Byrd wins Hyundai Tournament of Champions

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Clemson, SC—Former Clemson All-American Jonathan Byrd won the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions Sunday in a playoff against Robert Garrigus. The victory qualifies Byrd for the 2011 Masters and the 2011 US Open.

It was the fifth career win for Byrd, his second in a row. He won the Justin Timberlake Invitational in Las Vegas in his final event of the 2010 season in a playoff when he made a hole-in-one on the third playoff hole. Then, he captured the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in the season opener today in a playoff. Byrd is the first former Clemson golfer to win consecutive tournaments. He is the first PGA Tour player to win consecutive starts since Tiger Woods in 2009.

Byrd had scores of 66-68-67-67 for his 24-under-par score of 268 on the par 73 Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii. He had six birdies and no bogeys on his card on Sunday, and finished the 72 holes with 25 birdies, an eagle and just three bogeys.

Byrd was tied for the lead with Garrigus and Steve Stricker at 18 under par heading into the final round. He took a two shot lead after the first hole, as Stricker and Garrigus made bogeys while Byrd hit his second shot on the 504-yard hole to within four feet of the cup and made the putt for a birdie.

Byrd, who was a three-time on the course All-American and two-time Academic All-American at Clemson between 1997-2000, missed a four-foot birdie putt on the par five ninth hole, but came back to make a 18-foot putt birdie on the 10th hole to go to 22 under par.

Byrd could have won the tournament in regulation had he made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par five 18th hole, but he left the putt six inches short. That sent him into the playoff with Garrigus, who birdied the 18th hole to get to 24-under.

The two players parred the first playoff hole, the 18th. Then, both players reached the second playoff hole, the first hole on the course. Both players had similar putts. Byrd nearly made his, missing by less than an inch on the left side of the hole. Garrigus hit his approach putt four feet by, then missed the putt for a bogey and Byrd had the win.

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