IRVING, Texas (AP) — Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth were teenagers playing at Byron Nelson’s tournament before they became Masters champions.
Garcia, now the reigning Masters winner and defending Nelson champ, was only 19 when he shot a 62 in his first round as a pro at the 1999 Nelson. Spieth was a baby-faced 16-year-old high school junior when he teed off as an amateur in 2010. He wound up tied for 16th in the hometown PGA Tour event he had regularly attended with his dad.
“My first tee shot that I hit out here is tough to beat,” said Spieth, now the sixth-ranked player in the world.
This week’s Nelson will be the last at TPC Four Seasons, ending the tournament’s 35-year run in Irving, Texas. The new links-style Trinity Forest Golf Club south of downtown Dallas becomes the Nelson’s host next year.
“Obviously I’m going to be sad to leave here,” Garcia said. “A little piece of heart is always going to stay here no matter where we go.”
Garcia beat Brooks Koepka in a playoff last year to become the first two-time winner since Irving became the Nelson’s home in 1983. Spieth’s best finish is still his debut in 2010, two years before turning pro.
Before Nelson died in 2006 at age 94, he was a constant presence at the tournament with a seat at the 18th green, there…