K.H. Lee Wins the AT&T Byron Nelson

K.H. Lee - AT&T Byron Nelson
Kyoung-Hoon Lee, of South Korea, holds the trophy on the 18th green after winning the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament in McKinney, Texas, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)

29-year-old Kyoung-Hoon Lee from South Korea surged to a three-stroke lead early in the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson and held on through a rain-plagued Sunday to pick up his first PGA Tour win. The Tour had sent the players off early in threesomes from the first and tenth tees in order to avoid a Monday finish in advance of next week’s PGA Championship. 

The third-year Tour player began the day two shots behind third-round leader Sam Burns, but birdies on the three of the first four holes and bogey by Burns gave Lee a three-shot lead standing on the fifth tee that he never relinquished, although it was cut to two shots on a couple of occasions. 

The tournament was played at the Tom Weiskopf-designed TPC Craig Ranch just north of Dallas in McKinney, Texas, for the first time after being held at Trinity Forest in 2018 and 2019, with last year’s event canceled due to Covid-19. Lee shot a final-round six-under-par 66 and finished at 25 under 263, three shots ahead of Burns, who posted a 70 and four shots ahead of four other players, becoming the second consecutive South Korean player to win the tournament following 2019 champion Sung Kang.

Lee won $1,458,000 for the victory, tallied 500 FedEx Cup points that vaulted him from 84th to 29th in the standings, and earned him an exemption into Tour events through the 2022-2023 season as well as a spot in PGA Championship which begins Thursday at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. 

Rain began falling shortly after the leaders teed off, became heavier as they started the front nine, and conditions worsened as they were playing the 16th hole, resulting in a two-hour rain delay. When the players returned, Lee bogeyed the 16th hole to make it interesting but birdies his remaining two holes to account for his finishing margin of victory.

Lee’s win at the AT&T Byron Nelson earned him the last spot in this week’s PGA Championship. 

TPC Craig Ranch Betting Odds Review

Lee was a huge betting underdog, with odds of +15000 in a field that included world number two Jon Rahm and reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau at +1000, local favorite and Valero Texas Open champion Jordan Spieth with odds of +1200, and recent Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama and four-time major tournament winner Brooks Koepka at +2000. Dustin Johnson, the top-ranked player in the Official World Golf Rankings, was originally entered but withdrew prior to the beginning of play.

Jordan Spieth eagled his final hole to shoot a nine-under-par 63 in his opening round, tying him with J.J. Spaun for the lead, but he could only manage a one-under-par 71 on Sunday and ended up tying for ninth place. Rahm wasn’t able to go low enough to get in the hunt, finishing at 13 under par that was good for 34th. 

Matsuyama, in his first start since the Masters’ victory, shot 12 under 276 to tie for 38th place while DeChambeau, a TCU graduate and another local, didn’t look sharp all week and the current FedEx Cup points leader ended up in a tie for 55th. Brooks Koepka still appeared to be affected by his most recent knee injury and failed to make the cut after shooting 71-70 the first two days.

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