Greetings from 36,000 feet, somewhere between Dallas and Las Vegas. I have about two more hours in the air, then about a one hour drive to Mesquite, Nevada tonight for the next stop on this long leg of the HOG World Tour. More to come on that later. Time to reflect on my Sunday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship
Keegan Bradley Wins
Getting a 1st Tour win is huge, and getting one as a rookie is even bigger. The doors which a win open will have a great impact on the immediate future of the player, like playing in major championships. The financial relief of getting that win is big too. No need to worry about money for a while.
Keegan Bradley hugs caddy after winning the 2011 Byron Nelson Championship on first playoff hole – click for more images
Congrats to Keegan for the gritty performance at the Byron Nelson. The conditions were extremely tough. The winds were very high and the course wasn’t giving up much in the way of red numbers. For a tour event to have a winning number as high as -3 starts to get up into US Open difficulty discussion.
I don’t have a lot of time to post a long blog about today’s action because I have to run to the DFW airport to catch a flight to Vegas. A quick congratulations to PGA Tour rookie Keegan Bradley on the win.
Keegan defeated Ryan Palmer on the first playoff hole (18) by making par. This is Keegan’s first win.
I’ll probably update or do a longer post which I’ll write on my two hour flight from Dallas to Vegas, but for now just check out the HOG HP Byron Nelson Championship gallery.
HP Byron Nelson Championship Sunday Pin Sheet - click to enlarge
I love to post stuff the average viewer at home never gets to see. Case in point is an official PGA Tour Sunday pin sheet.
Here are today’s pin placements. Click the image to enlarge.
HP Byron Nelson round three – Just Survive Baby » Hooked On Golf Blog #hpbnc http://fb.me/NZVeoSOX
7 minutes ago
Ryan Palmer leads going into final round - click for more photos
Conditions today were the toughest they’ve been all week out here at the TPC Four Seasons and the HP Byron Nelson Championship. The “Texas” winds were stronger than the previous two days, blowing right in the face of the players for the last four holes. By the way, is a wind just as fast in MPH wise as a Texas wind as strong? Don’t ask a Texan if you want an unbiased answer.
The two leaders, Sergio Garcia and Ryan Palmer started the day off at -8. The tough conditions would take their toll on both players. Garcia carded a four over 74, while Ryan Palmer edged him by one shot with a 73.
The conditions were so tough that no player in the field went without a bogey, and 3 out of the top 10 players on the leaderboard at the end of the 3rd round shot rounds under par. Winds gusted up to 36 yesterday and while on the course I felt that today’s winds were noticeably stronger.
Amateur Jordan Spieth a big story again
17 year old Dallas amateur Jordan Spieth will be missing his high school graduation ceremonies tonight, to stay rested and prepared for tomorrow’s final round. Spieth actually outscored Garcia and Palmer today by 2 and 1 shot respectively. Spieth is currently tied for 8th place at -1, just four shots off the lead. In tough conditions anything can happen, and Spieth could create one of the biggest stories in recent golf history with a win.
Sergio Garcia's putting is greatly improved - click for more
I was all over the course today following many groups. Of course I did spend the most time with the leaders but I spent some quality time following the likes of Matt Kuchar, Gary Woodland and Chris DiMarco. I followed the leading players for most of the back nine, managing to get some killer positions like on #11 where I was literally 15 feet from the pin. Of course I snapped more pictures and uploaded over 100 of them to the HOG HP Byron Nelson Championship image gallery. Check it out.
I’ve been walking all over this hilly course in highly humid conditions with the temps nearly 100 degrees. Last night I had a hint of heat stroke. I managed to hydrate myself better today and stay out of the heat a little better as well. No headache, but do have a blister on the right foot.
I wanted to finish up here in the media center and head out for good ole Texas BBQ somewhere, but I decided to eat and blog at the same time so I can get back to my room early and rest for the big day tomorrow. I’m greatly looking forward to it.
As I knock on wood, I’m hoping that for the billionth time this season the tour does NOT enter a playoff. That would really screw up my outgoing flight to Vegas tomorrow night.