogeys in his final round to cruise to victory at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Looking nothing like a player looking for his first PGA Tour victory, Todd was exceptional Sunday after entering the final round tied for the lead with Oosthuizen.
After a spectacular second-round 64, Todd was steady through the weekend and was clearly the best man in the field this week.
After regaining his tour card this year, Todd has now made 13 of 16 cuts with five top-25 finishes.
Loser: This Formerly Notable Player
Relying on sponsors' exemptions and past champion status, former world No. 1 David Duval has had a mixed 2014 season. His best showing of the year came in his last start, where he finished tied for 25th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Dealing with a serious elbow injury all week, Duval was somehow able to put together an opening-round 66. However, the elbow hampered his play in the second round, and he was left just outside of the cut line after firing a 76.
Duval is a loser in the game of luck; just when his play is improving, his body fails him.
Here's hoping for a full and speedy recovery for "Double D."
Winners: Formerly Notable Players
It wasn't all bad for the formerly notable. Charles Howell III and Mike Weir availed themselves nicely at TPC Four Seasons this week.
Howell, who has made 16 of 19 cuts this season, has recorded six top-10 finishes. However, his tie for third this week represents his best showing since the beginning of last season.
Weir, who has fallen off the map in the last few seasons, put together four solid rounds (68, 66, 67, 67) for his first top-10 finish since 2010.
Loser: Louis Oosthuizen's Back
At the same tournament from which he withdrew last year with a neck injury, Oosthuizen seemed to be bothered by the back trouble that has plagued him this season down the stretch at the Byron Nelson this year.
As Oosthuizen said, per the Associated Press, via ESPN.com, regarding the injury that has compromised his performance this season, "The last year and a half was really frustrating."
Unfortunately, the frustration continued this week.
"King Louis" has only made eight starts on the PGA Tour this season and has mustered just one top-10 finish. This week, he entered the final round tied for the lead. However, a string of three bogeys in four holes on the back nine sunk his chances, as the South African never really looked comfortable after making the turn.
Winner: Different Strokes
Looking at the top 10 finishers from the Byron Nelson, it's clear that different approaches to conquering TPC Four Seasons paid dividends.
One example? Here are the average driving distances of some of the top 10 finishers:
- Brendon Todd: 279.8 (160th)
- Mike Weir: 270.5 (197th)
- Charles Howell III: 301.1 (17th)
- Marc Leishman: 290.9 (73rd)
- Boo Weekley: 286.8 (110th)
- James Hahn: 288.1 (99th)
- Dustin Johnson: 308.5 (2nd)
Most strikingly, Weir is about 40 yards shorter than Johnson off the tee on average. Different strokes (and power off the tee) for different folks.
Losers: The Newly Bearded
I'm not exactly sure when Oosthuizen made the decision to scrap his razor. However, as he's just passed the point of no return at which stubble becomes beard, it's a fitting time to say, "The clean-shaven look might be better."
Perhaps it's no coincidence that Oosthuizen, who was tied for the third-round lead, couldn't close the deal in Texas.
And did you get a look at tournament winner Brendon Todd? Not a whisker on his face.
Likewise, Paul Casey and Padraig Harrington were seen sporting a fair amount of scruff. Casey finished inside the top 20 as he seeks to reassert himself on tour. Harrington fell outside of the top 20 thanks to a final-round 74.
Besides, who wants to be bearded in 80-plus-degree Texas heat?
Winner: Lord Byron
The late, great Byron Nelson is always a winner at the tournament that bears his name. Nelson, who was a fixture behind the final green until his death in 2006, looms large at TPC Four Seasons.
Well beyond the bronze representation of the PGA Tour great—who stepped away from the game to quietly raise cattle in Texas—Mr. Nelson is everywhere at the tournament. Indeed, he is its reason for being.
So, if you were entertained by Todd's rock-solid showing this week, you can thank the man in bronze pictured above.
Loser: Padraig Harrington
On the 11th hole during the final round, Harrington played a beautiful low, checking, three-quarter pitch shot to the green. As the ball hit and bounded forward, it seemed destined to dive right into the cup.
Unfortunately for Harrington, it did just that...and then abruptly hopped out (as you can see in the video).
The Irishman ultimately tapped in for a birdie three after incredulously staring at his ball on the green. Harrington, who finished tied for 22nd, was entirely without luck at the 11th Sunday. However, the top-25 finish is his best of 2014.