IRVING, Texas — Sang-Moon Bae won the Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, beating Keegan Bradley by two strokes after blowing a four-stroke lead.
The 26-year-old South Korean closed with a 1-under 69 to finish at 13-under 267.
“It’s something I’ve always dreamed of, winning on the PGA Tour,” Bae said. “It was surreal to have Mrs. (Peggy) Nelson there and with all the history ... I was in awe, actually, so almost I didn’t know how to react. ‘‘
Bradley was trying to become the Nelson’s first wire-to-wire winner since Tom Watson in 1980. Bradley set the TPC Four Seasons course record with an opening 60 even with two bogeys, but hefinished with a 72 on a day with wind gusting to near 40 mph at times.
“I’m pretty disappointed, but Moon played very well,” Bradley said. “I just didn’t play great today, but I hung in there. I chipped away. ... When I made that putt on 15, I was pretty confident that I was going to win.”
Bae already had 11 international victories — winning on the Korea, Japan and Asian tours.
Four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the front nine gave Bae a four-stroke advantage in the final group. But he struggled in the middle of the round, making a double bogey at No. 9 and a bogey at the next hole.
Bradley, whose first PGA Tour victory came as a rookie at the Nelson two years ago, got even with a birdie at the 15th hole. But he missed a short birdie putt at the next hole to fall behind for good.
Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champ, shot a 68 to finish third at 10 under. His only bogey Sunday came at the closing hole, where he hit his approach into a bunker and then hit through the green.
Bae won $1.2 million, nearly matching his PGA Tour career earnings of $1.6 million in his 42 previous starts. His best finish on tour had been a tie for second last year after getting into a four-man playoff at the Transitions Championship.
Bradley had a couple of incredible par saves on the back nine before finally making his first birdie of the round, a 17-footer that had just enough to get into the cup at the 463-yard 15th hole. That gave him a share of the lead when Bae missed a par putt there from just inside 6 feet.
After Bae sank a 5-foot birdie at the par-5 16th hole, and was already walking to the next tee, Bradley had a shorter putt on the same line — it horseshoed around the hole and didn’t fall. The par put Bradley a stroke back with two holes to play, and he then hit his tee shot at the par-3 17th over the green and was unable to save par. That made it irrelevant that he finally had a par at No. 18, the hole he bogeyed the first three rounds.
When Bae hit his tee shot at the 17th green that is fronted by water, he watched anxiously and finally let out an obvious sigh of relief, bending his knees and leaning backward when the ball landed on the front edge of the green about 24 feet from the cup. He made the par, and Bradley was unable to scramble again.
“When my iron play came back in the latter part of the round, I had confidence,” Bae said. “On that shot on 17, I knew it was short, and the wind pushed it over to the right, and I was happy and relieved that it turned out OK.”
World Match Play
McDowell tops Jaidee in final: In Kavarna, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell won the Volvo World Match Play Championship, beating Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee 2 and 1 in the final at Thracian Cliffs.
McDowell won a year after losing the final to Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts at Finca Cortesin in Spain. The 2010 U.S. Open champion fought back from 2 down after four holes, pulled ahead of his 43-year-old opponent on the 14th hole and secured the victory at the 17th.
McDowell, also the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage winner last month in Hilton Head, S.C., will move to top of the European Tour money list and up one place to No. 7 on the world ranking.
In the morning semifinals, McDowell beat South Africa’s Branden Grace 3 and 2, and Thongchai defeated South Africa’s Thomas Aiken 3 and 2.
Johnson rallies at Mobile Bay: In Mobile, Ala., Jennifer Johnson rallied to win the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic for her first tour title, birdieing four of the final six holes for a one-stroke victory over Jessica Korda and Pornanong Phatlum.
The 21-year-old American closed with her second straight 7-under 65 for a tournament-record 21-under 267 total on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Magnolia Grove complex. She two-putted for par on the final hole, tipped her cap and headed toward the practice range in case of a playoff.
But Phatlum was already done and the lead was safe even with Korda’s closing birdie. Phatlum, a 23-year-old from Thailand, closed with a 63. Korda finished with a 68 that included three bogeys and seven birdies.
Five players finished two strokes back, including Hall of Famer Karrie Webb.
UIHLEIN WINS MADEIRA ISLANDS OPEN: In Santo Antonio Da Serra, Portugal, American Peter Uihlein won the Madeira Islands Open in his 16th European Tour start for his professional title, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory.
Uihlein, the former Oklahoma State star who won the 2010 U.S. Amateur, birdied four of his last eight holes to finish at 15-under 273 at Santo da Serra.
The 23-year-old Uihlein earned a European Tour exemption through next season. His father, Wally Uihlein, is the chief executive golf apparel and equipment manufacturer Acushnet.
Denmark’s Morten Orum Madsen had a double bogey on the 18th for a 67 to tie for second with Chile’s Mark Tullo. Tullo, the third-round leader, had a hole-in-one on No. 4, but had four bogeys in a 71.
ANDERSON ROLLS IN BMW CHARITY PRO-AM: In Greer, S.C., former South Carolina player Mark Anderson ran away with the BMW Charity Pro-Am for his first Web.com Tour title, closing with a 6-under 65 at the Thornblade Club for a five-stroke victory.
The 27-year-old Anderson had a tournament-record 27-under 259 total, the third-lowest score in relation to par in tour history. He opened with a 63 at The Reserve at Lake Keowee, added a 67 at Greenville Country Club and took a one-stroke lead Saturday with a 64 at Thornblade.
Tom Hoge shot a 67 to finish second. Chesson Hadley, Michael Connell and Franklin Corpening tied for third at 21 under. Hadley had a 63, Connell shot 65, and Corpening closed with a 70. Hadley matched the tour record for nine holes when he went out in 8-under 27, making six birdies and an eagle.