IRVING -- There were plenty of active storylines when we arrived in Las Colinas just after noon on Sunday. The Nelson's marquee attraction Phil Mickleson (making his first appearance in five years) had four consecutive birdies on the front nine to move within striking distance of the lead. Fort Worth resident J.J. Henry recorded an ace on the fifth hole. Defending champion Keegan Bradley saw his title hopes vanish with a triple bogey on No. 11. Big names like Ernie Els, Matt Kuchar, Vijay Singh and Padriag Harrington were also in the mix.
And then there was Jason Dufner. Dufner fell to Bradley in a playoff in last summer's PGA Championship and won for the first time three weeks ago in New Orleans. Make that two wins in three events as Dufner drained a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to take home the HP Byron Nelson Championship title in dramatic fashion.
After seeing the thousands of fans that lined the fairways to catch a glimpse of Mickelson in action, we grabbed a shaded spot behind the 15th green with a great view of the approach shots and the pin. While fans were scolded for daring to pull out their iPhones as Lefty walked up the fairway prior to hitting his bunker shot, we did see Matt Kuchar (fresh off winning the Players Championship) stop to sign his golf ball and hand it to a young fan as he exited the green. DFW resident Ryan Palmer and fan favorite Andres Gonzales also took the time to high-five the green-side fans on their way to the No. 16 tee box.
Gonzales -- who got his invite to play the Nelson via the tournament's Twitter account -- is well known for his entertaining social media antics including calling out Tiger Woods to play practice rounds with him. For Sunday in DFW, he showed his cool side as he asked his followers who needed tickets and left them at Will Call. Gonzales finished T19 at -3 while donning red pants in honor of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.
Our next stop was the popular Club Ketel One under the Gold Stands that provided a perfect view of the 18th green. The air-conditioned club -- complete with flat screens, couches and a bevy of beautiful ladies -- is where I will be spending the majority of my time next May when the PGA TOUR returns to Las Colinas.
Another successful Nelson is in the books as the action heads 30 minutes west to Fort Worth for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
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