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Billy Horschel outlasts Jason Day in playoff to win Byron Nelson event

By
Steve Habel, The Sports Xchange
Billy Horschel, left, won the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday when Jason Day, right, three-putted on the first playoff hole. Photo courtesy PGA Tour/Twitter
Billy Horschel, left, won the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday when Jason Day, right, three-putted on the first playoff hole. Photo courtesy PGA Tour/Twitter

IRVING, Texas -- Billy Horschel returned to the winner's circle for the first time since 2014 when he parred the first playoff hole, beating Australia's Jason Day on Sunday to win the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Horschel, who won the FedExCup in 2014 when he captured the Tour Championship, outlasted Day by two-putting the 18th hole in the playoff. He then watched from the side as Day, the world's fourth-ranked player, missed a 4-foot putt that would have extended the competition. It was Day's lone three-putt of the week.

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Both players shot 12-under-par 268, Horschel closing with a 1-under 69 and Day with a 68.

The event was held for the final time at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas.

James Hahn, the first-round co-leader and third-round leader, shot a 71 and finished alone in third at 269. He nearly holed his approach shot on the closing hole, coming inches from joining Day and Horschel in the playoff.

Jason Kokrak, who led by five shots after the second round, ended up solo in fourth at 270 after a 68 in the final round.

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The final group -- Day, Horschel and Hahn -- remained on top of the leaderboard all day Sunday, creating a bit of a match-play scenario and a constant anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better competition between the trio.

Hahn had a one-stroke lead over Horschel after both players birdied the par-4 11th. All three players bogeyed the par-4 12th. Hahn then bogeyed the par-3 13th and par-4 14th to fall a stroke behind Horschel, who birdied the No. 14 to create a two-shot swing.

Day, meanwhile, parred Nos. 13 and 14 before uncorking the shot of the day -- a 27-yard pitch over a bunker that rolled in for a birdie and moved him into the lead at 12 under.

Horschel's two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th moved him back into a tie for the lead with Day while Hahn's par on the hole all but ended his chances. Both Day and Horschel parred Nos. 17 and 18.

Danny Lee of New Zealand (68), Sean O'Hair (68), Byeong Hun An of South Korea (69) and Bud Cauley (70) finished tied for fifth at 272. Canada's Nick Taylor (65, the best score of the final round), Joel Dahmen (67), Matt Kuchar (69) and Cameron Tringale (72) were another stoke in arrears at 273.

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World No. 1 Dustin Johnson never made a serious run and finished in a group of five players tied for 13th at 274. Defending champion and recent Masters winner Sergio Garcia of Spain went out in 40 before settling for a 74 and finishing in a tie for 20th at 276.

NOTES: Shawn Stefani was disqualified after signing an incorrect scorecard following the third round. ... In 2018, the tournament will move to Trinity Forest Golf Club (a links-style course designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore), located just 10 minutes south of downtown Dallas. ... This tournament was the first Tour event named for a specific player and has been a constant on the professional golf circuit since Nelson won the inaugural event in 1944. ... The event celebrates Nelson's life and legacy. Nelson was born in Waxahachie, Texas, and died in 2006. He reached the pinnacle of his golfing career in 1945, winning 18 tournaments, including a record 11-tournament winning streak. Throughout his relatively brief career, he won 54 times, including the 1939 U.S. Open, the 1937 and 1942 Masters and the 1940 and 1945 PGA Championships.

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