AT&T Byron Nelson Championship Winners and History

AT&T Byron Nelson Championship Winners and History

AT&T Byron Nelson Championship Winners and History

One of just two PGA Tour tournaments named after a former player (the other, of course, is the Arnold Palmer), the HP Byron Nelson Championship is the ninth longest running active tournament on the PGA Tour schedule.

The tournament has its earliest origins in 1926 as the Dallas Open, won by MacDonald Smith. It then went on hiatus until 1944 when it reemerged as the Texas Victory Open. That tournament was played at Dallas’ Lakewood Country Club and was won by none other than Byron Nelson. The 1945 event was played at the Dallas Country Club, and was won by Sam Snead. Ben Hogan won at the Brook Hollow Golf Club in 1946. The longtime hosts of the tournament is the Salesmanship Club of Dallas and benefits the Salesman Club Youth and Family Centers.

No tournaments were held form 1946 until 1956, when two events were held in the same year . From 1958 – 1967, it was played at the Oak Cliff Country Club. In 1968, the Dallas Open Invitational was renamed The Byron Nelson Classic. It’s held that name—albeit with different title sponsors—ever since. The event currently is contested at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

For many years, Byron Nelson was a very real presence at his namesake tournament. Even in his final years—well into his 90s—Nelson could be seen in a pavilion overlooking the eighteenth green and greeting players as they finished.

Nelson, who had a reputation as one of the game’s true gentlemen, also has lent his name to two prizes which are awarded at the Byron Nelson Championship. The Byron Nelson Prize is awarded annually to a person or organization who “exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship, integrity and philanthropy that Byron Nelson personified.” It carries a $100,000 contribution to the recipient’s favorite charity. The 2010 winner is Tom Watson. Past recipients were Tom Lehman, Arnold Palmer and Ken Venturi.

In addition, the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Awards” recognize the achievements of junior golfers around the world who distinguish themselves with a high level of junior tournament play as well as excellence in academics, exceptional character and a commitment to community service.”

Both are fitting tributes to a man who was a giant in the sport. A quote from Nelson about the tournament says a lot about the man:

This tournament is the best thing that’s ever happened to me in golf. Better than winning the Masters or the US Open or eleven in a row. Because it helps people.

The Official Tournament website has the final word on Nelson’s legacy:

Byron Nelson’s accomplishments as a professional golfer were as impressive as his golf swing.

There is a reason why he was the first PGA professional golfer to have a PGA TOUR tournament named in his honor. Mr. Nelson won 54 career victories, including winning two Masters (1937 and 1942), two PGA Championships (1940 and 1945), and the U.S. Open (1939). He is one of only two golfers to be named “Male Athlete of the Year” twice by the Associated Press, and the World Golf Hall of Fame honored Byron Nelson in 2004 by featuring an exhibit entitled “Byron Nelson: A Champion…A Gentleman.”

While Mr. Nelson obtained the status as a world-class athlete, it was his humanitarian efforts that were truly first class. He was a champion for the underprivileged and gave his time, talents, and funds to make this a better world. Byron Nelson and the HP Byron Nelson Championship have raised more than $112 million for the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers, a nonprofit agency that provides education and mental health services for more than 7,000 children and their families in the greater Dallas area. Additionally, the Byron and Louise Nelson Golf Endowment Fund had provided over $1.5 million in endowment funds to Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. Another example of his service was his dedication to the Metroport Meals on Wheels which provides daily, home-delivered, hot lunch for the frail, elderly and chronically ill residents. Byron Nelson was an active honorary chairman since 1992.

A list of AT&T Byron Nelson Championship Winners follows:

Byron Nelson Championship Winners

YearPlayerCountryScoreTo parMargin
AT&T Byron Nelson
2017Billy HorschelUnited States268-12Playoff
2016Sergio Garcia (2)Spain265-15Playoff
2015Steven Bowditch Australia259 (par 69 for final two rounds due to flooding)-184 strokes
HP Byron Nelson Championship
2014Brendon Todd United States266-142 strokes
2013Bae Sang-moon South Korea267-132 strokes
2012Jason Dufner United States269-111 stroke
2011Keegan Bradley United States277-3Playoff
2010Jason Day Australia270-102 strokes
2009Rory Sabbatini South Africa261-192 strokes
EDS Byron Nelson Championship
2008Adam Scott Australia273-7Playoff
2007Scott Verplank United States267-131 stroke
2006Brett Wetterich United States268-121 stroke
2005Ted Purdy United States265-151 stroke
2004Sergio García Spain270-10Playoff
2003Vijay Singh Fiji265-152 strokes
Verizon Byron Nelson Classic
2002Shigeki Maruyama Japan266-142 strokes
2001Robert Damron United States263-17Playoff
GTE Byron Nelson Classic
2000Jesper Parnevik Sweden269-11Playoff
1999Loren Roberts United States262-18Playoff
GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic
1998John Cook United States265-153 strokes
1997Tiger Woods United States263-172 strokes
1996Phil Mickelson United States265-152 strokes
1995Ernie Els South Africa263-173 strokes
1994Neal Lancaster United States132 (36 holes)-9Playoff
1993Scott Simpson United States270-101 stroke
1992Billy Ray Brown United States199 (54 holes)-11Playoff
1991Nick Price Zimbabwe270-101 stroke
1990Payne Stewart United States202 (54 holes)-82 strokes
1989Jodie Mudd United States265-15Playoff
1988Bruce Lietzke (2) United States271-?9Playoff
Byron Nelson Golf Classic
1987Fred Couples United States266-14Playoff
1986Andy Bean United States269-111 stroke
1985Bob Eastwood United States272-8Playoff
1984Craig Stadler United States276-81 stroke
1983Ben Crenshaw United States273-71 stroke
1982Bob Gilder United States266-145 strokes
1981Bruce Lietzke United States2811Playoff
1980Tom Watson (4) United States274-61 stroke
1979Tom Watson (3) United States275-5Playoff
1978Tom Watson (2) United States272-81 stroke
1977Raymond Floyd United States276-82 strokes
1976Mark Hayes United States273-112 strokes
1975Tom Watson United States269-192 strokes
1974Buddy Allin United States269-154 strokes
1973Lanny Wadkins United States277-3Playoff
1972Chi-Chi Rodríguez United States273-7Playoff
1971Jack Nicklaus (2) United States274-62 strokes
1970Jack Nicklaus United States274-6Playoff
1969Bruce Devlin Australia277-31 stroke
1968Miller Barber United States270-101 stroke
Dallas Open Invitational
1967Bert Yancey United States274-101 stroke
1966Roberto De Vicenzo Argentina276-81 stroke
1965No tournament
1964Charles Coody United States271-131 stroke
1963No tournament ? Dallas hosted 1963 PGA Championship
1962Billy Maxwell United States277-74 strokes
1961Earl Stewart United States278-61 stroke
1960Johnny Pott United States275-9Playoff
1959Julius Boros United States274-101 stroke
1958Sam Snead (3) United States272-12Playoff
1957Sam Snead (2) United States264-2010 strokes
Texas International Open
1956Peter Thomson Australia267-13Playoff
Dallas Centennial Open
1956Don January United States268-121 stroke
1947-55: No tournament
Dallas Invitational
1946Ben Hogan United States28442 strokes
Dallas Open
1945Sam Snead United States276-124 strokes
Texas Victory Open
1944Byron Nelson United States276-810 strokes
Byron Nelson Championship Winners

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