Clemson, SC-Former Clemson All-American Jonathan Byrd won the PGA
Tour's Buick Challenge on Sunday with a final round 63 for a 72-hole
score of 261. It was the first win on the tour for the PGA Tour
Rookie and the first win by a former Clemson golfer on the PGA Tour
in six years.
Byrd's 27-under-par figure for the 72 holes is ranked in a
tie for third best in the history of the PGA Tour in terms of most
strokes under par in a 72-hole event. The record is 28-under held by
John Houston at the 1998 United Airlines Hawaiian Open and by Mark
Calcavecchia at the 2001 Phoenix Open.
Byrd's 261 score tied for the lowest score on the PGA Tour
this year. Loren Roberts won with a 261 score at the Texas Open
earlier this year, but that tournament was played on a par 70 course.
The previous best score vs. par this year was 25-under by Bob Burns
at the Disney Classic earlier this month.
Byrd now has three consecutive top 20 finishes and has moved
into the top 50 on the PGA Tour money list. He finished 19th at the
Michelob at Kingsmill, VA and was 13th at Las Vegas in his two most
recent events. He was 23-under-par in finishing 13th at the 90-hole
Las Vegas event, meaning he is now 50-under-par for his last nine
rounds on Tour. He won $666,000 on Sunday, the biggest check ever by
a former Clemson golfer for one event. He has now won $1,377,563
for the year, most ever by a former Clemson golfer. The victory
guarantees Byrd exempt status on the PGA Tour for the next two years.
Byrd shot a six-under-par 30 on the back nine of the Callaway
Gardens Resort Course in Pine Mountain, GA. His charge in the final
nine holes included a five-hole stretch in which he was seven-under
par. The 2000 Clemson graduate, who was an academic All-American as
well as on-course All-American had an eagle on the par five 11th
hole, followed by a birdie on 12, 13 and 14, then another eagle on
the par five 15th.
Byrd entered the tournament ranked first on the PGA Tour in
eagles with 15 this season. His eagles on Sunday were his only
eagles of the weekend and he now remains the PGA Tour leader with 17.
The native of Columbia, SC who was the first Clemson golfer
in history to be named first-team All-ACC four consecutive years, had
a five-shot lead over David Toms with three holes left. But, he
bogeyed the par three 16th, while Toms recorded an eagle at the 15th.
Byrd pared the last two holes, but Toms birdied the 17th. Playing
in the last group, Toms needed a birdie on the 18th hole. Instead he
made a par and Byrd had a one-stroke victory.
Byrd had rounds of 67-66-65-63 in recording his 261 score. He had 27
birdies, 39 pars, two eagles and four bogeys for the weekend. He
averaged just 23.8 putts per round and had an average driving
distance of 280.4 in recording the victory. Toms was second at 262,
followed by Phil Mickelson at 265. Mickelson also shot a 63 on
Sunday to finish third. Craig Parry and John Huston finished tied
for fourth at 266.
Byrd is the third former Clemson golfer to win a PGA Tour event.
Dillard Pruitt, now a rules official on the PGA Tour, won the 1991
Chattanooga Classic. Clarence Rose, Clemson's first All-American in
golf in 1980, won the 1996 Sprint International.
Most Strokes Under Par in PGA Tour History 72-hole Event
Name Year Event vs. Par
John Huston 1998 Hawaiian Open -28
Mark Calcavecchia 2001 Phoenix Open -28
Jonathan Byrd 2002 Buick Challenge -27
Ben Hogan 1945 Portland Invitational -27
Mike Souchak 1955 Texas Open -27
Note: Joe Durrant was 29 under through four rounds of 5
round Bob Hope Chyrsler Classic in 2001.
PGA Tour Events won by former Clemson Golfers
Name Year Event
Dillard Pruitt 1991 Chattanooga Classic
Clarence Rose 1996 Sprint International
Jonathan Byrd 2002 Buick Challenge