Brendon Todd needed only 99 putts over the weekend to win the Byron Nelson Championship, his first PGA Tour title. He has confidence in his short game, but he played so well it was hard for him to believe.
“At times I just was thinking how amazing my short game was,” Todd said Monday morning. “I was reading the greens so well, and it just kept happening. I think I made every putt I took from 10 feet in.”
He shot rounds of 68-64-68-66 – 266 to top Mike Weir by two strokes and earn a $1,242,000 payday.
Todd, a three-time N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A champion while at Green Hope High, was magnificent on the TPC Four Seasons course in Irving, Texas. He played the final round with all birdies and pars and has played 31 consecutive holes without a bogey. He made a 14-foot putt for par on the 165-yard No. 17, chipped in from a bunker at No. 2 and dropped a 14-foot putt for birdie at No. 5.
Todd’s most unusual shot was at the 185-yard No. 13 after his ball settled at the base of a tree. He grabbed a 4-iron and hit left-handed. He struck the ball with the back of the iron and it rolled to within 7 feet to set up a par-saving putt.
“It was the only shot I had,” he said. “I had no idea how hard to hit it so I lined it up and just whacked it.”
The win brings an invitation to the Masters and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. Todd twice within the past five years has dropped to the Web.com tour to regain his PGA card.
“I’m as proud of Brendon as I could be,” said Charlotte’s Martin Todd, Brendon’s father. “He has really worked hard. It hasn’t been easy. It has taken him a little bit longer than some others.”
He has been outstanding this year and credits the work he has done with teaching pro Scott Hamilton. Todd has three top-10 finishes and six finishes among the top 25. He has made the cut in 14 of the 17 events he has entered and has banked $2,092,863 in winnings.
Todd is the eighth first-time winner on the tour this year.
“My consistency from green to tee has allowed my short game to get me under par,” he said. “Getting the spot in the Masters is a dream come true. Even back when I was at Green Hope, I was thinking about playing in the Masters sometime. Going to the Masters is the coolest part.”
Todd won NCHSAA 4A titles in 2000, 2002 and 2003, leading Green Hope to the team title in 2003. He outdueled future U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson of Broughton for the titles in 2002 and 2003.