K.H. Lee holds off Jordan Spieth, defends Byron Nelson title  - bdsthanhhoavn.com

K.H. Lee holds off Jordan Spieth, defends Byron Nelson title 

K.H. Lee on Sunday after his 11-foot putt for par on the 17th hole at TPC Craig Ranch.

Getty Images

No. 1 golfer? Maybe. No. 1 sexiest golfer? Definitely. 

Both were K.H. Lee’s “goals.” The first was “to become the No. 1 golfer in the world.” But it was the second goal that gained him internet love after an eight-second video made the rounds a few years back.

“And the second is to become the No. 1 sexiest golfer in the world.”

And you and Lee laughed. But the funny thing is, he looked the part on Sunday. 

There were his seven birdies. Sexy. There was his eagle that gave him a lead that he never relinquished. Sexy. There were his no bogies. Sexy. There was the repeat victory at the Byron Nelson, joining this list of those who have defended — Snead, Nicklaus and Watson. And now Lee. Sexy, sexy, sexy, sexy. The 30-year-old South Korean shot a nine-under 63 at TPC South Ranch during Sunday’s final round, and his 26-under total was one greater then hometown hero Jordan Spieth, and two more than Hideki Matsuyama and Sebastian Munoz. 

Starting the day four shots out of the lead, Lee went to work quickly. He birdied 2 and 3. And 5 and 6, the latter of which broke a seven-way logjam at the top. Lee would quickly be rejoined back at the top, but the eagle, on the 551-yard, par-5 12th, after a second shot that dropped to 4 feet, gave him an insurmountable one-shot lead, and he built it to two with a birdie on the 13th. 

From there, Lee parred the 492-yard, par-4 16th on a 6-foot putt. He parred the 134-yard, par-3 17th on an 11-foot putt. He two-putted from just off the green on the 513-yard, par-5 18th for a birdie. And he was your winner. 

Sexy. 

The takeaway 

PGA week is here. And Spieth has lost to just one golfer — Lee — since the Masters. That’s some kind of momentum. 

The leaderboard breakdown (Buckle up!)

— Sebastian Munoz leads by one shot entering the final round. He’s at 21-under, Jordan Spieth is at 20-under, Joaquin Niemann is at 19-under, and James Hahn and Justin Thomas are at 18-under. 

— Munoz and Spieth each bogey the 425-yard, par-4 1st. The leaderboard now reads this way: Munoz is at 20-under, Thomas, Spieth and Niemann are at 19-under, and Hahn and K.H. Lee are at 18-under. 

— Spieth birdies the 448-yard, par-4 2nd after hitting his second shot to 7 feet, and he moves into a share of the lead. Spieth and Munoz are at 20-under, Hahn, Thomas and Niemann are at 19-under, and Lee and Xander Schauffele are at 18-under. 

— Hahn birdies the 426-yard, par-4 3rd after hitting his second shot to 5 feet, and he moves into a share of the lead. Hahn, Spieth and Munoz are at 20-under, Thomas, Lee and Niemann are at 19-under, and Schauffele and Hideki Matsuyama are at 18-under.

— Spieth bogeys again, this time on the 3rd, and he falls out of the lead. Munoz and Hahn are at 20-under, Spieth, Thomas, Lee and Niemann are at 19-under, and Schauffele and Matsuyama are at 18-under.   

— Matsuyama birdies the 485-yard, par-4 8th — his sixth birdie of the day — and he moves into a share of the lead. Matsuyama, Munoz and Hahn are at 20-under, Schauffele, Thomas, Lee, Spieth and Niemann are at 19-under, and seven players are at 18-under. 

— Schauffele birdies the 502-yard, par-4 13th — his seventh birdie of the day — and he moves into a share of the lead. Schauffele, Matsuyama, Munoz and Hahn are at 20-under, Thomas, Lee, Spieth and Niemann are at 19-under, and seven players are at 18-under. 

— Thomas birdies the 577-yard, par-5 5th, and he, too, moves into a share of the lead. Thomas, Schauffele, Matsuyama, Munoz and Hahn are at 20-under, Lee, Spieth and Niemann are at 19-under, and seven players are at 18-under. 

— Lee birdies the 5th, too, and he, too, is a leader. Lee, Thomas, Schauffele, Matsuyama, Munoz and Hahn are at 20-under, Spieth and Niemann are at 19-under, and seven players are at 18-under. 

— Spieth’s up-and-down round continues, as he birdies the 5th, and seven players are tied for the lead. Spieth, Lee, Thomas, Schauffele, Matsuyama, Munoz and Hahn are at 20-under, Niemann, Davis Riley and Ryan Palmer are at 19-under, and six players are at 18-under. 

