Day gets 1st win in 5 years at Byron Nelson; Scheffler finishes 3 back
Published 7:13 pm Sunday, May 14, 2023
McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — Jason Day won his first PGA Tour event in five years Sunday, shooting 9-under 62 for a one-shot victory over Austin Eckroat and Si Woo Kim at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Day, winless in 105 starts since the 2018 Wells Fargo, took his first outright lead when he broke a tie at 20 under with hometown favorite Scottie Scheffler with a chip-in for birdie at the par-4 12th.
It was the second-toughest hole of the week after being converted from a par-5 from the first two years the Nelson was held at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, about 30 miles north of Dallas.
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Playing on Mother’s Day a little more than a year after losing his mom to cancer, Day finished 23 under while ending his victory drought the week before the PGA Championship.
The only major among the 35-year-old Australian’s 13 wins was the 2015 PGA. Day’s first career PGA Tour victory came at the 2010 Nelson.
C.T. Pan finished at 21-under 263 with two eagles on the back nine in a career-low 62, driving the green on the par-4 14th and making a 24-foot putt. His eagle at the par-5 18th got him within a shot of Day.
Scheffler finished at 20 under with a final-round 65 after a par on 18, where a day earlier his second shot hit the lip of a fairway bunker and stayed in it on the way to a bogey.
Ryan Palmer, the 46-year-old Texan who lives not far from Craig Ranch, shot 68 and finished four strokes back while trying to become the oldest PGA Tour winner since Phil Mickelson won the 2021 PGA at 50.
With the heaviest rain coming down near the end of an off-and-on rainy final round, Day put his approach at 18 inside 3 feet. Kim’s short birdie putt forced Day to make his easy tap-in before he greeted his kids and wife, who is expecting their fifth child.
Kim, who shot 63 and was 22 under with Eckroat, was trying to make it four consecutive South Korean winners at the Nelson. Two-time defending champion K.H. Lee finished 11 under after a 67, his best round of the week.
Sung Kang was the 2019 winner. The Nelson was canceled because of the pandemic in 2020.
Eckroat, a 24-year-old rookie from Oklahoma seeking his first tour victory, was two shots back in the 18th fairway, but his approach landed 68 feet from the pin. The eagle bid was 6 feet short as Eckroat settled for a 65.
China’s Marty Dou, playing on his home course and also seeking his first tour win, shot 67 to finish 20 under. He was the first two get that low before a double-bogey on No. 8 when his second shot went out of bounds over the green.
Scheffler, the second-ranked player who could have overtaken Jon Rahm for No. 1 with a victory, was joined at 20 under by Tyrrell Hatton, who was next on the world ranking list in the Nelson field at No. 17.