Steven Bowditch may have run away with the AT&T Byron Nelson this past weekend, but the real MVP was the grounds crew of TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas. Many golfers withdrew from the tournament earlier in the week and it was probably a good call. The Dallas-Fort Worth area had the wettest month in history and the course itself saw 9.85 inches of rain fall over the week, so to say the course was soggy would be an understatement. Tiny fish were seen flopping around the fairways on Friday morning, beer cases were being swept away from concession stands, and there was even an 18-inch carp swimming around in a greenside bunker. Friday and Saturday also saw two consecutive days of 3 hour delays as crews furiously tried to drain the sand traps of standing water and keep up with other needed maintenance suffered by the non-stop storms. The 14th hole is usually a 406-yard par 4, but was shortened in the beginning the second round to 100 yards, but remained a par 4 for part of the round. Gary Woodland had a hole in one on that hole, becoming only the second player in PGA TOUR history to have an ace on a par 4 (insert asterisk here). They then had enough sense to change the hole to par 3 in the middle of the round, dropping the overall par for the tournament to 69.
The AT&T Byron Nelson is a big event for the city of Dallas. The women use it as an excuse to get all dolled up while men use it as an excuse to get their drink on. One patron described it as “a party with a golf tournament going on,” so what better place for none other than Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, who stole the show on Saturday. Johnny Football was spotted in the crowd and one 18-year old took note. The young man reportedly pestered Manziel for his John Hancock for over two hours. Talk about persistence. After not getting his way, the youth began “trash talking” him before Johnny became visibly upset and started yelling at the fan. Manziel then threw a water bottle at the kid, luckily missing him, in which the kid replied “Hey, nice throw, Johnny.”
As for the hometown kid Jordan Spieth, he didn’t quite have the outcome he would have liked, finishing 7-under tying for 30th. The AT&T Byron Nelson is becoming one of the biggest tournaments on Spieth’s calendar, not only because he is the hometown hero, but he’s also AT&T’s newest icon. Where Tiger Woods has his own event with the Hero World Challenge, this is slowly becoming Spieth’s event and with that comes the responsibility of playing host. Spieth used his brand new $2.3 million pad as a motel for the weekend. He opened up his new Preston Hollow house to players Justin Thomas and Patrick Rodgers and his caddie Michael Greller and his wife.
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"“That’s the sole reason I got a new house so I can host some funny people this week. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve got Justin Thomas staying there, Patrick Rodgers and Michael my caddy. So, we’re having a good time. We’re going to have a great time. We’ll have the whole afternoon and evening tonight and morning tomorrow and it’s cool. We do rent places week to week. The only difference is now when they mess up in the house I get a little upset versus us trying to figure out how we clean it up.”"
Steven Bowditch joined fellow Australians
among the list of international winners at the Byron Nelson. Some would say this was Bowditch’s first win at TPC Four Seasons, but his wife Amanda would beg to differ. The 2015 winner is a resident of the area and got hitched at the resort in 2011, even taking their wedding pictures on the 18th green. “We took some wedding pictures here at TPC so it is a special place and I get to take some more pictures here,” said Bowditch. For a man who has suffered most of his life with clinical depression, this is certainly a happy ending for the Aussie.