Golf: Jordan Spieth

Highland Park golfer gets Nelson exemption

July, 31, 2013
7/31/13
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Does the HP Byron Nelson Championship have another Jordan Spieth on its hands?

U.S. Junior Amateur champion Scottie Scheffler, a 17-year-old senior at Highland Park High School, has accepted a sponsor's exemption into the 2014 Nelson.

Like Spieth, a winner on the PGA Tour a few weeks ago and a two-time U.S. Junior Amateur champion who first played in the Nelson at age 16, Scheffler will get the chance to play in the event as a teenager. He also won the Class 4A state title for a second straight year in May and led Highland Park to a team title.

“Mr. Nelson always encouraged us to keep an eye out for young talent and reward them with opportunities like this,” Patton Chapman, chairman of the 2014 Nelson, said in a release. “Scheffler definitely fits this mold, and we’re looking forward to watching him compete at the highest level.”

Scheffler is No. 1 in the Polo Golf Rankings and has verbally committed to play at the University of Texas after he graduates (something else he has in common with Spieth).

The 2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship will be played May 12-18 at TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

Spieth enjoys himself despite poor round

July, 20, 2013
7/20/13
5:42
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Jordan Spieth created a stir last weekend by becoming the youngest PGA Tour winner in 82 years.

But he's smart enough to know there's plenty left to learn.

The 19-year-old hobbled to a 5-over 76 Saturday, hurt by bad bounces and worse decisions.

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"I wasn't patient, and that was the issue," he said. "Bad bounces are going to happen out here, but I could have shot three shots lower without even playing any different."

Despite being 6-over for the tournament, Spieth enjoyed himself, in part because he played alongside Northern Irishman and major winner Darren Clarke.

"He's obviously loved, and I can see why. Extremely nice guy, he's very selfless, he's rooting for me. It was cool," Spieth said.

Despite a full schedule since March and the pressures of being in contention the previous three weekends, Spieth said he didn't think fatigue was a factor in his performance here. That said, he wasn't unhappy about taking time off after the Open.

"Yeah," Spieth acknowledged, "I'm looking forward to it."

Spieth showed this potential in high school

July, 14, 2013
7/14/13
7:36
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There weren't many signs on Sunday that Dallas' Jordan Spieth is still a teenager. Heck, there haven't been too many signs of that since he burst onto the PGA Tour as a 16-year-old amateur at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, his hometown tournament, a few years back.

Even then, I remember marveling at how you had to really pay attention to realize that the kid was, well, a kid. He didn't talk like someone who was merely happy to be playing with golfers that he idolized growing up. He said he wanted to win, and it didn't really come off as brash. Why? Because he had the game to back it up. And he wasn't saying it as if it was some pie-in-the-sky proclamation. He really believed it.

He made me a believer in that 2010 Nelson. There he was, within range of the leaders as he started the back nine, only to falter and end up tied for 16th. But it was the way he handled himself amid what should have been huge pressure that has me sitting here, more than three years later, surprised but not stunned that he's a PGA Tour champion.

The 19-year-old won the John Deere Classic on Sunday with some tremendous shots and a little luck, too. But it wasn't as if this came out of nowhere; he's been in contention several times this season. On Sunday, he holed a bunker shot that looked destined for the water on No. 18 just to make the playoff, and he admitted that the shot didn't have any spin. He just got lucky. He then watched as David Hearn missed about a 4-footer to win on the fourth playoff hole. Finally, Spieth struck. He hit a great approach shot as Hearn and Zach Johnson faltered. A tap-in par secured his victory. It's a big one for a bunch of reasons. He now has full status on the PGA Tour. He earned himself a spot in the British Open. And he's in the top 12 of the FedEx Cup rankings.

It was historic, too. He's the first teenager to win on the PGA Tour in 82 years. Yep. It's been that long. Ralph Guldahl in 1931 was the last one. Herbert Hoover was in the White House. The United States has gone through 13 presidents since then.

Spieth does look different three years after his debut. He's stronger physically. Maybe mentally, too, though I saw a tough-minded teenager as I walked just about every hole of his four rounds with him back in 2010. The loose golf shirt and not-quite-perfectly-fit pants have been replaced with an Under Armour logo and a fashion that makes him look like he belongs. Of course, his game is proof of that.

Spieth did something few expected when the season began, opting to play in a few early sponsors exemptions on the PGA Tour (after deciding to leave the University of Texas after his freshman year to turn pro). In doing so, he was electing to use some of his limited exemptions, instead of going to Q-school or teeing it up on the Web.com Tour to try to qualify for the PGA Tour either of those ways. It was risky in that if he didn't play well enough quickly enough, he was giving away chances to earn money and work his way up the Web.com money list.

But Spieth did play well. Instead of the minimum seven exemptions, Spieth was able to secure more because of how well he played. Even before that putt on the fifth playoff hole on Sunday, Spieth was on his way to earning enough to be in the top 125 on the money list on the PGA Tour and get his card for next season. Now, of course, he doesn't have to worry about any of that.

Does this win mean Spieth is the game's next great young player? Too soon to tell, but don't be fooled by his age. Back in 2010, I saw a young man who was not in awe of his surroundings despite thousands of classmates, friends and family watching him -- and before he had to get back to school to finish some tests. He was only a junior at Jesuit College Prep then, but he played and acted like he knew he belonged out there. He never had any doubts.

He didn't look like he had any on Sunday at the John Deere Classic, either. Spieth learned some lessons from being in contention at various points this season. He learned from his lone year of NCAA golf. He attacked the hole and birdied five of his final six holes, getting into the playoffs when Johnson bogeyed the 18th. Spieth knew he had a huge opportunity, and he took advantage of it, much like he did in Dallas three years ago.

It's a mature young man who boards that flight overseas to play in a tournament that he didn't even have time to pack for. It's a major. Just don't expect Spieth to be intimidated by any of it. He's not flying over there to simply see what the British Open is all about. He's going over there to win. I suspect major victories are in his future -- the near future.

Ryan Palmer, Graham DeLaet share lead at Colonial

May, 24, 2013
5/24/13
4:56
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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Colleyville's Ryan Palmer and Canadian Graham DeLaet share a one stroke lead at 9-under in the second round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

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Palmer, part of the afternoon wave of starters, has 15 holes remaining.

Play was delayed for a little over two hours in the early afternoon by lightning.

Four golfers are tied at 8-under. Of that group, Dallas’ Jordan Spieth, Josh Teater and Steve Flesch have completed their rounds. Matt Kuchar has 12 holes remaining.

The projected cut line will eliminate scores of even par and higher. Area pros on the wrong side of the cut line include Justin Leonard and Colt Knost.

Colonial suspended due to lightning

May, 24, 2013
5/24/13
12:51
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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Play in the second round of the 67th Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial was suspended at 12:18 this afternoon due to lightning. A few players in the morning wave have not yet finished their second round.

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Annika Sorenstam joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what it was like to play in the Colonial, the state of the game of golf and whether she thinks Tiger Woods will break Jack Nicklaus' record.

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Dallas teenager Jordan Spieth managed to complete his round and is one shot off the lead. The 19-year-old shot 67 today and is 8-under par.

Canadian Graham DeLaet currently leads at 9-under after a second-round 67.

Joining Spieth at 8-under is tour journeyman Steve Flesch, Josh Teater and overnight leader Ryan Palmer of Colleyville. Palmer was scheduled to begin his second round at 1:28 p.m. before the weather delay.

Flesch has three holes remaining in his second round.

Teater, a 34-year-old from Kentucky, reached 11-under 11 holes into his second round, but ran into tree trouble and bogeyed three of his last seven holes. Playing partner Boo Weekley got to 10-under, but went four over on his last five holes.

Ryan Palmer takes advantage of local knowledge

May, 23, 2013
5/23/13
5:06
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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Local knowledge helped Colleyville resident Ryan Palmer forge an 8-under 62, good for the first-round lead Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial at Colonial Country Club.

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Annika Sorenstam joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what it was like to play in the Colonial, the state of the game of golf and whether she thinks Tiger Woods will break Jack Nicklaus' record.

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A few golfers in the afternoon wave have not yet finished their rounds.

Palmer, a member at Colonial and a regular in the club’s afternoon "big game," turned in a bogey-free card with eight birdies, including four in a row on Nos. 14-17.

Palmer’s 62 matched the record low first round at Colonial. Patrick Sheehan in 2005 and David Toms and Chez Reavie in 2011 also share the record.

Another Colleyville resident, John Rollins, rolled in 22-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to finish with a 7-under 63, good for solo second.

Morgan Hoffmann, David Hearn and Graham DeLaet are tied for third after matching 6-under 64s.

Another stroke back and tied for sixth with 65s are Matt Kuchar, Daniel Summerhays, Matt Every and Morgan Hoffmann.

Among those at 5-under and still on the course is 19-year-old Jordan Spieth of Dallas.

HP Byron Nelson: Round 2 notebook

May, 17, 2013
5/17/13
8:26
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IRVING, Texas -- Guan Tianlang chose to dwell on the lessons learned and not the fact that after playing in three PGA tournaments with the best players in the world, he finally missed his first cut.

The 14-year-old amateur sensation from China lost his chance at remaining for the weekend after a second-round 77 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Friday. He finished with a 36-hole total of 147. Players shooting 141 and higher missed the cut.

[+] EnlargeGuan Tianlang
Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesGuan Tianlang missed his first cut Friday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
"I just think I learned a lot in these last two rounds and just didn’t play my best out there today, and I still learned a lot. I still have a lot more to learn," he said.

Guan gained attention by making the cut at the Masters in April and again at the tour stop in New Orleans, becoming the youngest to make a cut on the PGA Tour.

On Friday, the damage came early for Guan. He double-bogeyed his third hole and, after a birdie, finished his first nine with five consecutive bogeys for a 41. Then the eighth-grader settled down and was 1 under through the first eight holes of his second nine, but he finished with a double-bogey.

"The last couple of holes on the first nine, I think I didn’t play bad, just got in the wind and got some bad luck, but that’s golf," Guan said.

"I calmed myself down a little bit and got better on the back nine."

Guan said he is unsure of his schedule but he has a couple of tournament invitations.

Local favorite: Jordan Spieth made it to the weekend a couple of times at the Nelson while in high school at Dallas Jesuit.

He made it again this year, but as a professional with a shot at a paycheck. Spieth followed an opening-round 69 with a 68 on Friday and is tied for 30th at 3 under.

He said he thinks the difference between those first two starts at this tournament and this week has nothing to do with money.

"It's the fact that I've been playing with a pretty full schedule and obviously this isn't the only one you're prepping for and it's one that I single out, but it's an event in a long stretch of a PGA Tour year," he said.

He said he felt more "loose and settled in" this time.

In his first two appearances at the Nelson, Spieth finished tied for 16th in 2010 and tied for 32nd in 2011.

Since turning pro, the 19-year-old has recorded three top-10s and has $699,472 in earnings.

Sweet recovery: No doubt in Ryan Palmer’s mind which of his shots stood out the most in a second-round 68. He pointed to a 6-iron on a 175-yard third shot to the par-5 16th that he "flushed" to within 5 feet.

"That had to be my best shot of the day," said the Colleyville resident, who converted the putt and made birdie on a hole on which he encountered tree trouble because of his tee shot.

Palmer opened with a 65 and is tied for fourth at 7 under.

Huh in the mix: John Huh is tied for fourth at 7 under. The Lewisville resident shot a second-round 64 with eight birdies.

"A 64 is not too bad right now," Huh said. "I drove the ball beautifully and made some putts, so I’m pleased with the way I played today."

Notes: Duffy Waldorf, the last of six alternates to gain late entry this week, not only made the cut but finds himself tied for 13th after a second consecutive 68. ... John Daly will be around for the weekend after shooting a 66 that included six birdies. He’s tied for 30th at 3 under. ... Former UT-Arlington golfer Zack Fischer shot 65 on Friday to easily make the cut. Fischer, a native of Texarkana, earned his Nelson spot in open qualifying. He's tied for 43rd at 2 under.

Emotional Ryan Palmer puts trust in caddie

May, 16, 2013
5/16/13
6:51
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IRVING, Texas -- Local pro Ryan Palmer puts ultimate trust in caddie James Edmondson’s club decisions in just one tournament every year -- the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

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Ian Fitzsimmons and Chuck Cooperstein, broadcasting live from the Pavilion at the HP Byron Nelson, are joined by Keegan Bradley, who shot a 10-under 60 in the opening round.

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"This is the one week, his week. He might as well be in here," Palmer said in a post-round interview following a 5-under 65 that has him in a tie for sixth.

When the 36-year-old Colleyville resident asks his caddie for a distance, all he gets is a club.

"I found myself looking at the yardage a little more, but he wouldn’t give it to me. He would say 'hit this 8-iron' and I was like 'how far is it?' It’s kind of strange."

The first time Palmer let Edmondson do the steering at the 2011 Nelson, Palmer made it to a playoff. His Nelson track record prior to that was not impressive.

"I’ve been able to keep that feeling the last couple of years," Palmer said. "I think I’ve shot 65 Thursday every year, or 64 maybe."

It has been an emotional week for Palmer since learning of the death of lifelong friend Clay Aderholt, who was killed in a traffic accident in the San Antonio area seven days ago.

Palmer wore a cap with his friend's initials on Sunday when he finished fifth at The Players Championship. Palmer said he signed that cap and gave it to Reid, his friend’s 4-year-old son and gave a black one to Clay’s dad.

"Maybe we can honor him even more on Sunday afternoon," Palmer said.

[+] EnlargeGuan Tianlang
Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesChinese sensation Guan Tianlang, 14, shot even par in his first round at the Nelson.
Young guns: Jordan Spieth, 19, who made headlines in this event as an amateur, opened with a five-birdie, four-bogey 69 in his first Nelson round as a professional. The only amateur in the event this year, 14-year-old Chinese sensation Guan Tianlang, opened with an even par 70.

Practical jokers: Pair Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia and watch sparks fly. Pair Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner and expect a practical joke.

"He loves to mess with me," Bradley said of Dufner.

Before the two Ryder Cup teammates played together Thursday, Bradley found his clubs scattered about in the locker room.

"I left my clubs, which is a huge mistake," Bradley said. "It was my fault. He took my clubs out and they were all over."

Bradley, who fired a 10-under 60 on Thursday, said he is a little reluctant to retaliate.

"I’m too scared to do anything too much because I don’t know what he will do," Bradley said. "He could throw my clubs in the water or something. I did remove something from this locker and he’s going to need it. We’ll see if he can find it."

Bradley and Dufner, joined by Matt Kuchar, draw a 12:20 tee time for Friday’s second round.

International flavor: Of Thursday’s 52 pairings of threesomes, only one was composed entirely of internationals.

The grouping of Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel and Angel Cabrera seemed to feed off each other’s company, combining to go 14-under.

South African Schwartzel, playing in his first Nelson, led the group with a 7-under 63, two strokes better than Argentina’s Cabrera. Kaymer, a German, shot 2-under.

No delay: Following thunderstorms that drenched the course, workers at TPC Four Seasons were at it early before Round 1, sacking over 100 bags of debris that washed up from a creek that cuts through the course. Most of the debris was on holes 9, 11 and 14. Play began on time at 7 a.m.

Nelson playing tougher for afternoon groups

May, 16, 2013
5/16/13
5:03
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IRVING, Texas -- The afternoon wave is finding TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas much more difficult on Day 1 of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

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Ian Fitzsimmons and Chuck Cooperstein, broadcasting live from the Pavilion at the HP Byron Nelson, are joined by Keegan Bradley, who shot a 10-under 60 in the opening round.

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Calm, cool conditions prevailed for those lucky enough to draw early tee times. But the afternoon brought with it wind and humidity.

Keegan Bradley leads after a course-record 10-under 60. The current top nine scores were all posted by morning starters.

Among those in the afternoon wave, Marc Leishman, Patrick Reed and Andrew Svoboda are all 4-under with holes remaining.

In other afternoon play of interest, Dallas’ 19-year-old Jordan Spieth is even after 14 and 14-year-old Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang is 1-under through 11 holes.

Players to watch: Byron Nelson Championship

May, 15, 2013
5/15/13
9:00
AM CT


IRVING, Texas – It's time for the start of the North Texas swing on the PGA Tour, and that begins with a stop in the backyard of the late Byron Nelson.

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The HP Byron Nelson Championship, as it has for the past few years, is trying to make the most of being the tournament directly after The Players Championship. There won't be any rematch of feuding golfers Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, for instance. Neither is in the field. Phil Mickelson isn't here, either.

But there are some top Americans and international players competing at the TPC Four Seasons Resort & Club this week. Let's take a look at some of the golfers to watch in the event, which starts Thursday:

Jason Dufner: All this talk about "Dufnering" doesn't happen without the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Dufner, the defending champion, arrived in Dallas in March and appeared slumped over and out of it as kids were busy reading a story in a classroom at J. Erik Jonsson, a school supported by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, which also runs the Nelson. The photo went viral even before Dufner flew out of town and the golfer was a great sport about it. It helped publicize the tournament in a way no one expected.

But joking aside, Dufner can play. He won last year's event thanks to a clutch par putt on the final hole to beat surprise contender Dicky Pride, continuing his best career year. He was the runner-up to Zach Johnson the next week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He ended up on the Ryder Cup team and made more than $4.8 million last season.

Dufner's not as hot this season as he was coming into the event last year (after winning in New Orleans). He is still looking for his first top-10 of the season, though he’s made nine of 11 cuts. A final-round 80 dropped him out of a chance at a top-10 at The Players Championship last weekend.

Jason Day: He has to be one of the favorites here because of how well he plays in this event. He won it in 2010, his first time playing in the tournament, and has top-10s in his other two appearances. Day had a 68 in the final round of The Players, earning him a top-20 finish.

Day has played just twice since his third-place finish at the Masters and has made the cut in all 10 of his events in 2013. The Australian nearly withdrew before winning the Nelson in 2010. He felt ill because of medicine for a sinus infection, but stayed in the tournament and won by two strokes over Blake Adams, Brian Gay and Jeff Overton. It was a strange final hole that year as Day hit his approach shot into the water on 18, giving Adams, his playing partner, an opening. But Adams didn't know where Day hit his shot and he ended up in the water too. Day bogeyed the hole to get the win.

Matt Kuchar: He blew into the Nelson fresh off a win at The Players Championship last year. It's not the same in 2013, but Kuchar is as close to an automatic top finisher as you can get on the PGA Tour this year. He has made the cut in all 14 events he’s played and he’s got four top-10s. He likes the Nelson, making the cut in all five of his attempts. His best finish was a tie for sixth two years ago.

Keegan Bradley: It was the Nelson that marked the emergence of Bradley on the PGA Tour. He won rookie of the year honors that season -- 2011 -- and was the rookie of the year. That included a major victory at the PGA Championship that season. But it was the Nelson where he posted his first victory. And he did it coming from behind. He entered the final round four strokes back of Ryan Palmer and shot a 68 to tie Palmer and force a playoff. He won on the first playoff hole (the 18th). He won with a total of 3-under for the event, the highest in relation to par at the Nelson since 1981. It was windy and the players had a tough time, but Bradley survived. He has missed his last two cuts, but he has finished fifth or better in five tournaments this season.

Jordan Spieth: It was at age 16 that Spieth was the biggest story at the Nelson, getting himself into contention on Sunday before finishing tied for 16th as an amateur. He played well under pressure in his first PGA Tour event. Three years later, Spieth is 19 and a pro on the PGA Tour. He made the decision this year to take sponsor’s exemptions rather than go full time on the Web.com Tour. But for that to be smart, Spieth had to play well early in the season. He has, earning more exemptions and a chance to finish in the top-125 of the money list to earn his card for next season. The Dallas native has three top-10s this season already and is certainly comfortable in Irving.

Marc Leishman: I know he's probably not a familiar name to many, but in flipping through the top finishers at the Nelson the past four years, his name pops up. Leishman tied for third last year and was in the top-12 in three of his four Nelson appearances. He showed he could hang in under pressure at the Masters, tying for fourth. He posted two more top-10s since and can handle the wind. He’s one to watch.

Don't forget about: Ryan Palmer (two straight top-10s at this event); J.J. Henry (TCU alum has made 10 cuts in 11 appearances); Louis Oosthuizen (has major pedigree and playing well); Ben Crane (he's hot right now and had a top-10 at The Players).

Field set for HP Byron Nelson Championship

May, 13, 2013
5/13/13
1:46
PM CT
The field for this week's HP Byron Nelson has been finalized and will feature recent former champions Jason Dufner, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley and Vijay Singh along with 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang of China and former Jesuit and Texas Longhorns standout Jordan Spieth.

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“We are thrilled with the quality, diversity and depth of our field,” 2013 tournament chairman Mike McKinley said in a release. “We have a great mix of young rising stars, PGA Tour veterans and a strong international contingent that I’m certain will have great appeal for our fans.”

Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson are also in a field that includes major champions Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Y.E. Yang, Dallas' Justin Leonard, Mike Weir, Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman, Bradley and Singh.

The 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship will be played May 13-19 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving. Children 13 and under receive free admission, and free public parking and shuttle service is available at the intersection of SH 114 and Loop 12 in Irving (2000 E. John Carpenter Freeway, Irving). Fans may also travel by DART to the Northlake College Station, where free shuttles will be available to the main entrance.

Teenage phenom gets sponsor's exemption to Nelson

April, 30, 2013
4/30/13
3:11
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Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese national who turned heads by making the cut and finishing as the low amateur at the Masters a few weeks ago, accepted a sponsor's exemption to play in the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship. The tournament is May 16-19 at TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving.

Guan is the reigning Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion, which earned him his invitation to the Masters.

"What Guan has been able to accomplish at such a young age is very impressive," 2013 tournament chairman Mike McKinley said in a release. "We have always had a tradition of identifying young talent and giving them an opportunity to compete at the Nelson, and we look forward to continuing that with Guan."

Guan joins Dallas native Jordan Spieth, another teenager, as the Nelson's two sponsor exemptions for this year's event.

Dustin Johnson and Marcel Siem also have committed to the event. Johnson, No. 19 in the Official World Golf Ranking, has one win this season and finished tied for 13th at the Masters.

Former champions commit to HP Byron Nelson

March, 28, 2013
3/28/13
1:31
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HP Byron Nelson Championship officials announced Thursday that the past four Nelson Champions will be returning to TPC Four Seasons in May. Jason Dufner (2012), Keegan Bradley (2011), Jason Day (2010) and Rory Sabbatini (2009) have all committed to compete at the 2013 Nelson.

“We are proud of the continued successes and accomplishments of each of these HP Byron Nelson champions. They honor our tournament, our charity and the legacy of Byron Nelson by their loyalty and support,” 2013 tournament chairman Mike McKinley said in a release. “We are expecting an extremely strong field and their commitment to play in this year’s tournament will only add to the anticipation and excitement of another memorable championship.”

Former Texas Longhorn and Dallas Jesuit standout Jordan Spieth will also be playing after accepting a sponsor's exemption earlier this month.

The field will not be final until May 10. The Nelson will be played May 13-19 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving.

Jordan Spieth accepts HP Byron Nelson invitation

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
12:11
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Dallas native Jordan Spieth has accepted a sponsor's exemption to play in the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship on May 13-19 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving. Spieth made his PGA Tour debut as an amateur in 2010 at the Nelson.

Spieth is coming off his best result as a pro, finishing tied for second last weekend at the Puerto Rico Open. He finished tied for 22nd at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am earlier this year.

"We know bright things are in store for Jordan as he begins his career on the PGA Tour," 2013 tournament chairman Mike McKinley said in a release. "He did so well here as an amateur and we are looking forward to welcoming him back and seeing him compete at this year's tournament."

The former Texas Longhorn and Dallas Jesuit standout has competed in the Nelson twice as an amateur, finishing tied for 16th in 2010 and tied for 32nd in 2011. Speith also finished as the low amateur at last year's U.S. Open.

Spieth has tied for fourth at the Colombia Championship and tied for seventh at the Panama Claro Championship on the Web.com Tour since turning professional in mid-December and has already guaranteed his spot in the Web.com Tour finals series at the end of the year, where players can earn their PGA Tour card.

Jordan Spieth continues to cash checks

March, 11, 2013
3/11/13
8:36
AM CT
Jordan Spieth, the 19-year-old phenom out of Jesuit Prep in Dallas, came very close to becoming the second-youngest winner in PGA Tour history as he finished tied for second at the Puerto Rico Open on Sunday.

Spieth (19 years, 7 months, 13 days) earned $308,000 and now has made $373,000 in just three PGA Tour starts as a professional. He had eight other starts as an amateur between 2010-12. Harry Cooper won the 1923 Galveston Open at the age of 19 years, 4 days.

“It was cool to battle on the back nine there and know that I was close in the heat and to feel the pressure,” said Spieth, who was playing on a sponsor's exemption and is now exempt for this week's Tampa Bay Championship. “It was a first-time experience for me.”

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