McKinney, Texas: Lee Kyoung-hoon hopes his accomplishments on the PGA Tour will make people remember his name. After joining Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson as the only players to retain the Byron Nelson crown, there is little danger of anyone forgetting it.
The South Korean, who goes by ‘K.H. Lee’, has endured a rough run of form in recent months but found his stroke at the right time to beat Jordan Spieth by a shot in Texas on Sunday.
His bogey-free nine-under-par 63 vaulted the 30-year-old to 26-under for the tournament to follow all-time greats Snead (1957-58), Nicklaus (1970-71) and Watson (1978-80) as the fourth player to successfully defend their crown.
When told of the illustrious company, Lee said: “I heard that. It’s amazing, I can’t believe it.”
Lee’s father Sang Moo had explained that his son’s full name meant “making a name for himself in Seoul” and the player said he hoped to keep seeing his name up in lights.
“Hopefully. people remember my name. I’ll try to play well more, so hopefully more will remember my name,” added Lee, who was watched on by his parents, wife and baby daughter at the TPC Craig Ranch.
After a run of poor form, Lee went back to work with his former swing coach and mental coach since the start of last week. He also hired a new caddie.
Change in putter
“I have been struggling the last couple of months,” Lee, who won his second PGA Tour title, said. “I couldn’t find the right way to solve the problems, so I decided to go back to the times when I was good and comfortable.”
A change in putter also did him the world of good.
“Last week, I changed my putter to the two-ball putter,” Lee said, noting a similar change in equipment had paid off in his previous appearance at the tournament. “Last year, I switched from two-ball to blade and won this tournament. I made a lot of putts this week, so I’m happy.”
Spieth, who made a surprise early exit from the Masters in April where he missed the cut at Augusta National for the first time in his career, has since proven that he has recaptured some of the magic he enjoyed early in his career.
The 28-year-old Texan recovered quickly from his Masters let-down as he enjoyed a playoff victory the following week at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and on Sunday finished solo second at the AT&T Byron Nelson in McKinney, Texas.
If Spieth can triumph at the PGA Championship, where his best result was a runner-up showing in 2015, he would join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in golf’s elite club of Grand Slam winners.