It wasn’t as easy as he had hoped, but thanks to some timely birdies Sung Kang left Dallas with his first career PGA Tour trophy. Here’s how things ended up at the AT&T Byron Nelson, where Kang won by two shots over two players:
Leaderboard: Sung Kang (-23), Matt Every (-21), Scott Piercy (-21), Brooks Koepka (-20)
What it means: Kang started the morning one shot behind Every, but after a torrid finish to his third round he entered the final round with a three-shot lead. That advantage quickly evaporated when his slow started was combined with a trio of birdies from Every, and heading into the back nine it was every bit of a three-man race including Piercy. But Kang birdied No. 14 and rolled in two more after that to distance himself from the pack, and at age 31 he now has his first career PGA Tour victory after four wins in Korea and a handful of close calls in the U.S. Kang was already exempt for next week’s PGA Championship, but the win ensures he’ll make his Masters debut next spring.
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Round of the day: Piercy made it interesting, following a third-round 63 with a 7-under 64 in the finale. The veteran rolled in six birdies in his first eight holes to challenge for the title, but that momentum slowed on the back nine as he settled for eight pars on the inward half. The strong weekend effort still netted him a share of second for his best result since a team win at the Zurich Classic last spring.
Best of the rest: Peter Uihlein matched Piercy with a final-round 64, vaulting 11 spots into a tie for fifth at 17 under. Uihlein was bogey-free in his final trip around Trinity Forest, including three straight birdies on Nos. 14-16 to snag his second top-5 finish of the season after missed cuts in each of his last four starts.
Biggest disappointment: It’s hard to be disappointed with a bogey-free 65, but after an eagle on the short fifth hole it seemed like Koepka might head into his PGA Championship title defense with another victory. Instead he closed with 11 pars over his final 13 holes to finish alone in fourth place – still a solid finish and only a disappointment relative to final-round expectations for the world No. 3 against a relatively weak field.
Shot of the day: Kang rolled in a short birdie on No. 14 to move ahead of Every and Piercy, but it was his 22-footer on No. 15 that signaled his breakthrough win may be in the offing. He followed that with a 7-footer on the next hole to allow him to play the last two holes relatively stress-free.
Quote of the day: “I’m so happy right now.” – Kang, who admitted he only slept three hours last night after forfeiting his 36-hole advantage.