Sunday was certainly a dramatic final day at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. A handful of big-name players all made their charge up the leaderboard, including some of the top players in this year’s FedEx Cup race, and a former Masters champion looking to find his way back into the ranks of the elite.
For all the work that guys like Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, and even Mike Weir did on Sunday, none of them were able to catch up to Brendon Todd, who held onto the lead he started the day with to earn his first PGA Tour win.
Todd, whose Sunday round of four-under-par 66 was good enough for a two-stroke victory, turned pro in 2007, but has been back and forth between the PGA and the Web.com Tour for most of his career. He actually scored five top-25 finishes in 2013 in just ten events, but finished the year by tying for second in the Web.Com Tour Championship to earn his PGA membership for this season.
After the win, he certainly won’t have that to worry about anymore. “I’m excited about the relief like I finally have a chance to play the PGA Tour for multiple years,” Todd told USA Today, noting that he was already making travel plans for a certain tournament next April. “No. 1, going to Augusta for the Masters is a dream come true.”
The highlight of the day will certainly be the risky chip Todd hit on the par-3 13th. With Weir lurking just a few strokes back, Todd’s tee shot came to rest next to a tree that would keep him from taking a swing right-handed. Undaunted, Todd gripped a 4-iron backwards, and without even flipping the club to hit with the face, chipped to eight feet, saving par in the process.
Talk about guts, but then again, what did Todd have to lose? It’s not like he hasn’t fought just to get to this point. Instead of playing “not to lose” like many people would, Todd played to win, and it paid off big-time.
Brendon Todd may not be a household name, but it’s always good to see a guy make good on a chance when it presents itself. He’s earned his place on tour, but the competition is only going to get tougher from here, so now it’s time to see what he’s got to back up this performance.