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HP Byron Nelson Championship

Tournament Preview

For a second straight week a large sum of non-Major money is on the line as the PGA Tour moves to Texas for the HP Byron Nelson Championship kicking off Thursday at the TPC Four Season Resort in Irving just outside of Dallas.

Established in 1944, the par-70, 7,166-yard course was most recently won by Jason Dufner, who fired an 11-under 269 last year. Past champions of note include Australia's Jason Day and Adam Scott, Fiji's Vijay Singh and Spain's Sergio Garcia.

Among the early attractions on Thursday will be American John Daly teeing off at 8:10 a.m. ET. The 47-year-old Daly has missed five cuts in seven events this year, and hasn't finished higher than 50th otherwise, but still draws a crowd wherever he goes.

Singh tees off at 8:40 a.m. in his first action since being accused of taking an illegal supplement by the PGA. Another 8:40 starter is defending champion Dufner, who finished 20th at The Masters a month ago, but only 62nd at the Players Championship last weekend.

05/16/13, Thursday

American Keegan Bradley shot the round of a lifetime, a 10-under 60 that broke the course record in the opening round of the Byron Nelson Championship Thursday at the TPC Four Seasons in Irving, Texas.

Bradley did this despite bogeys on No. 1 and 18 to take a three-stroke lead after one day and tie Phil Mickelson for the best round on tour in 2013.

With a late tee time, Bradley started on No. 10 and was 5-under by the time he finished No. 16. He seemed to come back to earth by bogeying No. 18 and 1 in succession, but then finished 7-under on his final eight holes, including an eagle on No. 8.

Not bad for a 26-year-old who missed the cut at his last two events.

The record-setting round allowed Bradley to take a three-stroke lead over South Africa's Charl Schwartzel into Friday's second round.

Schartzel hit seven birdies in a very solid effort. Eleven other players are within six strokes of the lead, including Masters' runner-up Angel Cabrera, who finished the day 5-under to sit five strokes back of the lead. In all, 76 players were at least one stroke under par after the first round.

Not among them was Australia's Jason Day, who finished third at the Masters a montha go, but was 2-over on Thursday, misfiring to the tune of a double bogey on No. 8 and three bogeys in his final five holes.

05/17/13, Friday

Statistically speaking, Keegan Bradley was only one-tenth as good on Friday as he had been during his record-setting performance on Thursday.

But even that was enough for him to keep the lead at the HP Byron Nelson Championship at the PTC Four Season Resort in Irving, Texas.

Bradley was vexed by holes 1 and 18 for the second straight day, bogeying both, but he only managed four birdies a day after knocking in 10 birdies and an eagle.

The names of those chasing Bradley changed dramatically, thanks mainly to the red-hot rounds of Americans Tom Gillis and John Huh.

Gillis, sitting in 55th place after Day One, fired a 6-under 63, notching five birdies in his final seven holes, to end the day 8-under, three strokes off the lead.

He's tied for second with Korea's Sang-Moon Bae, who fired his second consecutive 66 on Friday.

Huh, who was tied with Gillis in 55th place after Thursday's first round, shot a 6-under 64 to forge a three-way tie for fourth at 7-under with fellow American Ryan Palmer and South Africa's Charl Schwartzel. Huh was 7-under for the day through 13 holes, but bogeyed 15 and 18.

Six other players are within five strokes of Bradley's lead halfway through the tournament, including Masters' runner-up Angel Cabrera, who was 1-under on the day and is 6-under in the tournament.

With the cut set at even par, 84 players live on to play the third round on Saturday. Among those missing the cut was Jeff Maggert, who finished second at The Players Championship a week ago.

Perhaps the most cheered round of the day belonged to 47-year-old John Daly, who fired a 4-under 66 on the day to drop him to 3-under after two rounds, tied for 30th. Daly finsihed his round by birdying four of the last seven holes.

05/18/13, Saturday

Keegan Bradley hasn't done much since his course record 10-under on Day 1 of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas.

But even a little bit has so far been enough.

Bradley shot a 2-under 68 to drop to 13-under for the tournament, maintaining his lead by a single stroke over Korea's Sang-Moon Bae.

While Bradley has been all over the place, Bae has been ridiculously consistent so far, firing his third straight 4-under 66 on Saturday.

It's hardly a two-man race, however. American Tom Gillis fired a 3-under 67 to get to 11-under, and fellow American Scott Piercy fired a 4-under 66 to reach double digits at 10-under.

Four other players are at 8-under, within five strokes of the lead: Americans Gary Woodland, Harris English, John Huh and South Africa's Charl Schartzel.

Masters' runner-up Angel Cabrera fell off the pace by shooting an even par 70 to stay at 6-under for the weekend.

For the third straight day, Bradley bogeyed No. 18, something that could back to haunt him on Sunday. He also had a pair of early bogeys on No. 5 and 6 before settling down to hit four birdies between No. 7-16.

Bae has only hit four bogeys in the first three rounds combined, the model of consistency.

The 26-year-old native of Dae Gu is a lock for his second top-10 finish of the year, and he has never won a PGA event, with his best finish a three-way tie for second in a four-man playoff last March at the Transitions Championship in Florida.

