Marc Leishman watches on after missing on a birdie putt in the final round. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Marc Leishman watches on after missing on a birdie putt in the final round. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Record score denies Leishman victory

AARON Wise claimed his first US PGA Tour title yesterday, firing six birdies in a six-under 66 to win the Byron Nelson by three strokes over Australian Marc Leishman.

The 21-year-old, who started the day tied for the lead with Leishman, took full advantage of the ideal scoring conditions that prevailed at Trinity Forest when play finally got underway after a four-hour weather delay.

In the tournament's first edition at the new par-71 layout south of Dallas, Wise's 23-under par total of 261 crushed the previous scoring record of 19-under 261 set by Rory Sabbatini at the par-70 TPC Four Seasons in Irving in 2009.

 

Trinity Forest, a links-style layout with neither tress nor water hazards, offered up a birdie bonanza when softened by rain.

Wise joined the action with back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth.

Aaron Wise claimed his first Tour win.
Aaron Wise claimed his first Tour win.

He then birdied four in a row from the seventh through the 10th to set himself up for a march to victory on the back nine - where one of the most pressing questions he faced was whether he would be able to finish the round before darkness fell.

Leishman, who launched the week with a career-best 61, just couldn't keep pace.

The 34-year-old, seeking a third US PGA Tour title, had an eagle and four birdies but tossed in three bogeys that doomed his bid.

Leishman signed for a three-under par 68 that put him alone in second on 264.

"It's awesome," said Wise, who was coming off a career-best PGA Tour finish of second two weeks ago at Quail Hollow which he said gave him "just a ton of self-belief".

"I felt oddly calm all day long," added Wise, the 2016 NCAA collegiate champion who was making his 18th tour start as a member.

"And to play as good as I did, bogey-free, today was awesome."

Aaron Wise with the Byron Nelson trophy.
Aaron Wise with the Byron Nelson trophy.

South African Branden Grace and Americans JJ Spaun and Keith Mitchell shared third on 265.

Grace matched his career-best 62 posted at last year's British Open for a 19-under total while Spaun and Mitchell both carded 63s.

Grace had eight birdies and an eagle with one bogey marring his card. Spaun had eight birdies in his eight-under effort and Mitchell had six birdies and an eagle.

Ryan Blaum got in on the birdie action his six birdies on the front nine including five in a row from the fifth through the ninth. He cooled off with three bogeys and two birdies coming in to card a 66.

His total of 268 left him tied with Kevin Na (68) and Jimmy Walker (67).

A bogey-free 65 from Adam Scott lifted him to a tie for ninth at 15 under, his first top-10 result in almost a year, as he benefited from his recent switch back to a long-handled putter.  
Adam Scott shot a final-round 65.
Adam Scott shot a final-round 65.
  However, it was not quite enough to achieve his goal of a climbing into the world's top 60 to secure a start in next month's US Open and extend his run of 67 consecutive majors played.   Scott is projected to rise from No.65 to No.61 but has one more cut-off date to be in the top 60 before next month's major at Shinnecock Hills, otherwise he'll face qualifying.   His fellow Australian Matt Jones played in the final group but faded with an even-par 71 to be tied 13th at 13 under.   Geoff Ogilvy (69) was tied 32nd, Cameron Percy (70) and Rod Pampling (70) tied for 70th while Robert Allenby was last of those who made the cut after a 74.   FINAL SCORES:

261 - Aaron Wise 65-63-68-65

264 - Marc Leishman (AUS) 61-66-69-68

265 - Branden Grace (RSA) 66-68-69-62, JJ Spaun 64-69-69-63, Keith Mitchell 65-68-69-63

268 - Ryan Blaum 66-69-67-66, Kevin Na 66-65-69-68, Jimmy Walker 64-67-70-67

269 - Adam Scott (AUS) 67-65-72-65, Charles Howell 69-69-65-66, Kevin Tway 67-65-70-67

270 - Brian Gay 67-62-72-69 271 - Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 66-70-69-66, Ethan Tracy 65-72-67-67, Matt Jones (AUS) 67-65-68-71

272 - Russell Knox (SCO) 69-69-68-66, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 72-63-71-66, Bronson Burgoon 69-68-67-68, Joel Dahmen 67-68-68-69, Derek Fathauer 70-67-66-69

273 - Jordan Spieth 69-66-71-67, Billy Horschel 68-69-69-67, Robert Garrigus 66-69-71-67, Peter Uihlein 65-70-69-69, Martin Piller 69-63-71-70


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