DALLAS: American Billy Horschel parred the first playoff hole to beat world No.4 Jason Day on Sunday (Monday in Manila) to win the PGA Byron Nelson tournament, registering his first victory since 2014.
Horschel came into the tournament having missed four consecutive cuts but turned his fortunes around with some incredible putting this week at the TPC Four Seasons resort near Dallas.
Australia’s Day missed a short putt on the 18th hole that would have extended the playoff to hand Horschel the victory.
“That’s not the way I wanted to win it,” said Horschel. “Four missed cuts to come in here and I played this well — someone is looking out for me.”
Both Horschel and Day finished 72 holes on 12-under par 268. Day fired a two-under 68 Sunday while Horschel shot 69, each finishing one stroke ahead of American James Hahn, who was third after shooting 71.
American Jason Kokrak finished fourth on 270.
Horschel had the top putting percentage this week while world number four Day had made 95 percent of his putts inside five feet this season before missing what appeared to be a routine four-footer to drop the playoff.
“When you’re in the position like that, you have to go for it and try to win,” Day said.
“I can’t just lag it down there two feet short and keep going back and forth. Overall, it was a pretty good week, but obviously I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the win.”
Day, Horschel and Hahn all played in the final group, creating a match-play type scene.
Horschel’s two-putt birdie on the par-five 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 17 and 18.
“I came here without any type of momentum, and the only thing I can hang my hat on was my practice sessions for the last several months have gone well leading to the tournaments,” Horschel said.
Danny Lee of New Zealand (68), American Sean O’Hair (68), An Byeong-Hun of South Korea (69) and American Bud Cauley (70) shared fifth on 272.
Canada’s Nick Taylor (65), Joel Dahmen (67), Matt Kuchar (69) and Cameron Tringale (72) were another stroke back.
World No.1 Dustin Johnson never made a serious run and finished tied for 13th at 274.
Defending champion Sergio Garcia, who won his first major title last month at the Masters, shot 74 and finished in a tie for 20th.