The Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Sung Kang was a teenager when his father started sending him from South Korea to North Texas in the winters and summers to work on his golf game.
The 31-year-old Kang, who now lives in the area while playing on the PGA Tour, got to call his father Sunday to tell him, “I did it,” after his getting his first victory in his 159th career start.
Kang closed the Byron Nelson with a 4-under 67 to finish at 23 under and beat Matt Every and Scott Piercy by two strokes.
With three consecutive birdies late, including a 23-footer on the 15th hole, Kang finally regained the lead for good on a 27-hole Mother’s Day Sunday at Trinity Forest — about 30 minutes from his home in Coppell, where he has lived since his PGA Tour debut in 2011.
“It just feels amazing. I was thinking about winning on the PGA Tour when I was real young and watching Tiger dominating,” Kang said. “My dad gave me a lot of support when I was young.”
Kang pumped his fist when the birdie dropped in at No. 15, making for a two-stroke swing. Every, who started that 431-yard par 4 tied for the lead, was in the middle of the fairway before what he called “just a terrible shot” on his approach that set up a three-putt for bogey.
“I watched him for 72 holes. He didn’t miss. Hard to beat,” Every said.
Every finished with a 66. Piercy, also in the final threesome, ended a bogey-free tournament with a 64.
Twice over the last two days, Every overcame deficits of at least four strokes and went ahead of Kang. They played together all four rounds.
Brooks Koepka, the world’s No. 3-ranked player who now goes to Bethpage to defend his PGA Championship title, finished fourth at the Nelson at 20 under after a 68.
“Sometimes you just get beat. That happened this week,” Koepka said. “Played good. I like my chances next week. I feel like I’m striking it well, putting it really well. ... It was important going into next week.”