Seamus Power’s surge fades at Byron Nelson in Texas

South Korean KH Lee secures breakthrough win on 25-under par tally

Seamus Power during the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson in Texas. Photograph: Ray Carlin/AP

Seamus Power during the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson in Texas. Photograph: Ray Carlin/AP

 

So close, and yet so far for Séamus Power on the PGA Tour as the Waterford man’s quest for a career-changing win on the PGA Tour unravelled in the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, where a weather front disrupted the final round’s play before South Korean KH Lee, with a 25-under-par winning total, finished the job on the resumption.

Lee’s win also punched him the last ticket into the field for the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

“It’s been a long time for me [to win], but I tried to keep patient and positive and I am very happy, “said Lee, who had a new putter in his bag in securing his breakthrough win.

A final round that promised so much ultimately led to a top-10 finish for Power, as he signed for a closing 70 for a total of 18-under-par 270.

South Korean KH Lee however secured career-changing win which gave him a two-year PGA Tour exemption and also the precious last ticket into the US PGA Championship in South Carolina this week.

Power had managed to get within a shot of leader KH Lee of South Korea at one point of a final round where a weather system – with heavy rain – - came in over the Dallas area and, with lightning in the air, ultimately caused play to be suspended.

Double bogey

But the Irishman’s fate had been sealed before the blare of the siren, as a double-bogey on 13 followed by a bogey on 14 proved destructive to his hopes and stopped all momentum.

After those setbacks, Power responded by parring home – four pars from the 14th – to ensure no further disasters and a top-10 finish as he bids to consolidate his place on the PGA Tour.

Having covered the front nine in just 31 strokes – with birdies on the first, second, fifth, seventh and eighth – - Power’s momentum stalled with his failure to birdie the par 5 12th and, then, calamity struck with a double-bogey on the 13th where his drive found a fairway bunker and he could not escape the trap.

When he finally found the green, a three-putt proved costly as he ran up a six on the Par 4 and followed with a bogey on the drivable Par 4 14th where he again three-putted.

Elsewhere, Richard Bland’s emotional win in the Betfred British Masters at The Belfry, outside Birmingham, came in his 478th career appearance on the European Tour as the 48-year-old Englishman beat Italian Guido Migliozzi in a play-off. The two had finished level on 13-under-par 275.

Bland’s career had been one of so many near-misses but he made up for all of those disappointments with a win that, apart from the €250,000 payday, moved him to the top of the mini order of merit for qualification for next month’s US Open at Torrey Pines.

Some 19 years after losing an Irish Open play-off at Fota Island in Cork to Soren Hansen for the Irish Open, Bland finally got to savour a first European Tour success.

“It’s what I have worked for for 20 years, that’s what we all work for; to win out here and try and prove yourself.

“I’ve had a few close calls and I assume someone up there was looking down on me quite favourably. It was just my day,” he said

“Finally, I can get off that list of most starts without a win. A big incentive for me was that I wanted to get to 500 events [on the European Tour].

“This win will allow me to do that, which I’ll be hugely proud of . . . losing my card [was a low point] My brother was ill, my mind wasn’t on golf. This one is for him.

“It took a lot of guts to go back to the Challenge Tour at 46. When I put my mind to something I can just get my head down and go and do it. That’s what I did.”

Challenge tour

Paul Dunne finished best of the Irish players in the field, shooting a final round 73 for a total of 287 in 52nd place.

Meanwhile, on the Challenge Tour, Dubliner Conor Purcell, playing on a sponsor’s invitation, closed out with a final round 71 for a nine-under-par for a total of 279 which gave him a tied-15th finish behind the eventual winner Craig Howie, of Scotland, in the Range Servant Challenge in Malmo, Sweden.

AT&T Byron Nelson

TPC Craig Ranch, Texas

US unless stated, Irish in bold, (Par 72)

263 - KH Lee (South Korea) 65 65 67 66

266 - Sam Burns 65 62 69 70

267 - Patton Kizzire 69 64 71 63, Daniel Berger 69 67 67 64, Scott Stallings 64 71 63 66 268 - Charl Schwartzel (SA) 65 68 66 68

269 - Troy Merrit 68 79 66 65, Joseph Bramlett 64 70 67 68

270 - Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 65 72 66 67, Seamus Power 65 68 67 70, Doc Redman 64 67 69 70, Jordan Spieth 63 70 66 71

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