Brendon Todd wins the Byron Nelson Championship

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Brendon Todd was able to hang on Sunday at Las Colinas and win his first PGA Tour event at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

What Happened

Todd shared the final round lead with Louis Oosthuizen, carrying a one-shot advantage over a slew of players, including the surprising Mike Weir, who was contending for the first time in a PGA Tour event in over five years. Weir started out hot, with four birdies on his first five holes and it wasn’t the putter doing the work like it was in the first three rounds, as Weir’s ball striking was really on point.

05.18.14 weir approach 1 05.18.14 weir approach on 2 05.18.14 weir approach on 4

The wheels started to fall off though towards the end of the front nine, and Todd was able to take over with birdies on 5, 9 and 10. From there, Todd carried a two-shot lead over Weir as he got to the par-3 17th. After a poor approach and an even worse chip, it looked like Todd could be looking at a stressful 18th, but he was able to step up and nail the long putt for par.

05.18.14 todd on 17

With his two-shot lead intact, Todd made his par on the final hole for a bogey free 66 and his first ever win on the PGA Tour.

Final Leaderboard

  • 1. Brendon Todd -14
  • 2. Mike Weir -12
  • T3. Charles Howell III -10
  • T3. Marc Leishman -10
  • T5. Boo Weekley -9
  • T5. James Hahn -9

What The Win Means For Todd

The truly weird year on the PGA Tour continues with another surprise winner in Todd, who at 28 years old, has been a veteran of many tours all over the country and has seen his fair share of issues in being a tour pro, including missing every single cut on the Tour in 2010. He’s been hanging around the leaderboard for the last little while, but this win guarantees his PGA Tour card for the next two seasons, which also means that he should be able to keep collecting quality paycheques for the next two years assuming that his game stays in shape.

He earns just north of $1.2 million for the win, plus he’ll be going to the Masters next year. He’s going to move to just outside 60th place in the OWGR, so he still has a little bit of work to do to qualify for the U.S. Open next month at Pinehurst, but if he keeps playing well, he’ll get there.

Todd’s Shot of the Week

Turning the 8-iron over and hitting it with the back of the club is not something you practice, at least not often. Todd pulled it off on Sunday and was able to escape with par.

05.18.14 todd turned over

Mike Weir’s Performance

If you had told me coming into the week that Mike Weir would be a big story, I would have laughed at you. Sure enough though, Weir played solidly for the first two days and actually stayed in contention all week for the first time since playing at Pebble in 2009. He’s dealt with so many injuries over the past few years that I never thought we’d see him back and playing well again. He’d always have a spot at the Masters after winning in 2003, plus the Canadian Open would never turn him down, but he was using his last bit of status this season to get starts, as he had to resort to invoking his top-50 in career earnings exemption.

He had broken 70 just once in 2014 coming into this week, so there really hasn’t been any reason to get excited, but he looked great this week. The swing looks solid, and he was able to actually go after a few balls thick in the rough that I would have thought would have given him trouble previously thanks to his elbow pain. The putter was red hot all week and even though he couldn’t close it out, he has to be happy with the way that it all turned out.

The big thing for him now is how he comes out next week and performs. He’s actually safe for next season now thanks to his nearly $750,000 earned, and while I don’t think we can expect him to be great from here on out, I can say that this is the best I’ve seen him look in years, and it goes back to the way he played at Augusta. He’s got a ton of people pulling for him, that’s for sure.

GIF of the Week

Padraig Harrington got screwed on Sunday:

05.18.14 harrington cup 1

Other Notes and Takeaways

  • Notables to miss the cut: David Duval, Ryan Moore, Brandt Snedeker, Harris English and John Daly.
  • Other notable finishes: Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Graham DeLaet and Gary Woodland (T7), Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen (T11), Paul Casey (T16), Padraig Harrington (T22), Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer (T29), Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker (T37), Jason Dufner (T48), Angel Cabrera (T59).
  • Injury report:
  1. John Merrick (WD – hand): The 2013 Northern Trust Open winner pulled out prior to the start of the second round, citing a hand injury after an opening round 78. He’ll try to tee it up again next week at the Crowne Plaza.
  • Stephen Ames was DQ’d on Friday night after signing an incorrect scorecard. Would have missed the cut anyway at 2-over par.
  • Duval certainly got a lot of people excited on Thursday after firing a 66 and sitting only one back of the lead, but he couldn’t keep it going and shot 76 on Friday to miss the cut by one. The 66 shows that there’s still some game there, but as we’ve talked about before, Duval has no status and is basically playing on exemptions these days. Hoping we see him again soon.
  • Another missed cut for Snedeker, giving him three on the season compared to just one top-10 finish.
  • With Jim Nantz on vacation and Bill Macatee giving a commencement speech at Lamar, David Feherty handled the PBP duties on Saturday with Nick Faldo doing the colour and it actually turned out pretty well. He was still able to use his wit in spots, but considering he dialed it back a little bit and the tone of the broadcast just seemed to turn into a conversation, which was pretty refreshing, at least to me.
  • Only player to shoot in the 80’s this week? John Daly, of course.
  • 24 career top-3 finishes for Charles Howell III. He will forever be at the top of my “why hasn’t he won more?” list.
  • Gary Woodland was 1-over par on the par-5’s this week, despite averaging 313 yards from the tee. From what I saw, textbook example of the need to play to a number in spots, and in Woodland’s case, the putter continues to let him down.
  • Tough to watch Louis Oosthuizen on Sunday, who just never seemed to get it together. He might have the best looking swing in golf, but that was ugly to watch.

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