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AT&T Byron Nelson 2017: Billy Horschel Beats Jason Day in Playoff to Secure Win

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2017

IRVING, TX - MAY 21:   Billy Horschel plays his shot from the 15th tee during the Final Round of the AT&T Byron Nelson at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas on May 21, 2017 in Irving, Texas.  (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Billy Horschel defeated Jason Day on the first playoff hole to win the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson tournament after they both finished with a 12-under overall score following Sunday's fourth round at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas in Irving, Texas.

It's the fourth career win on the PGA Tour for Horschel, who takes home the $1.35 million winner's share from the $7.5 million purse, according to Golf News Net. He also edged James Hahn (-11) and Jason Kokrak (-10), who finished third and fourth, respectively.

Here's a look at the final tournament leaderboard:

The 30-year-old University of Florida product picked up his first victory in nearly three years when Day missed a short comebacker to three-putt on the first extra hole.

It's a win that qualifies as a surprise given his poor form in recent months, too. He missed the cut in his last three starts, including The Players Championship last week, and hadn't finished inside the top 50 in an event since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in mid-March (T-13).

Justin Ray of Golf Channel provided a stat on the rare close-in miss by Day:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGC

Jason Day had made 278 of 291 putts inside 5 feet this season (95.5%) before his miss on the 1st playoff hole from 4 feet. #PGATour

Horschel and Day put on quite a show down the stretch before even entering the playoff.

It looked like Horschel was beginning to fade during the early stages of the back nine. The 2014 Tour Championship winner posted back-to-back bogeys starting at No. 12, but he bounced back with an outstanding birdie at No. 14 to get back level.

The PGA Tour highlighted his long-range putt:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

WHAT A PUTT BY @BILLYHO_GOLF! #QuickHits https://t.co/s7gkzyWa2P

Day responded with a miraculous birdie of his own. The 29-year-old Aussie found the deep rough off the tee and his approach came up well short of the green. He faced a long chip from a downslope across a bunker, which made saving par feel like a tricky task.

Instead, he delivered a picture-perfect shot, as the PGA Tour showcased:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Making birdie from THERE? Ridiculous! WHAT A SHOT! #QuickHits https://t.co/yJl4JdtT5M

They almost had an unexpected guest in the playoff, though. Hahn, who needed an eagle from the 18th fairway to tie the leaders, came within inches of a Shot of the Year candidate.

The PGA Tour spotlighted the painfully close miss:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

.@JamesHahnPGA needed to hole THIS to have a chance at a playoff. WOW! 😱😱😱 The reactions say it all. #QuickHits https://t.co/Ic1ezB3PMF

That would have changed the entire complexion of the playoff. But it became a two-horse race, and Horschel emerged with the victory.

Moving forward, the number of warm-up events is starting to dwindle before the busiest portion of the major schedule takes center stage. The Memorial Tournament in early June is the last marquee stop before the U.S. Open starting June 15 at Erin Hills Golf Club in Wisconsin.

Horschel should carry plenty of positive vibes out of the AT&T Byron Nelson, especially considering how hard he was forced to work Sunday to beat out a crowded field. He'll definitely be a player to watch on the big stages over the next few months.

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