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South Korea’s Lee wins Byron Nelson for first PGA Tour title

South Korean Lee Kyoung-hoon defied rain, wind and a climate delay to fireside a six-under par 66 on Sunday to win PGA Tour Byron Nelson by three strokes and e book a PGA Championship berth.

Lee had eight birdies in his six-under effort at TPC Craig Ranch within the Dallas suburb of McKinney, Texas, his 25-under par whole of 263 placing him three away from American Sam Burns.

“I can’t believe it,” mentioned Lee, who has 4 skilled wins on the Japan Tour and AsiaOne tour, however whose earlier greatest end on the US tour was his share of second on the Phoenix Open earlier this yr.

The victory noticed him seize the ultimate spot in subsequent week’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, the second males’s main championship of 2021.

Lee began the day one stroke behind Burns, who was gunning for a second tour title after profitable the Valspar Championship two weeks in the past.

As Burns struggled to construct momentum — enjoying the entrance 9 in even par with two bogeys and two birdies — Lee surged to the highest of the leaderboard with birdies on the second, third and fourth.

Lee spun a wedge in to 4 toes for birdie on the sixth and caught his method inside three toes for birdie on the ninth earlier than an errant tee shot led to a bogey on the ninth.

He added a four-foot birdie on the twelfth and had a three-shot lead when lightning halted play on a day that had already seen the sector slog by way of usually heavy rain and blustery winds.

When play resumed greater than two hours later, Lee was going through a 16-foot par putt on the sixteenth. He ended up with a bogey, however he birdied the final two holes to seal the victory.

“Very hard conditions for everybody today,” mentioned Lee, who rolled in a four-foot birdie putt on the par-three seventeenth and reached the inexperienced of the par-five 18th in two.

“I tried to stay patient and keep playing positive. I didn’t want to look at the leaderboard, just tried to (play) my golf.”

After he rolled his eagle try from 39 toes to inside a foot of the cup and tapped in for his closing birdie, Lee acquired a congratulatory hug from South Korean golf icon KJ Choi and a hug from his spouse.

“So excited,” mentioned Lee, who mentioned he had usually imagined how he would rejoice a longed-for US PGA Tour victory however mentioned that when the time got here he “almost forgot everything.”

– ‘Awesome’ Lee –

Burns captured solo second along with his four-foot birdie at 18, capping a two-under par 70 for a 22-under whole of 266.

“I think the biggest thing for me is just knowing my game is in a good place,” Burns mentioned. “It’s in a good spot enough to where I can contend. So that’s cool for me, just to see some results for some of the stuff I been working on back home.”

He referred to as Lee’s efficiency within the tough circumstances “awesome.”

“When it was tough he hung in there and he got off to a great start,” Burns mentioned. “It was kind of gettable in the beginning. (Lee) got off to a really fast start, and then kind of midway through got tough for everybody, and he kept hitting one shot after the next and never gave anybody a chance.”

South African Charl Schwartzel, who performed within the last group alongside Lee and Burns, acquired up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker at 18 to cap his 68 and be part of a gaggle sharing third on 267 that additionally included Americans Patton Kizzire, Daniel Berger and Scott Stallings.


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