— Lee birdies the 341-yard, par-4 6th, and he takes the solo lead. He’s at 21-under, Spieth, Thomas, Schauffele, Matsuyama, Munoz and Hahn are at 20-under, Niemann, Riley and Palmer are at 19-under, and six players are at 18-under.  

— As expected, Lee is joined at the top, when Schauffele birdies the 309-yard, par-4 14th — his ninth birdie of the day. Lee and Schauffele are at 21-under, Hahn, Matsuyama, Palmer, Thomas, Munoz and Spieth are at 20-under, and Riley, Niemann and Charl Schwartzel are at 19-under. 

— Hahn also birdies the 6th, and it’s now a three-way tie. Hahn, Lee and Schauffele are at 21-under, Matsuyama, Palmer, Thomas, Munoz and Spieth are at 20-under, and Riley, Niemann and Schwartzel are at 19-under. 

— Spieth birdies the 6th after hitting his second shot to 2 feet, and it’s now a four-way tie at the top. Spieth, Hahn, Lee and Schauffele are at 21-under, Matsuyama, Palmer, Thomas and Munoz are at 20-under, and Riley, Niemann and Schwartzel are at 19-under. 

— Hahn bogeys the 224-yard, par-3 7th, and he falls out of the lead. Spieth, Lee and Schauffele are at 21-under, Matsuyama, Palmer, Thomas and Munoz are at 20-under, and Riley, Niemann and Schwartzel are at 19-under.  

— Schauffele birdies the 492-yard, par-4 16th — his 10th birdie of the day — and he takes a one-shot lead. He’s at 22-under, Hahn, Lee and Spieth are at 21-under, and Matsuyama, Palmer, Thomas, Munoz and Matt Kuchar are at 20-under. 

— Spieth birdies the 8th after hitting his second shot to 14 inches, and he moves into a share of the lead. Spieth and Schauffele are at 22-under, Hahn, Lee and Munoz are at 21-under, and six players are at 20-under. 

— Schauffele birdies the 513-yard, par-5 18th for a round of 11-under 61, and he takes a one-shot lead. He’s at 23-under, Lee and Spieth are at 22-under and Matsuyama, Hahn, Thomas and Munoz are at 21-under.

— Spieth birdies the 547-yard, par-5 9th after two-putting from 74 feet, and he moves into a share of the lead. Spieth and Schauffele are at 23-under, Lee is at 22-under, and Matsuyama, Schwartzel, Hahn, Thomas and Munoz are at 21-under. 

— Spieth three-putts from 6 feet on the 455-yard, par-4 10th, and he falls out of the lead. Schauffele is at 23-under, Spieth, Munoz and Lee are at 22-under, and Matsuyama, Schwartzel, Hahn, Thomas and Christiaan Bezuidenhout are at 21-under. 

— Matsuyama birdies the 213-yard, par-3 15th — his ninth birdie of the day — and he moves into a share of the lead. Matsuyama and Schauffele are at 23-under, Schwartzel, Lee, Munoz and Spieth are at 22-under, and Bezuidenhout, Palmer, Hahn and Thomas are at 21-under. 

— Lee eagles the 551-yard, par-5 12th after hitting his second shot to 4 feet, and he takes a one-shot lead. Lee’s at 24-under, Schauffele and Matsuyama are at 23-under, and Schwartzel, Thomas, Munoz and Spieth are at 22-under. 

— Lee birdies the 13th on a 14-foot putt, and he takes a two-shot lead. He’s at 25-under, Schauffele, Spieth and Munoz are at 23-under, and Matsuyama, Schwartzel and Thomas are at 22-under. 

— Lee pars the 134-yard, par-3 17th on an 11-foot putt — his second-straight somewhat lengthy par putt — and he maintains his one-shot lead. Lee’s at 25-under, Matsuyama, Munoz and Spieth are at 24-under, and Schauffele and Thomas are at 23-under. 

— Lee birdies the 18th on a two-putt from 24 feet, and he takes a two-shot lead. He’s at 26-under, and Matsuyama, Munoz and Spieth are at 24-under.

— Spieth and Munoz fail to eagle the 18th, and Lee repeats as the Byron Nelson champion. It’s his second PGA Tour victory. 

The final word 

“It’s amazing. It feels like a dream again.” — K.H. Lee on CBS after his victory 

Golf Magazine

Subscribe To The Magazine

Subscribe

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at [email protected]

Leave a Comment