Wetterich gets first Tour win


IRVING, Texas (AP) – Brett Wetterich was clearly frustrated, tossing his putter toward his bag and slamming a plastic bottle into a garbage bin. Then he made another bogey to drop two strokes off the lead.

The emotions had changed 13 holes later, when Wetterich pumped his arms into the air and smiled after his final putt Sunday to win the Byron Nelson Championship for his first PGA Tour victory.

Wetterich’s closing 2-under 68 put him at 12-under 268, a stroke better than Trevor Immelman, a runner-up again after losing in a playoff to Jim Furyk at the Wachovia Championship last week.

The $1.116 million winner’s check for Wetterich nearly matched the $1.3 million he had won in 80 PGA Tour starts since 1998. He’s the fifth first-time tour winner this season. The 32-year-old Wetterich also had top-10 finishes in New Orleans and Houston.

Omar Uresti (68) and Adam Scott (71) finished two strokes back at 10 under, and Chad Campbell (69) followed at 9 under. Shigeki Maruyama, the 2002 Nelson champion, had four birdies the last six holes in a round of 66 that got him in a tie for sixth at 8 under with Luke Donald (68).

After Wetterich’s approach to the 425-yard No. 4 landed in a frontside bunker, he blasted to 2 feet only to push the putt more than a foot past the hole. He disgustedly tossed his putter to the bag – not a first this week – and walked to the tee at the 181-yard No. 5, where he took a drink and disposed of the bottle.

Wetterich then missed the green and pushed a 9-foot par putt past the cup. That put him at 9 under, two strokes behind playing partners Immelman and Adam Scott, the co-leader the first three rounds whose troubles were still ahead.

When Wetterich curled an 8-foot birdie into the cup at the 183-yard 13th, he was tied with Immelman, who also birdied.

But two holes later, Immelman’s drive was deep into the right rough and his approach at the par 4 was well left of the hole on way to a bogey. Wetterich parred and led the rest of the way.

After Wetterich put his tee shot at No. 18 in the fairway, Immelman pulled his well right – and it bounced into the new lake there. After taking a penalty drop, Immelman managed to save par after an approach to 6 feet. But Wetterich needed only a tap-in par for the victory.

Immelman, the 26-year-old South African, missed a chance for the win last week when he only needed to two-putt form 50 feet on the final hole. He ran his first attempt 10 feet by the cup, then missed the par chance and lost the playoff on the same hole a few minutes later.

Scott held the 54-hole lead in three other PGA Tour events, and won each time. That included two years ago when at 23 the Australian became the youngest winner at The Players Championship.

Not this time.

After needing a 78-foot chip shot to save par at the 533-yard No. 7, Scott also pitched over the green the next two holes to start a stretch of three straight bogeys. He was 8 under after a 5-foot par putt rolled around the cup without falling at No. 10. His 16-foot birdie attempt at No. 11 caught the left edge before sliding past the hole.

With four birdies his first eight holes Saturday, Scott built a four-stroke lead before finishing the third round with three bogeys his last seven holes and tied for the lead. He had a 23-hole stretch without a birdie after No. 10 on Saturday, through No. 16 in the final round.

Scott was still tied for the lead until Immelman made up for an earlier bogey and got to 12 under with his second straight birdie, just missing a 12-foot eagle chance at No. 7.

Uresti made the most of the sponsor exemption that allowed him to play. He had only his second top-10 finish in 60 tournaments – tied for sixth at Nelson last year – since tying for 10th at the 2004 season opener in Hawaii.

Divots: Vijay Singh, No. 4 in the world and the highest-ranked player in the field, closed with a 73, a round that included an eagle, three straight birdies, a triple bogey, a double and three other bogeys. He was finished at 283. … A first-round leader has gone on to win the Nelson only twice: Mark Hayes (1976) and Tom Watson (1980). Scott was tied for the lead after each of the first three rounds, with someone different each time. … Tour rookie Charley Hoffman was at 10 under before a bogey at No. 13, followed by a double bogey when his approach shot at No. 14 found the water. He still finished tied for eighth, his third top-10 finish.