The PGA Tour became the SqueeGeeA Tour on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Excuse us for the bad joke. It was a long day. And if we’re being honest, not a particularly exciting one, either. That is, unless you’re K.H. Lee or his family.
In that case, this was probably the most exciting day of your life. So congrats. He played awesome. And he seemed impervious to the pouring rain that fell most of the afternoon at TPC Craig Ranch. If there was a strokes gained/ precipitation metric, he might just lead the tour.
No, but really. This wasn’t much of a contest. For most fans, this sight was the most entertaining part of a final round that started early and ended, well, at the normal time:
What a wild scene that caused plenty of “championship level” jokes in the wake of the NCAA cancelling a women’s golf regional earlier in the week. But all that hard work wound up not even mattering as moments later lightning in the area caused a suspension of play. When golf resumed more than two hours later, Lee, who had seized a comfortable lead after birdieing five of his first eight holes on Sunday, missed a par putt that gave Sam Burns hope.
But the 29-year-old South Korean stuffed a pitching wedge to four feet on the par-3 17th and converted the putt to regain his three-shot cushion. A two-putt birdie on No.18 kept that margin and gave him his first career PGA Tour title and made him the last man to earn a spot into next week’s PGA Championship.
“Long day for me, I think everybody,” Lee told reporters after. “I mean, but I just try keep patient and positive thinking. So I don’t want to looking on the leaderboard, so just try my golf, and then successful now, so I’m very excited and happy.”
K.H. Lee had a secret weapon
OK, so a caddie isn’t so secret, but Lee’s looper, Brett Waldman, may have contributed more to this victory – and to Lee’s scorching 25 under total – than you may have realised. You see, Waldman is an accomplished golfer himself, and he once made it through the second stage of PGA Tour Q School, finishing T-14 in 2010. The venue that year? You guessed it, TPC Craig Ranch.
So, yeah, you could say Waldman knows his way around this place. And during a year in which so few players did, that proved to be especially important.