21-yo Wise wins, Leishman second at Byron Nelson

Rookie Aaron Wise fired a bogey-free six-under 65 to win the AT&T Byron Nelson by three strokes over Australian Marc Leishman on Sunday. It was Wise’s first career PGA Tour win, and it comes in just his 26th start.

Wise, who toured Australia as an amateur winning the 2016 Australian Master of the Amateurs, pocketed US$1,386,000 and gains a start at the 2019 Masters.

At 21-years-old, he became the second-youngest player to win the prestigious Byron Nelson, behind only Tiger Woods. Wise’s 23-under par total blitzed the previous scoring record of 19-under set by Rory Sabbatini at the par-70 TPC Four Seasons in Irving in 2009.

“It was just a great day for me,” said Wise. “I came out really solid. I’ve been hitting the ball amazingly all week and that continued today.”

WITB: Aaron Wise

  • Driver: Callaway Rogue (10.5º)
  • 3 Wood: Callaway Rogue (15º)
  • Driving Iron: Callaway X-Forged Utility (2-iron)
  • Irons: Callaway Apex 16 (4-iron), Callaway Apex MB 18 (5-PW)
  • Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50, 56, 60)
  • Putter: Odyssey O-Works Red V-Line Fang CH
  • Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

“I don’t think I’m anywhere near my prime, I hope. To get all this experience so early, it’s only going to help me down the road when I’m contending in a lot of golf tournaments.”

Aaron Wise Aaron Wise (Credit: PGA Tour)

Wise began the day with a four-shot playing alongside Leishman but was able to pull away from his opponent on a day hit by a four-hour weather delay, with four birdies in a row on holes seven to 10 to build a gap heading into the back nine that the Australian couldn’t manage to break.

Leishman – who produced a stunning opening round of 61 and was in the hunt for his fourth PGA Tour title – shot a final-round 3-under 68, one that included an eagle at the par-4 fifth and four birdies. But bogeys at the second, 10th and 15th holes wound up being the difference.

“I played good, yeah,” said Leishman. “I mean obviously, you know, at the start of the day I was wanting to win. I played with Aaron yesterday, played very well yesterday and he played extremely well today. He holed putts he needed to hole. I didn’t.”

It’s Leishman’s sixth finish of ninth or better this season, and his second solo runner-up, the first coming in October when he lost to Justin Thomas in a playoff at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges.

Leishman finished one shot clear of the fast finishing trio of Zimbabwe’s Brandon Grace and Americans J.J Spaun and Keith Mitchell, who tied third.

A bogey-free 65 from Adam Scott lifted him to a tie for 9th at 15-under, his first top-10 result in almost a year which gave the former Masters Champion some hope his game is on the mend following a string of missed cuts and a drop in his world ranking.

“It was a good final round, bogey-free, 65,” said Scott. “Not much to really complain about and lots of good solid stuff out there. I’ll play next week and try to prepare the best I can for the US Open.”

Former Australian Open champion Matt Jones played in the final group with Leishman and Wise but faded with an even-par 71 to be tied 13th at 13 under.

Geoff Ogilvy was tied 32nd, Cameron Percy and Rod Pampling tied for 70th while Robert Allenby was the last of those who made the cut after firing a 74.