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Nelson notes: Short miss on 16 ends Bradley's comeback hopes

5/19/2013

IRVING, Texas -- When Keegan Bradley sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the hole proving the most difficult this week, the 504-yard par 4 No. 15, he said he felt like he was going to win the HP Byron Nelson Championship for the second time in three years.

Trailing by four strokes earlier in the day, the birdie allowed Bradley to catch leader Sang-Moon Bae with three holes to play.

But on 16, faced with a 4-foot birdie putt to remain tied for the lead, Bradley missed.

“I figured if I could hang and hang, somehow I would find a way, but that putt was the end of it," said Bradley, who led after all three of the previous rounds.

“I wouldn’t have hit the putt any different. It’s surprising to miss like that. I want to win, so coming in second is great, which I’ll love tomorrow -- but right now it’s a little disappointing."

Bradley missed this chance to join the elite few who have won the tournament multiple times.

“It would have been special," Bradley said. “I’m hoping to come here for another 20 years, so hopefully I can get another one or two."

Celebration: Nelson winner Bae said two days before the tournament he was considering a move from Los Angeles to Dallas.

And after winning? "Definitely! I love this place. I would move to Dallas tomorrow," Bae said.

Bae is the fifth player of Korean descent to win on the PGA Tour.

"It's something I've always dreamed of," said Bae, who has 11 wins abroad. "I was in awe actually, so I almost didn't know how to react."

Hoffman and Hoffmann: The names sound like a law firm, but 36-year-old Charley Hoffman of Las Vegas and 23-year-old Oklahoma State product Morgan Hoffmann shared more than a last name on Sunday. Both were able to vault into the top 10 on a difficult scoring day.

Morgan Hoffmann, who made the cut on the number Friday, finished in a tie for fifth at 8-under after his second straight 66. He credited a putter switch after the first two rounds: "To my old trusty that I’ve used for four years, a Newport Scotty Cameron."

Charley Hoffman shot a 67 on Sunday and landed in a tie for eighth at 7-under. It marked a continuation of his strong play in Texas this year, having tied for 20th at the Shell Houston Open and tied for third at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

Not this year: Jason Dufner capped his week as defending champion with his first over-par round, a 72, to finish at 1-under, in a tie for 33rd place.

“It’s not much fun playing golf right now the way I’m playing," Dufner said. “It’s pretty much everything. I can’t score.

“You’ve got to make birdies and save pars when you can, and I can’t do it, so it is a very frustrating time for me right now golf-wise."

The last player to win the Nelson in consecutive years remains Tom Watson, who won three straight from 1978-1980.

Big finish: Round of the day on Sunday belonged to 37-year-old Justin Bolli, who had a bogey-free 5-under 65. Bolli began the day tied for 19th and moved up to solo fourth at 9-under.

“Some weeks you come in on Tuesday and you are feeling great and your game kind of deteriorates. This week I wasn’t feeling that great on Tuesday, and every day my game has felt better and better. I’d never had any history of success here. I just played really well."

Bolli executed a difficult 35-yard bunker shot on his final hole to save par. “To be honest, long bunker shots are not my forte. So I wasn’t exactly licking my chops there, but it came off perfect and almost went in. It was as good of a shot as I could hit."

Limping home: For the first three days of the Nelson, John Daly played consistently, averaging 13 pars per round. But on Sunday, the enigmatic 47-year-old made only five pars and faded badly with bogeys on his final six holes for a closing 77. Daly plummeted to a tie for 66th at 4-over.

Notes: Jordan Spieth, the 19-year-old playing in his hometown tournament for the first time as a professional, shot 75 on Sunday to finish 5-over, in a tie for 68th place. … Ryo Ishikawa carded five 3’s on his final nine holes to shoot a 4-under 31 en route to a closing 3-under 67. The 21-year-old from Japan holed his 128-yard approach on the par-5 No. 16 for an eagle. … Attendance for Sunday’s final round was announced at 76,500, about 1,500 more than on Saturday. For the week, the event drew 265,000.