Billy Horschel topped Jason Day in a playoff to win the AT&T Byron Nelson for his first win since the 2014 Tour Championship. Horschel’s win came with a par after Jason Day three-putted, missing a three-and-a-half foot putt to extend the playoff quite badly. Finishing one shot back of Horschel and Day was 54-hole leader James Hahn, who lipped out his approach shot for eagle on the 18th.
It’s been a long time
After his 2014 Tour Championship win and FedEx Cup title, Horschel ascended to a career high 12th in the world rankings and looked to be one of golf’s brightest young stars, but since then, Horschel hadn’t even sniffed another title until last fall’s RSM Classic. Coming into the week, Horschel had missed his past four cuts, and his biggest headline was yelling at fans at the PLAYERS. Looking at the stats, this weekend’s win came from his performance on and around the greens, finishing 9th in strokes gained: around the green and second in strokes gained: putting; statistics in which he ranked 193rd and 113th on Tour before this week.
World number four Jason Day rocketed up the leaderboard on Saturday, shooting a Saturday best 63 just two shots back of the lead heading into Sunday. It was the first time that Day had been in contention on Sunday since last fall’s Barclays and his highest finish since last year’s PGA, a shocking turn of events from a player who won seven times in a matter of fifteen months just last year. Day’s game has suffered in almost every statistical category, ranking worse than 70th in every Strokes Gained Category except for around the green. With his game finally trending in the right direction, I would expect to see Day win sooner than later.
Bye bye TPC, hello C & C
Billy Horschel’s win marks the end of a 35-year run at TPC Four Seasons. Next year, the Nelson will move to Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s design, Trinity Forest. The course should infuse some new interest into the tired event and also provide a unique style of golf course.
Billy Horschel (-12)
Jason Day (-12)
James Hahn (-11)
Jason Kokrak (-10)
Danny Lee (-8)
Sean O’Hair (-8)
Byeong Hun An (-8)
Bud Cauley (-8)
Carnage at Rich Harvest
The NCAA’s Ladies Championship is off to a rough start. The combination of bad Chicago weather, an astroturf tee box and a brutally tough golf course has made scoring less than ideal. Heading into today’s final stroke play round, the hometown Northwestern Wildcats hold an eight-shot lead over Kent State. The tournament favorite, Stanford, sits in third and is the only team ranked inside the top five currently in the top eight that advance to match play. Follow online or watch Golf Channel from 3-5pm EST.
The most overrated course in golf?
With TV coverage starting today, a topic that is sure to be the center of conversation is host course, Rich Harvest Farms. The work of billionaire-turned-golf-course-architect Jerry Rich, Rich Harvest Farms regularly ranks within Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Courses in America, despite having what could be described as “amateur architecture.” Check out my full thoughts of this year’s NCAA host.
Long hitter the llama
One of the world’s longest players, Alvaro Quiros, ended a six-year winless streak at the European Tour’s Sicily Open. He entered the day with a seven-shot lead but struggled, making four bogeys and a double and allowing Zander Lombard to force a playoff. Quiros was able to win on the second hole with a par and end his tumble down the world rankings, from 21st after his last win at the 2011 Dubai World Championship to 703rd heading into this week’s event.
Last year, Steven Jaeger fired the first-ever 58 in Web Tour history en route to breaking the 72-hole scoring record and winning by seven at the Elle Mae Classic. Despite the victory, Jaeger fell short of earning his PGA Tour card, finishing 28th on the money list and three spots out of a card. This week at the rain-shortened Web Tour’s BMW Pro-Am, Jaeger again found the winning touch, besting the trio of Tyler Duncan, Andrew Yun and Xinjun Zhang by one shot. The win moves Jaeger into 7th on the Web’s Money List and into excellent shape to earn his card.
Another tournament, another record
Bernhard Langer’s historic Champions Tour career continued this week after the 59-year-old German won the season’s first major, the Regions Tradition. The win gave Langer his eighth career Champions Tour major championship, tying him for the record set by Jack Nicklaus. Langer earned the win impressively, shooting a final-round 64 to win by five shots over Scott McCarron and Scott Parel. Langer will look to break the major championship record this week in a rare back-to-back major championship, leading one to wonder how many drinks the scheduling committee had before coming up with this idea.
Lexi dominant in her win at Kingsmill.
Rory out for the European Tour’s BMW PGA.