South Korea’s Lee wins Byron Nelson

Los Angeles

South Korean Lee Kyoung-hoon defied rain, wind and a weather delay to fire a six-under par 66 on Sunday to win PGA Tour Byron Nelson by three strokes and book a PGA Championship berth.

Lee had eight birdies in his six-under effort at TPC Craig Ranch in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, Texas, his 25-under par total of 263 putting him three clear of American Sam Burns.

“I can’t believe it,” said Lee, who has four professional wins on the Japan Tour and AsiaOne tour, but whose previous best finish on the US tour was his share of second at the Phoenix Open earlier this year.

The victory saw him grab the final spot in next week’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, the second men’s major championship of 2021.

Lee started the day one stroke behind Burns, who was gunning for a second tour title after winning the Valspar Championship two weeks ago.

As Burns struggled to build momentum — playing the front nine in even par with two bogeys and two birdies — Lee surged to the top of the leaderboard with birdies at the second, third and fourth.

Lee spun a wedge in to four feet for birdie at the sixth and stuck his approach within three feet for birdie at the ninth before an errant tee shot led to a bogey at the ninth.

He added a four-foot birdie at the 12th and had a three-shot lead when lightning halted play on a day that had already seen field slog through often heavy rain and blustery winds. —APP

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