Dufner birdies 18 to win the Nelson|
Irving, TX (Sports Network) - Jason Dufner poured in a 25-foot birdie putt on
the final hole Sunday to win the Byron Nelson Championship by a single stroke
over Dicky Pride.
Dufner closed with a three-under 67 to finish at 11-under-par 269. The win was
his second in four weeks on the PGA Tour.
"We had some pretty good golf coming in. Guys were making birdies and par
putts and there was a lot of things going on," Dufner said in a television
interview. "The leaderboard got a bit jumbled up at the top, and luckily I had
a nice chance there on 18 to kind of close it out."
Pride, who drove into the water on 18, made a par-saving putt from a similar
spot as Dufner to close out a round of three-under 67. Pride, who ended one
back at minus-10, was denied his first PGA Tour win since 1994.
Joe Durant closed with a five-under 65 to share third place at nine-under-par
271 with J.J. Henry (68), Jonas Blixt (66) and Marc Leishman (66).
Henry was atop the leaderboard by himself, but stumbled to a disastrous three-
putt double-bogey on the 17th to fall back.
Henry jumped into the lead with a hole-in-one on the par-three fifth. As he
parred the next nine holes, as many as five other players tied him in the lead
Durant was the first among them. He rebounded from a pair of early bogeys with
an eagle and three birdies in a five-hole span from the fourth. Birdies on the
13th and 15th gave Durant a share of the lead, but he parred the last three
holes to end two back.
Leishman had three birdies in four holes from the seventh to get to minus-
nine. He two-putted for birdie on the par-five 16th to briefly take the lead
at minus-10, but three-putted for bogey on 17 and parred the last to share
Blixt fell to minus-three with bogeys on the second and sixth. He fought back
with an eagle on seven, then five birdies in an eight-hole span from the ninth
to grab a share of the lead at minus-10. But he bogeyed the 17th to end two
Henry was in the lead at 11-under after a 32-foot birdie putt on 15 and an up-
and-down birdie on 16. He hit his tee shot at the par-three 16th well over the
green, then three-putted for double-bogey to tumble out of the lead.
Dufner saved his par on 17 from the back fringe and seemed to be in the
driver's seat as Pride's tee ball at the last found water left of the fairway.
Pride hit his third to 22 feet and buried the par-saving putt to remain tied
for the lead.
"It feels good. Apparently, that's an easy putt because with both made it,"
Pride joked in a televised interview. "I played solid all week. I was very
pleased with the way I played."
Dufner bombed a perfect drive down the middle on 18, then hit his approach to
25 feet before running in the birdie putt for the win.
"For me, it was a little bit of a right-to-left putt and it was downhill. The
greens were maybe just a little bit slower than we're used to. So I felt
comfortable downhill and I just had a really good feel for that putt," Dufner
said on TV. "I've been in a couple of playoffs and I kind of wanted to close
this one out and not get in another playoff."
Phil Mickelson, the 1996 champion, closed with a four-under 66 to share
seventh place with Ken Duke (66) at six-under-par 274.
Former champions Vijay Singh (71) and Jason Day (72) were among six players
who shared ninth at minus-five.
NOTES: Dufner earned $1.17 million for the win. He also took over the top spot
in the FedEx Cup race...Last year's winner Keegan Bradley stumbled to a two-
over 72 in the final round to share 24th at minus-two...Durant was lucky to
even be in the field as he replaced Joe Ogilvie, who withdrew with a shoulder
injury before the event started...The tour remains in Texas next week for the
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, where David Toms will defend his title.
05/20 19:16:45 ET