San Francisco Chronicle

Eagle helps Lee repeat as Byron Nelson winner


K.H. Lee eagled the 12th hole to take the lead for good Sunday en route to a 9-underpar 63 and a one-shot victory over Jordan Spieth in the Byron Nelson tournament in McKinney, Texas.

Lee, the defending champion, finished at 26-under.

Lee’s career-best round overcame a four-shot deficit going into the final round. Both of his PGA Tour wins have come at the Nelson.

“It still feels like I’m dreaming,” said Lee, a first-time winner as a father after his wife was pregnant when he won last year. “Last year and this year, to make a good memory.”

Spieth shot a 67 to finish a stroke ahead of Hideki Matsuyama (62) and Sebastian Muñoz (69), who held or shared the lead the first three rounds. Xander Schauffele had a career-best 61 and tied for fifth with Ryan Palmer (66) and Thomas (67).

A year ago, Lee was playing for a spot in the PGA Championsh­ip, where he’ll be again this coming week at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla.

This time it was for a place in history as the 30-year-old joined Sam Snead (1957-58), Jack Nicklaus (1970-71) and Tom Watson (1978-80) as repeat winners at the Nelson.

Leading by one, Lee made a curling 12-foot putt to save par on the par-3 17th after a short chip ran long when he tried to find his footing in the sand with the ball above his feet just outside the bunker.

Spieth missed a 9-foot birdie putt on 17 that would have pulled him even, then had to have eagle on the par-5 18th after Lee’s tap-in birdie. Spieth’s eagle chip stayed left of the hole.

“I had a good chance here, I don’t think I ever really had the lead on my own,” Spieth said. “But it would be nice to close one out.”

LPGA Tour: Minjee Lee closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 19-under, good for a two-shot victory over Lexi Thompson in the Founders Cup in Clifton, N.J.

Lee’s seventh career title is her first since last year’s Evian Championsh­ip.

“I’ve been hitting it really, really well this whole — I mean, this whole season, and I just felt like it was kind of around the corner,” Lee said. “I kept knocking on the door, and here I am now.”

PGA Tour Champions: In Birmingham, Ala., Steve Stricker shot a 4-under 68 for a 21-under 267 total and a sixstroke victory in the Regions Tradition.

Stricker’s win came in his third event since he returned from a six-month absence for health reasons.

“It’s been a long time,” Stricker said. “I hate crying, but where I was last November and even a couple of months ago — to come full-circle here, it means a lot.”

Europe: In Antwerp, Belgium, England’s Sam Horsfield shot a 3-under 68 to finish at 13-under 271 for a two-shot win over New Zealand’s Ryan Fox and Germany’s Yannik Paul in the Soudal Open.

 ?? Sam Greenwood / Getty Images ?? K.H. Lee reacts after sinking his putt on No. 18 at the Byron Nelson tournament.
Sam Greenwood / Getty Images K.H. Lee reacts after sinking his putt on No. 18 at the Byron Nelson tournament.

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