A 23-year-pro, the 44-year-old Gillis might be the story of the tournament were it not for Bradley's early record-breaker.  Before tehis weekend, Gillis had missed the cut at five straight events, and has only made four cuts out of 12 tournaments this year, with no finish higher than 25th.

Gillis was 3-under through the first seven holes on Thursday, then bogeyed three of the last four to disappear off the radar. He got back on it in a hurry with a 7-under 63 on Friday.

05/19/13, Sunday

Keegan Bradley hasn't done much since his course record 10-under on Day 1 of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas.

But even a little bit has so far been enough.

Bradley shot a 2-under 68 to drop to 13-under for the tournament, maintaining his lead by a single stroke over Korea's Sang-Moon Bae.

While Bradley has been all over the place, Bae has been ridiculously consistent so far, firing his third straight 4-under 66 on Saturday.

It's hardly a two-man race, however. American Tom Gillis fired a 3-under 67 to get to 11-under, and fellow American Scott Piercy fired a 4-under 66 to reach double digits at 10-under.

Four other players are at 8-under, within five strokes of the lead: Americans Gary Woodland, Harris English, John Huh and South Africa's Charl Schartzel.

Masters' runner-up Angel Cabrera fell off the pace by shooting an even par 70 to stay at 6-under for the weekend.

For the third straight day, Bradley bogeyed No. 18, something that could back to haunt him on Sunday. He also had a pair of early bogeys on No. 5 and 6 before settling down to hit four birdies between No. 7-16.

Bae has only hit four bogeys in the first three rounds combined, the model of consistency.

The 26-year-old native of Dae Gu is a lock for his second top-10 finish of the year, and he has never won a PGA event, with his best finish a three-way tie for second in a four-man playoff last March at the Transitions Championship in Florida.

A 23-year-pro, the 44-year-old Gillis might be the story of the tournament were it not for Bradley's early record-breaker.  Before tehis weekend, Gillis had missed the cut at five straight events, and has only made four cuts out of 12 tournaments this year, with no finish higher than 25th.

Gillis was 3-under through the first seven holes on Thursday, then bogeyed three of the last four to disappear off the radar. He got back on it in a hurry with a 7-under 63 on Friday.

Tornament Recap

Korea's Sang-Moon Bae didn't shoot a 66 in Sunday's fourth round of the Byron Nelson Championship like he had in the first three.

Turns out he didn't need to.

Bae's 1-under 69 was good enough to lead him to his first PGA title, coming from behind to defeat American Keegan Bradley, who after firing a 10-under 60 on Thursday, struggled to a 2-over 72 on Sunday to finish two strokes back.

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel shot a 2-under 68 on Sunday to finish third, followed by American Justin Bolli, who sprinted through the pack on Sunday with a 5-under 65.

Bae, who trailed Bradley by a single stroke entering Sunday, looked on his way to an easy victory when he birdied four of the first seven holes while Bradley was 1-over in the same stretch, giving the 26-year-old Korean a four-stroke lead through seven.

But Bae doubled nine and bogeyed 10 and 15, leaving the two men tied for the lead with three holes to play.

Bae birdied 16 to reclaim the lead and Bradley bogeyed 17 to make it a two-stroke cushion entering No. 18.

Three more players - Americans Morgan Hoffman and Scott Piercy, and Germany's Martin Kaymer, finished tied for fifth at 8-under.

Schartzel could have tied Bradley for second, but he bogeyed No. 18. Bolli, who woulnd up four strokes off the winner, was outstanding on Sunday, notching five birdies and no bogeys to rally late.

Slow and Steady: Korea's Sang-Moon Bae wins first PGA title

It was Aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare come to life at the Byron Nelson Championships last weekend in Dallas, where the consistent Sang-Moon Bae nicked away at the huge Day One lead of American Keegan Bradley to win his first PGA title with a 13-under 267, winning $1.2 million in the process.

Bradley set a course record on Thursday with a 10-under 60, but was just 1-under for the next three rounds combined to fall behind Bae at the end.

Bae fired three straight 4-under 66s and added a 1-under 69 on Sunday to emerge victorious. Bae was a picture of efficiency, particularly in the first three rounds where he tallied 16 birdies against only four bogeys.

Despite his amazing round on Thursday, Bradley was plagued by an inability to close. He bogeyed No. 18 on the first three days, and bogeyed 17 on the fourth, giving Bae a two-stroke lead with one hole to go, basically an insurmountable lead.

Third-place Charl Schwartzel had a similar tournament to Bradley, firing a 7-under 63 on Day One, then going just 3-under for the next three rounds to finish three strokes back of the lead. That was also the case for Masters runner-up Angel Cabrera, who was 5-under after Day One and finished the tournament in the exact same spot, only tied for 12th instead of third.

Defending champion Zach Johnson leads field at Crowne Plaza Invitational
With the US Open less than a month away, some of golf's best will attempt to beat the Texas heat and pursue the $6.4 million purse at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial beginning Thursay.

High temperatures between 85-89 degrees the next few days will make the par-70, 7,204-yard course that much more difficult.

The tournament's defending champion, Zach Johnson, along with Byron Nelson Championship winner Sang-Moon Bae are both scheduled for 8:33 a.m. (ET) tee offs on Thursday.

Other big names in the field include Vijay Singh, John Huh, John Daly, Davis Love III, Angel Cabreta, Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan.






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