IRVING, Texas — Jason Day nearly dropped out of the Byron Nelson Championship before it began. He wound up winning the tournament — even though most folks likely will remember Jordan Spieth as the big winner.
Day fought through a rocky final round for a 2-over 72, but it was good enough to give the 22-year-old Australian the first win of his PGA Tour career.
Still, the 2010 Nelson will go down for the remarkable Tour debut by Spieth, a 16-year-old junior at a local high school.
Spieth was within three shots of the lead on the final nine holes, but dropped back into a tie for 16th. He shot a 2-over 72 in the final round, his highest score of the tournament. His 4-under 276 was six strokes behind Day.
The maturity and moxie Spieth showed was a surprise for someone who spent last week playing in the state high school tournament.
He showed it again Sunday, bouncing back from trouble early and late, such as posting a birdie right after his first double-bogey of the tournament.
Spieth, the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion, is a high-school junior more interested in playing for the University of Texas than turning pro — at least, he was coming into the week.
“It was awesome … the entire round, the entire week,” Spieth said. “Starting the week, I definitely would’ve taken a top-20, in a heartbeat. Obviously now, looking back, being a competitor, I look back at the mistakes I made that didn’t give me an opportunity to win.”
Day isn’t exactly an old-timer himself. In fact, when he was 19, he won a Nationwide Tour event, making him the youngest winner of a PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament.
Yoo takes Match Play
GLADSTONE, N.J. — Sun Young Yoo won the Sybase Match Play Championship for her first LPGA Tour victory, beating Angela Stanford 3 and 1 on Sunday at Hamilton Farm.
Yoo, the 23-year-old South Korean player in her fifth LPGA Tour season, won the 13th and 14th holes with pars and took a 2-up lead with a 15-foot putt for her first birdie of the match on the par-3 16th.
The match ended when Stanford missed her birdie putt and conceded Yoo’s birdie.
Yoo’s victory was the eighth straight by a foreign player and the 25th in the last 26 events. Michelle Wie — in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in November — is the lone American winner since Cristie Kerr won the Michelob Ultra Open last May.