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Lee finishes fifth in Texas

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/05/2017

Danny Lee tees off on the 1st hole during the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament © Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports Danny Lee tees off on the 1st hole during the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament New Zealand golfer Danny Lee has grabbed his first top 10 finish of the season in taking fifth at the PGA Tour event in Irving, Texas.

Lee, ranked 125th in the world, had been floundering in 51st place after two rounds at the Byron Nelson Classic but backed up his third-round 64 with a two-under 68 in round four.

The 26-year-old Kiwi started slowly at TPC Four Seasons, bogeying two of his opening three holes.

But he regathered with a birdie at the par-five seventh, then picked up three more birdies through the back nine to finish on eight-under 272 across four rounds.

Lee shared fifth place with Americans Sean O'Hair and Bud Cauley, and South Korean Byeong Hun An, four shots astray of winner Billy Horschel, who beat Australian Jason Day on the first hole of a play-off.

Lee said afterwards that local knowledge had proven invaluable in recovering from his slow start.

"I know the courses out here very well - I live five minutes away from here, and today's wind direction was very tough for the first five holes," he said.

"I was just thinking even if I made even par for the first five holes, I had a good chance to finish top 10 this week.

"I started off kind of funky but I fought back and had a good finish."

It was a huge relief to finally record a good finish, Lee added.

"Thank God - it happened way later that I expected. I started off this season very, very poorly."

But he said a return to his previous coach and caddy, and the addition of a mental skills coach, had helped turn his form around.

"They've been supporting me very hard when I've been going through some tough times."

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