Golf: Korea’s Lee earns maiden PGA TOUR win at AT&T Byron Nelson

V Krishnaswamy May 17 | Updated on May 17, 2021

Lee’s match was against Sam Burns

Korea’s KH Lee finally achieved his big goal of a win on the PGA Tour at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship at McKinney, Texas. He did it convincingly winning by three shots over Sam Burns, who himself had achieved his breakthrough win last month.

The 29-year-old Lee, who had a 15-foot putt on 16th for par, was made to wait as lightning struck and play was called off. When he returned two hours later, he bogeyed the hole. But soon after he hit a great tee shot on par-3 17 for a 3-foot birdie and closed with another birdie for a 66 to finish at 25-under and three clear of Burns (70)

Earlier in the week, Anirban Lahiri had missed the cut in the tournament.

The two-time winner on both the Korean and Japan tours became the eighth Korean to win on the PGA TOUR and the second Korean this year, after Si Woo Kim won The American Express in February.

The finish proved even more special when, after sinking a birdie to end the week, he was congratulated greenside by his wife, Joo Yeon Yu, and fellow Korean colleagues K.J. Choi and Sung Kang.

“He told me how proud he was of me,” Lee said. “I’m very thankful for K.J. He means a lot to me.”

Burns, who earned his own maiden TOUR win two weeks ago at the Valspar Championship, would go on to finish solo second at 22-under. He tapped in for birdie at the 72nd to pull out of a five-way tie alongside Patton Kizzire, Daniel Berger, Scott Stallings and Charl Schwartzel.

Burns started with a one-shot lead but bogeyed the first hole on Sunday to drop into a tie alongside his Korean playing partner. Lee capitalized on the error, carding birdies on each of the next three holes to open up an advantage he would not relinquish.

Lee finished at an impressive 25-under 263 for the week, posting no worse than a 67 over four days. He rose 55 spots to No. 29 in the FedExCup Standings, the highest mark of his young PGA TOUR career, now just 80 starts old.

He also becomes fully exempt on TOUR through the 2022-23 season and, in the short term, earns a coveted spot in next week’s PGA Championship at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. He entered the AT&T Byron Nelson as the third alternate in next week’s field.

Published on May 17, 2021

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