Steven Bowditch rode his best birdie binge on the PGA Tour to a five-under-par 64 and a four-shot victory Sunday in the AT&T Byron Nelson in Irving, Texas, winning in the Australian's adopted home for his second career title — both in Texas.
Bowditch, who got married at the resort next to the TPC Four Seasons five years after attempting suicide at his Dallas home while battling depression in 2006, had 27 birdies while becoming the seventh player to lead all four rounds of the event. He finished at 18-under 259 on the rain-altered layout.
Playing with Bowditch in the final group, Dustin Johnson briefly overtook him early in the round before making an 8 at the par-four sixth. He finished at 11 under with a 69.
A sunny day wrapped up two otherwise soggy weeks of golf in Dallas area, including a five-inch overnight downpour after the first round of the Nelson that turned one of its toughest holes — the par-four 14th — into a pitch-and-putt par 3 of barely 100 yards for the final three rounds.
While birdies were the norm after easy wedge shots from what might normally be a drop area in front of a greenside pond, Bowditch had to save par from about 12 feet to keep a three-shot lead, pumping his right fist after the ball dropped in.
The temporary tee box was about 20 yards farther back Sunday, and tour officials believe par of under 70 was a first according to records going back to 1983. The overall par total was 277.
Up by three at the spectator-friendly 17th, Bowditch leaned like he thought his tee shot on the par three might go in the water to the right of the green. Instead, the ball landed safety on the back of the green, and Bowditch — who won the 2014 Texas Open in San Antonio — raised his putter as the ball birdie putt rolled in the punctuate the win.
Spieth had an opening birdie but quickly gave it back at the par-three 2nd. He went in the water twice for bogeys on the back nine, including on 17 a day after he gave big galleries that followed him all week their biggest thrill by almost hitting the pin on the fly on the 198-yard hole.
After getting within three shots of the lead halfway through the tournament, Spieth never did threaten and ended his streak of second-place finishes in all three previous Texas events this year. The 21-year-old Dallas player tied for 30th five years after finishing 16th in his first tour event as a 16-year-old amateur.
Johnson birdied two of the first three holes even though he missed the first four greens, but the erratic start caught up with him at No. 6. Johnson went out of bounds to the right off the tee, then way left into tall grass off the rough with his second tee shot. It took him three swings to get out on his way to a quadruple bogey.
Walker also held the lead on the front nine but missed short putts for par on 11 and 12. He tried to make a late run with an eagle chip at the par-five 16th and a birdie on 17, but Bowditch answered with birdies on both holes.
Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark won the Irish Open after a three-way playoff Sunday after his short winning putt on the first extra hole nearly lipped out before dropping.
Kjeldsen entered the final round with a two-stroke lead, but only managed a five-over 76 and finished in a tie with Eddie Pepperell of England and Bernd Wiesberger of Austria. All had a two-under total of 282 on the wind-swept, rain-battered Royal County Down in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, where just five of the 156 competitors finished the tournament under par.
The 40-year-old Kjeldsen took command of the playoff with a precision chip onto the narrow sloping green of the par-five, 525-yard 18th hole. Wiesberger's second shot came up short, while Pepperell twice found the rough to drop from contention.
Kjeldsen's putt from three feet circled the cup before dropping in.
Anna Nordqvist birdied the 16th and 17th holes to break out of the pack and went on to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway Township, N.J., by a stroke.
With her mother visiting from Sweden, the 27-year-old Nordqvist closed with a two-under 69 in windy conditions to finish at 8-under 205 at Stockton Seaview's Bay Course.
The former Arizona State player has five career LPGA Tour titles, winning twice each in 2009 and 2014.
Nordqvist made a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-4 16th to break a tie with France's Christel Boeljon and get to 8 under. Nordqvist hit her tee shot on the short par-three 17th to within eight feet to the left of the hole and drained that putt as well to move to two strokes in front.
With Boeljon, winless in five years on the LPGA Tour, missing an 18-inch birdie putt at the 18th while playing in the group ahead, Nordqvist was not hurt by a bogey at the last.
Boeljon was a career-best second after a 68.
Second-round leader Morgan Pressel, who fell out of the lead following a bogey-double bogey stretch on the front nine, tied for third at 5 under after a 73. Rookie Kelly Shon got within a stroke of the lead, but a tough finish dropped her to a 70 and a tie with Pressel.