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 AT&T 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:

YearPlayerScoreTo parMargin
AT&T Byron Nelson Winners
2020COVID
2019Kang Sung-Hoon261-232 strokes
2018Aaron Wise261-233 strokes
2017Billy Horschel268-12Playoff
2016Sergio Garcia (2)265-15Playoff
2015Steven Bowditch259 *-184 strokes
HP Byron Nelson Championship
2014Brendon Todd266-142 strokes
2013Bae Sang-moon267-132 strokes
2012Jason Dufner269-111 stroke
2011Keegan Bradley277-3Playoff
2010Jason Day270-102 strokes
2009Rory Sabbatini261-192 strokes
EDS Byron Nelson Championship
2008Adam Scott273-7Playoff
2007Scott Verplank267-131 stroke
2006Brett Wetterich268-121 stroke
2005Ted Purdy265-151 stroke
2004Sergio García270-10Playoff
2003Vijay Singh265-152 strokes
Verizon Byron Nelson Classic
2002Shigeki Maruyama266-142 strokes
2001Robert Damron263-17Playoff
GTE Byron Nelson Classic
2000Jesper Parnevik269-11Playoff
1999Loren Roberts262-18Playoff
GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic
1998John Cook265-153 strokes
1997Tiger Woods263-172 strokes
1996Phil Mickelson265-152 strokes
1995Ernie Els263-173 strokes
1994Neal Lancaster132 (36 holes)-9Playoff
1993Scott Simpson270-101 stroke
1992Billy Ray Brown199 (54 holes)-11Playoff
1991Nick Price270-101 stroke
1990Payne Stewart202 (54 holes)-82 strokes
1989Jodie Mudd265-15Playoff
1988Bruce Lietzke (2)271-?9Playoff
Byron Nelson Golf Classic
1987Fred Couples266-14Playoff
1986Andy Bean269-111 stroke
1985Bob Eastwood272-8Playoff
1984Craig Stadler276-81 stroke
1983Ben Crenshaw273-71 stroke
1982Bob Gilder266-145 strokes
1981Bruce Lietzke2811Playoff
1980Tom Watson (4)274-61 stroke
1979Tom Watson (3)275-5Playoff
1978Tom Watson (2)272-81 stroke
1977Raymond Floyd276-82 strokes
1976Mark Hayes273-112 strokes
1975Tom Watson269-192 strokes
1974Buddy Allin269-154 strokes
1973Lanny Wadkins277-3Playoff
1972Chi-Chi Rodríguez273-7Playoff
1971Jack Nicklaus (2)274-62 strokes
1970Jack Nicklaus274-6Playoff
1969Bruce Devlin277-31 stroke
1968Miller Barber270-101 stroke
Dallas Open Invitational
1967Bert Yancey274-101 stroke
1966Roberto De Vicenzo276-81 stroke
1965No tournament
1964Charles Coody271-131 stroke
1963No tournament ? Dallas hosted 1963 PGA Championship
1962Billy Maxwell277-74 strokes
1961Earl Stewart278-61 stroke
1960Johnny Pott275-9Playoff
1959Julius Boros274-101 stroke
1958Sam Snead (3)272-12Playoff
1957Sam Snead (2)264-2010 strokes
Texas International Open
1956Peter Thomson267-13Playoff
Dallas Centennial Open
1956Don January268-121 stroke
1947-55: No tournament
Dallas Invitational
1946Ben Hogan28442 strokes
Dallas Open
1945Sam Snead276-124 strokes
Texas Victory Open
1944Byron Nelson276-810 strokes
*par 69 for final two rounds due to flooding

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