Brendan Todd rode an almost perfect short game to a two-shot win Sunday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, and became yet another golfer to win for the first time on the PGA Tour in 2014. Todd became the eighth first-time winner on tour this year, and pocketed over $1.2 million for the effort.
“I’m just thrilled about this week. It’s such an exciting time to win my first PGA Tour event. I couldn’t be happier.” Todd told The Golf Channel after the event, giving a lot of credit to his work around the green, “It saved me time and time again” he said. A hole-out for a birdie on No. 2 and countless up-and-downs helped the All-American from Georgia to a 66 in his final round and a total of 14-under at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, TX.
An even better story might be the man who finished in second place at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Canadian Mike Weir, former Masters Champion, had not finished in the top ten in an event since 2010. Weir put together a final round of 3-under 67 on Sunday to put pressure on Todd all day and eventually finish as the runner-up at 12-under par. “I hadn’t been in that position in a long time and it felt great time be there,” said Weir as he looked back on his performance, “I’m really happy with the way I felt I handled myself and the shots I was able to hit coming in.”
Charles Howell III and Marc Leishman finished the day tied for third place at 10-under, one shot better than Boo Weekley and James Hahn. Matt Kuchar got another top-ten finish, ending up tied for seventh at the HP Byron Nelson Championship at 8-under par with Dustin Johnson, Graham DeLaet and Gary Woodland.
Perry wins another Champions Tour major – While the PGA Tour was in Texas for the HP Byron Nelson Championship, the Champions Tour was in Birmingham, AL for one of their majors. On Sunday, it was Kenny Perry who won his third major in as many tries with a one-shot victory in the Regions Tradition tournament. Perry won the Senior Players Championship and US Senior Open in 2013, but skipped the Senior British Open.
Finishing ahead of Mark Calcavecchia with a total of 7-under, Perry mostly had to hang on in a final round where he did not have his best stuff, “I battled out there. I really didn’t have it and the golf course was not letting anyone do much. This is a great golf course, a great championship facility and I just hung in there.” Perry hung in there while others who would challenge him fell away.
John Cook was one of those challengers, and had the lead on No. 14 when his ball was buried in the front of a fairway bunker near the lip. As he attempted to blast out of the trap, his ball actually traveled backward, and video reviews of his shot revealed his club had struck the ball twice. Cook was assessed a penalty and took double bogey on the hole. He would finish three shots back at the end of the day.
Fred Couples was disqualified from the Regions Tradition tournament. He was 8-over par after three rounds and missed his tee time on Sunday.
Golf Shots is a daily series which provides analysis and commentary on the PGA tour and golf-related topics all year long.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky