Horschel beats Day in playoff for AT&T Byron Nelson

The Australian missed a short putt at the first extra hole and the title was Horschel's

Billy Horschel wins AT&T Byron Nelson
Billy Horschel wins AT&T Byron Nelson
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Billy Horschel beat Jason Day at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the AT&T Byron Nelson and the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas.

Billy Horschel thought he would be going on to a second hole of a sudden-death playoff for the AT&T Byron Nelson when he left his birdie putt in the jaws of the hole. But Jason Day then missed for par from just four feet and the title was Horschel’s.

"When I hit it I knew it was on a perfect line and I thought I got it to the hole. ... I just wanted to finish it off there," Horschel said. "I didn't expect him to miss it. I was expecting to go back to the tee and play the hole again."

Jason Day took the lead in the final round of the Byron Nelson when he holed a pitch on the 15th, following two poor shots on the long par-4. He then hit a spectator on the 16th and was unable to take advantage of the par-5; his birdie effort just missing the cup. Horschel was able to make birdie on the 16th and that put him into a tie with the Australian. Both men parred the final two holes in regulation play and so a playoff was required to decide the tournament.

"I only had one top 10 up to this point. To be able to play the way I did today, I played some good solid golf," Day said. "It's a little disappointing, but it's not the first tournament I'm going to lose. ... I feel good about my game."

James Hahn finished alone in third with 36-hole leader Jason Kokrak in fourth. Kokrak had enjoyed the largest ever halfway lead in the Byron Nelson – five shots after rounds of 66 and 62, but he faded on the weekend with scores of 72 and 70. World Number 1 Dustin Johnson ended the week in a tie for 13th.

3 Talking points from the AT&T Byron Nelson

1 – This was an unlikely win for Horschel. He had only played in the event twice before – 2011 and 2012 – and both times he had missed the cut. He had missed four straight cuts going into this week. “It’s really surreal,” he said. “I’m sort of speechless… I was never a fan of this course but now I am and I won and I don’t want to leave.” Ironically this was the last time the Byron Nelson will be contested over this course, after 35 seasons at Las Colinas. It’s moving to Trinity Forest near Dallas next year. This was Horschel’s first PGA Tour victory since the 2014 Tour Championship.

2 – Jason Day, normally so solid when holing out, missed a four-foot putt to keep the playoff going. “Just hit it too hard,” he said afterwards. But the Australian was able to take the positives from the week – it was his best result on the PGA Tour since last year’s PGA Championship. “I’ve got to try to get better from this experience and I feel good about my game. Everything is coming along nicely.”

Jason Day swing sequence:

3 – James Hahn very nearly made it to the playoff in spectacular fashion. His approach to the last spun back towards the hole and lipped out of the cup. He needed to hole it to tie and, with just a birdie, he finished one back in third. “I knew I had to throw it back there,” Hahn said. “That was my best chance of making a 2 and getting into the playoff. Caught a lot of the hole. What can I ask for?”

AT&T Byron Nelson TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas May 18-21 Purse: $7,500,000 Par: 70

1    Billy Horschel (USA)    68    65    66    69    268    $1,350,000 2    Jason Day (Aus)        68    69    63    68    268    $810,000 3    James Hahn (USA)    64    70    64    71    269    $510,000 4    Jason Kokrak (USA)    66    62    72    70    270    $360,000 T5    Byeong Hun An (Kor)    68    66    69    69    272    $263,438 T5    Bud Cauley (USA)    67    67    68    70    272    $263,438 T5    Danny Lee (NZ)        70    70    64    68    272    $263,438 T5    Sean O’Hair (USA)    67    69    68    68    272    $263,438 T9    Joel Dahmen (USA)    68    70    68    67    273    $195,000 T9    Matt Kuchar (USA)    66    71    67    69    273    $195,000 T9    Nick Taylor (Can)        69    73    66    65    273    $195,000 T9    Cameron Tringale (USA) 66    68    67    72    273    $195,000

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?