The HP Byron Nelson Championship is quickly becoming the place where dreams come true. Brendon Todd became the fourth player in five years to post his first PGA TOUR victory at the Championship, and he did it in convincing fashion.
Todd closed with a bogey-free 4-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Mike Weir. It was the 77th career PGA TOUR event for Todd. He earned a two-year PGA TOUR exemption and a spot next year in the Masters. Todd finished at 14-under 266. He took the lead for good with birdies at Nos. 9 and 10, and went on to become the eighth first-time winner this season.
“Yeah, I’m excited about the relief of feeling like I finally have a chance to play the PGA TOUR for multiple years. Number one, going to Augusta for the Masters is a dream come true,” Todd said.
Weir, the 2003 Masters
champion who won the last of his eight PGA TOUR titles in 2007, finished with a 67. Charles Howell III and Marc Leishman tied for third at 10 under.
After Todd hit his tee shot at the 195-yard second into a greenside bunker, his shot from the sand landed on the green and rolled in for a birdie. When he knocked in a 14-foot birdie putt at the 181-yard fifth, he tied Weir — who made a bogey on No. 6 — for the lead at 12 under.
Todd took the lead for good with consecutive birdies midway through his round, a 6-footer at No. 9 and a 24-footer at No. 10.
Weir had his best tournament since finishing second behind Dustin Johnson at Pebble Beach in 2009. The Canadian left-hander hadn’t had a top-25 finish since 2010, the same year he suffered a partial ligament tear in his right elbow. Howell shot a 67 with a three-putt bogey on the final hole, while Leishman had three bogeys in a five-hole stretch on the back nine for a closing 68.
Todd is the fifth former University of Georgia player to win on the PGA TOUR this season. He joined Masters’ champion Bubba Watson, Harris English, Russell Henley and Chris Kirk.
An errant tee shot at the 185-yard 13th that settled at the base of a tree, forced Todd, a right-handed player, to set up an unusual left-handed strike on the ball with the back of his bladed club. The ball popped up slightly and rolled to 7 feet of the cup, and Todd saved par. Todd played his last 31 holes at TPC Four Seasons without a bogey.
Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open Champion, was in the final group with Todd, but he slipped four strokes back at the turn before bogeys at Nos. 10-11. He shot 74, 10 strokes worse than Saturday, to tie for 11th at 6 under.
Jordan Spieth, the 20-year-old Dallas native ranked eighth in the world, had a closing 68 to finish 2-under and tied for 37th at the tournament where he made the cut as an amateur at ages 16 and 17. He finished two strokes behind 17-year-old Scottie Scheffler, the top junior golfer from Highland Park who played on a sponsor’s exemption. The U.S. Junior Amateur Champion finished tied for 22nd in his first PGA TOUR career start.