Australia's Jason Day bagged his first PGA Tour win in just over five years after surging to a one-shot victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday following a blistering final-round of 62.
The 35-year-old's last tour victory came at the Wells Fargo Championship in May of 2018, but a birdie on the par-5 final hole at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, was enough to see him finish just ahead of South Korea's Si Woo Kim and American rookie Austin Eckroat with a winning total of 23 under par.
A relieved Day admitted afterwards he'd had some tough times over the last five years.
"It's been a struggling few years, five years since our last win," said the former World No 1.
"The way I played today was really special. I'm very pleased and happy with how things have progressed over the last couple of years -- 1,835 days to be exact," he said.
Day's form in recent years has been hampered by a persistent back injury, and he admits it wasn't always easy working through it.
"Just non-stop grinding and non-stop wanting to improve and to try and get better. A lot of injuries with my back... just trying to get through those three years, just trying to get through a tournament was difficult," he said.
"So, to be on the other side of it, to be healthy...really winning again. It's so good to be on the other side."
Day's nine-under-par round on Sunday had many highlights, including a string of three birdies from the third hole and a chip-in from 37 feet for a birdie on the par-4 12th.
Knowing he needed a birdie to win on the final hole, Day proved equal to the challenge thanks to a superb up-and-down from 80 feet, a beautiful wedge leaving him just a tap-in to secure victory.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 14, 2023
Eckroat could have forced a play-off with an eagle at the last, but he overcooked his approach and could only manage a birdie to finish tied for second.
"Everything was solid, and I really felt like I played well enough to win. It's just hard to beat a guy that goes out and shoots 9-under," said the 24-year-old, who was vying for his first PGA Tour title.
Taiwan golfer Pan Cheng Tsung of Taiwan matched Day's final round 62 to finish alone in fourth, one shot ahead of Scottie Scheffler, who closed with a well-played 65 but was left to rue a third-round 71 that likely cost him a chance at victory.
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