|HP Byron Nelson Classic - May 18, 2009
HP BYRON NELSON CHAMPIONSHIP
TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 7,166
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $6,500,000Winner: $1,152,000
2008 Champion: Adam Scott (273, -7)
Scott Defends 2008
HP Byron Nelson Championship Title
After a move to April in 2008, the HP Byron Nelson Championship returns to May, as the second leg in a three-tournament Texas swing. Last week the Valero Texas Open was in San Antonio, with Fort Worth hosting the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial next week.
The TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving was where Adam Scott birdied the third extra hole from 48 feet to edge Ryan Moore a year ago. It was the 19th playoff in tournament history—and the first since Sergio Garcia’s victory in 2004. The win by Scott, who was 27 years, 9 months, 11 days old at the time, was the sixth TOUR title of his career and made him just the third Australian to win this tournament, joining Peter Thomson (1956) and Bruce Devlin (1969).
Scott is playing his ninth TOUR event this season, with a tie for second at the Sony Open in Hawaii his best finish. He is 69th in the FedExCup.
HP Byron Nelson Championship Notes
The HP Byron Nelson Championship, the first PGA TOUR event to be named in honor of a professional golfer, has one of the richest golf traditions. The tournament has been a TOUR event since 1944, making the Dallas-area tournament the TOUR’s ninth-oldest event. The only breaks since that year came in 1947-55, 1963 and 1965. The inaugural tournament in 1944 was played at Lakewood Country Club, with Byron Nelson recording a 10-stroke win Harold “Jug” McSpaden. Nelson’s victory that year was the beginning of a two-year stretch in which the Hall of Famer won 26 tournaments, including the amazing streak of 11 consecutive wins in 1945.
Trevor Immelman missed the cut at the 2008 HP Byron Nelson Championship after winning the Masters in his previous start. History wasn’t on Immelman’s side. Over the last 20 years, only one player has been able to follow his Masters victory with a PGA TOUR win in his next start. That came from Tiger Woods at the 1997 HP Byron Nelson Championship.
In 2008, the cumulative scoring average at the newly redesigned par-70 TPC Four Seasons Resort was 72.028, compared to 70.237 in 2007. Just 12 players finished with under-par scores in 2008.
The course record of 61 has been scored on three occasions: Billy Mayfair (1993), Charlie Rymer (1996) and Justin Leonard (2001).
Brett Wetterich, the 2006 champion, tied for 10th in 2007, the first defending champion since Fred Couples (also tied for 10th) in 1988 to record a top-10 at the tournament the year after his win.
Should Adam Scott successfully defend this week, he’ll join K.J. Choi with victories in four consecutive seasons. The current list of consecutive victories in a season includes (minimum of three): Tiger Woods (14, 1996-2009), Vijay Singh (seven, 2002-08), Phil Mickelson (six, 2004-09), K.J. Choi (four, 2005-08), Adam Scott (three, 2006-08) and Zach Johnson (three, 2007-09).
Brian Gay, a Fort Worth, TX, native is hoping to ride the momentum of his win at the Verizon Heritage. He has made five weekend appearances in nine starts at the HP Byron Nelson Championship and is coming off his best showing—a tie for seventh in 2008.
Justin Leonard, a Dallas, TX, native and resident is making his 16th start at the event. In those 16 starts, Leonard has missed only one cut—in 2000. He has two top-10 finishes, including a tie for sixth in 2001 and a tie for ninth in 2003.