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Bae Gets Past Bradley for First Tour Victory
While Keegan Bradley struggled, South Korea's Sang-Moon Bae played steadily down the stretch, closing with a 1-under 69 on a blustery day in Irving, Texas, to win the $6.7 million HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort.
Bradley, seeking a wire-to-wire win, started Sunday with a one-stroke lead over Bae, but carded a 2-over 72. Bae finished at 13-under 267, while the 27-year-old from Vermont ended up at 11-under in solo second.
Bae got off to a hot start, posting four birdies in the first seven holes to build a four-stroke lead. But a double-bogey on the par-4 ninth and a bogey on the 10th cut Bae's edge in half.
The two players were tied before starting the 16th after Bradley birdied the par-4 15th. But Bae birdied the par-5 16th and Bradley got a par. Bradley then over-shot the green at the par-3 17th and couldn't get up and down for par, while Bae two-putted after barely finding the green with his tee shot, stretching his lead back to two.
Each parred the 18th, giving Bae his first PGA Tour victory, the winner's check for $1.17 million and 500 FedEx Cup points.
After his final putt dropped, the 26-year-old Bae, playing in the Nelson for the first time, raised his arms and hugged his caddie. Bae's friends then rushed the green and squirted water on him. With his first triumph, Bae became the first Asian-born PGA Tour winner since Kevin Na in the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.
"I'm very, very happy," Bae said at greenside. "I had a great time. I did my best this week. This course was very, very tough. The wind was very strong."
Indeed, the gusts topped 40 mph Sunday, causing the par-70 layout to play tough, although several players in the top-10 did just fine. Finishing alone in third at 270 was South Africa's Charl Schwartzel (68), while in fourth another stroke back was Justin Bolli, who carded the low round of the day, a 5-under 65.
Morgan Hoffman (66), Germany's Martin Kaymer (68) and Scott Piercy (72) tied for fifth at 272. Charley Hoffman (no relation to Morgan) had a 67 to take a share of eighth with John Huh (71). Japan's Ryo Ishikawa (67) and Canada's Graham DeLaet (70) ended up in 10th at 274.
Defending champion Jason Dufner closed with a 72 to finish in a tie for 33rd at 1-under 279.
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