Low scores were everywhere on Sunday afternoon just outside of Dallas.
KH Lee got his in at the perfect time.
Lee fired a career-low 9-under 63 to pull ahead of a crowded leaderboard and successfully defending his title at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
The win is just Lee’s second so far on the PGA Tour, both of which have now come at TPC Craig Ranch.
“It’s amazing. It’s like a dream again, like last year, ”he said on CBS. “With my family and my wife and my daughter [here]it’s amazing, really. ”
Lee came out hot in his final round, and carded five birdies on his front nine to get right into the mix with Jordan Spieth and then-leader Xander Schauffele. Then shortly after making the turn, Lee expertly stuck his approach on the par-5 12th within just a few feet to set up an easy eagle – which gave him the solo lead.
After a birdie on the next gave him a two-shot lead, Lee parred the next four holes to take his lead into the final hole. He had a look at the eagle on the 18th, but his putt was just off the mark. He settled for a birdie to get him to 26-under on the week, which eventually gave him the one-shot win.
Though Lee went low, plenty of others were right there with him. Spieth had plenty of chances to catch Lee, even after a rollercoaster start with two bogeys and a birdie through three holes. Spieth recovered there and made four birdies in five holes to close his front nine, but he fell just short and missed a necessary eagle on the final hole.
Spieth finished with a 5-under 67 to take a solo-second at 25-under. After his win at the RBC Heritage last month, which was his last start on Tour, Spieth is in a great position headed into next week’s PGA Championship in Oklahoma.
Hideki Matsuyama finished in a tie for third with Sebastian Munoz after he carded a wild eagle on No. 18, one that nearly fell for an albatross.
Munoz, who opened his week with a course-record 60 on Thursday, posted a 3-under 69 on Sunday to match Matsuyama at 24-under.
Lee’s only other win on Tour came at last year’s AT&T Byron Nelson, which he won by three shots over Sam Burns. The 30-year-old entered this week ranked No. 88 in the world. He has just five top-25 finishes so far this season – the win is his only one inside the top-10 – but he now sits at No. 28 in the FedExCup standings.
Xander Schauffele mounts massive Sunday run
Schauffele got off to a tough start this week in Texas. He was sitting in a tie for 107th after the opening round, and then he barely made the cut on the number to survive into the weekend.
On Sunday, though, Schauffele made an incredible push – one that nearly gave him his second win of the season.
“It was a long way from a couple days ago… It was looking pretty grim there for a little bit,” Schauffele said on CBS. “I was just happy to make the cut.”
Schauffele made the turn at 5-under par, thanks to three birdies and a hole-out eagle in his final five holes of the front nine. He then made five birdies over his next seven holes to take a share of the lead. Schauffele reached the par-5 18th in two and just narrowly missed an eagle putt before finishing his day with a tap-in birdie to get to 11-under on the round and 23-under on the week. His 61 on Sunday marked a career-low round, too.
“I’m just trying to shoot as low as possible,” he said. “I had no pressure to shoot a low score”
Schauffele, who entered the week ranked No. 12 in the world, has five career Tour wins to his name – including at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last month, which was his most recent start on Tour.
While his round was impressive on its own, it came just a bit too soon. When Schauffele entered the clubhouse, Spieth and the final group were just on the ninth hole. That left Lee plenty of time to overtake him.
Schauffele knew that, too, and said he wasn’t even going to stick around the clubhouse the rest of the day.
“I’m just being realistic,” he said. “I’m always optimistic, but just being realistic.”
Schauffele, of course, was right. He finished in a tie for fifth with Ryan Palmer and Justin Thomas.