Nelson Near-Miss Keeps Spieth Confident

McKINNEY — As Jordan Spieth’s quest for a hometown title at the AT&T Byron Nelson eluded him again on Sunday, at least the former Jesuit standout is getting closer.

His runner-up finish is Spieth’s best at the PGA Tour event in 11 appearances since debuting as a teenager in 2010. He concluded at 25-under par over four rounds at TPC Craig Ranch, one shot behind repeat champion K.H. Lee.

“I love playing at home. I would love to win it someday,” Spieth said after his final round of 5-under 67.  “I had a good chance here. But it would be nice to close one out.”

While he still doesn’t have his Byron Nelson trophy, Spieth’s play is trending upward heading into next week’s PGA Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prior to the local second-place finish, the Preston Hollow resident won his previous Tour start at the RBC Heritage in April in South Carolina.

On Thursday, he will begin his quest for the “Career Grand Slam,” hoping to add a PGA Championship trophy to his titles at The Masters (2015), U.S. Open (2015), and British Open (2017).

“Good momentum into next week, last two starts being a win and a second,” Spieth said, “but this one will sting just a little bit just looking back on the day.”

Spieth, 28, bounced back from an extended stretch of frustrating form with a solid 2021 season, where his triumph at the Texas Open near San Antonio was his first in almost four years. A week later, he tied for third at The Masters.

Overall, Spieth posted nine top-10 finishes in 25 starts last season — including five times in the top three — and that momentum has carried over. He was part of the winning U.S. team in the Ryder Cup in September and placed second at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.

He said he always enjoys the large and supportive galleries at the Byron Nelson. He also relished the opportunity to be paired again with former Highland Park star Scottie Scheffler during the first two rounds.

Scheffler, the top-ranked player in the world with four Tour victories already this season, wound up tied for 15th place at 19-under par in his fourth Byron Nelson start.

“We’re used to playing with each other,” Spieth said. “It’s a very familiar pairing. We play with each other throughout the weeks off in town.”

Spieth was encouraged by his near-miss at the TPC Craig Ranch, which hosted the tournament for the second straight year. It’s the same course where he secured his first top-10 showing at the event in 2021.

“I always want to play really well here. It’s obviously one that’s starred on the calendar as I’ve got so many of my friends that are able to come out,” Spieth said. “Maybe I can take a little confidence off the shifts in courses over the years and maybe this one’s the best fit for me.”

A few other pros with Park Cities connections missed the cut at the tournament, including Will Zalatoris, Kramer Hickok, and former HP resident Justin Leonard.

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