With a lack of the game’s elite participating in the Byron Nelson Championship, Sang-Moon Bae notched his first PGA Tour win. I think that deserves inclusion on this list of the most promising performances from the tournament.
He isn’t the only golfer to flash great promise from this event. Let’s take a look at Bae and his two cohorts. But first, check out the Round 4 recap and the final leaderboard—for the full results visit PGA.com.
Note: All statistics, videos and other information, unless otherwise indicated, are courtesy of PGATour.com.
In just his second year on the Tour, Bae notched a victory in dramatic fashion by shooting a final-round 69 in blustery winds. He also did it largely by putting better under pressure against major winner Keegan Bradley.
Not only that, but he did all of that after dropping three strokes to the course on the turn when he hit a double bogey on No. 9 and a bogey on No. 10.
Yet, he bounced back and hung on for the title. This shows a great amount of resolve for such an untested player.
Bae has been flying under the radar, but he’s had a solid year. He came in eighth at the Northern Trust in February and he was 33rd last week at the Players. He’s played in 14 events and missed just two cuts this year. Now he’s figured out how to win.
This won’t be the 26-year-old Bae‘s only Tour win.
Keegan Bradley squandered a great shot at victory this past weekend. He was leading wire to wire, but fired a 72 in the final round. Even his usually reliable putter failed him.
However, it’s still a step in the right direction. Bradley had been terrible heading into this event. He had looked great heading into the Masters, but finished 54th in the year’s first major.
He was even worse following that. He missed the cut in his next two events.
That led him to the Byron Nelson where he rapidly turned around his recent play by firing a course record 60 in the opening round, and then coming in second. That is his highest finish of the season.
Bradley has always been a streaky player. So the fact that he found his way so quickly after his slump is a promising sign.
While Bae‘s breakout performance was impressive, it was the play of Martin Kaymer that got me the most excited.
Kaymer‘s been awful lately, and it seems like eons ago when he won the 2010 PGA Championship or was world No. 1 in 2011.
This was his highest finish in a PGA event since 2011. He made it to the round of 32 at the Accenture earlier this year, but other than that he’s been lucky to make a cut.
He played nine Tour events leading up to the Byron Nelson. He missed the cut in three of them, and other than the Accenture, his highest finish was 35th place at the Masters.
Heading into this event, he had carded just six rounds all year under 70. All of his rounds at this event were under 70.
Kaymer began to show this form last week. He had two 69s at the Players. He was undone with rounds of 73 and 76, but it was definitely a step in the right direction.
The fact that he could consistently put four rounds together this week bodes well for this talented golfer.
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