AT&T Byron Nelson 2022: K.H. Lee Claims Title over Jordan Spieth with Final-Round 63

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 15, 2022

MCKINNEY, TEXAS - MAY 15: K.H. Lee of South Korea reacts to his birdie on the 12th hole during the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch on May 15, 2022 in McKinney, Texas. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

K.H. Lee entered rarefied air as he successfully defended his title in the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.

Lee joins Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead as the only golfers to win the event in back-to-back years.


K.H. Lee defends his title! 🏆🏆<br><br>The South Korean is the first in 42 years to go back-to-back <a href="https://twitter.com/attbyronnelson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ATTByronNelson</a>. <a href="https://t.co/zPT8L5IcUP">pic.twitter.com/zPT8L5IcUP</a>

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Last 2 to get 1st 2 PGA Tour wins going back-to-back at the same event:<br><br>Justin Thomas, CIMB Classic, 2015-16<br>Daniel Berger, FedEx St Jude, 2016-17 <a href="https://t.co/RxxDjc1gDY">https://t.co/RxxDjc1gDY</a>

He went nine under in the final round to end at 26 under for the tournament. Jordan Spieth finished second at 25 under, and Hideki Matsuyama and Sebastian Munoz tied for third at 24 under.

AT&T Byron Nelson Leaderboard

1. K.H. Lee (-26)

2. Jordan Spieth (-25)

T3. Hideki Matsuyama (-24)

T3. Sebastian Munoz (-24)

T5. Xander Schauffele (-23)

T5. Ryan Palmer (-23)

T5. Justin Thomas (-23)

8. Charl Schwartzel (-22)

T9. Peter Malnati (-21)

T9. Davis Riley (-21)

T9. James Hahn (-21)

Full leaderboard available at PGATour.com

Lee got off to an excellent start with five birdies on the front nine. An eagle on No. 12 gave him sole possession of the lead.


W̶a̶l̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ Running after it 🏃<br><br>K.H. Lee puts it to 4 feet from 240 yards. <a href="https://t.co/VcPgLLQcKJ">pic.twitter.com/VcPgLLQcKJ</a>

Lee's grip on the lead appeared to be slipping after his tee shot on No. 17 landed in the rough on the lip of a green-side bunker. Standing in the bunker, he had a difficult time maintaining his footing and finding the right angle with which to strike the ball.

Lee's chip came to a stop 12 feet from the hole, and he sank his par putt to remain at 25 and hold his challengers at arm's length.


K.H. Lee with a HUGE putt. <a href="https://twitter.com/attbyronnelson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@attbyronnelson</a> <a href="https://t.co/oHq6dds6uT">pic.twitter.com/oHq6dds6uT</a>

Spieth was the sentimental favorite at TPC Craig Ranch. The Texan said leading up to the tournament the AT&T Byron Nelson is "obviously the one that’s starred on the calendar."

Dan Rapaport @Daniel_Rapaport

Spieth is milessssss better with driver than just a month ago—limiting the big misses and hitting it long, too. Whatever happens the rest of this round, he will take massive confidence into next week. Oh baby.

The 28-year-old's inconsistency was his undoing. He bogeyed two of his first three holes in the final round and lost another stroke on No. 10 after making the turn to the back nine. With the scoring where it was Sunday, losing any ground was costly.

Spieth had a nine-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole. Sinking that would've put him into a tie with Lee atop the leaderboard. His putt rolled to the left, though, and with the miss, his odds of walking away with a victory all but evaporated.

Xander Schauffele had a round to remember, nearly doubling his tournament score in 18 holes. He carded an 11-under 61 on Sunday.

The 28-year-old birdied No. 5 to improve to 13 under before holing out from the fairway for an eagle on No. 6. Things only got better from there.


🕳 <a href="https://twitter.com/XSchauffele?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@XSchauffele</a> drains it from the fairway! <a href="https://t.co/tR3gA9cbmV">pic.twitter.com/tR3gA9cbmV</a>

On Friday, Schauffele wasn't even assured of making the cut. He was three over with five holes completed in the second round, and his overall score (five under) put him right on the cut line.

Sunday's performance capped off an incredible two-day stretch for the San Diego native. Still, he didn't have any misconceptions about the likelihood of his score holding up.

"I'm always optimistic, but just being realistic," Schauffele told reporters after his round ended. "I think the number's going to be anywhere from 25 to 27 or 28."

His read ultimately proved correct.

The PGA Championship is the next stop on the PGA Tour calendar. Action tees off Thursday at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy are the co-favorites (+1200; bet $100 to win $1,200) at DraftKings Sportsbook. Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa follow at +1400. Based on his finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Spieth (+2000) might become a more trendy pick.

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