The clubs K.H. Lee used to win the 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
KH. Lee used a strong front nine and a timely eagle-birdie combo on the 12th and 13th holes Sunday to win the AT&T Byron Nelson for the second consecutive year, joining San Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson as the only champions to successfully defend their tournament titles.
Clearly TPC Craig Ranch suits Lee’s eye since there was not a hint at the start of the tournament that he would contend. Lee had had just one top-10 finish in 26 events since his Nelson victory last year and more specifically none thus far in the 2021-22 season in 16 starts. Cooling off somewhat (if you call 68-67 cooling off) after an opening 64, Lee ramped things up early on Sunday. On the front nine, he had a five-birdie showing that began with a 51-foot bomb at the second hole followed by a 17-footer for birdie at the third.
On the back nine, a 4-iron from 240 yards at the par-5 12th sent Lee sprinting to see the result, and it was worth the effort. The ball stopped a little more than four feet from the hole, setting up an eagle. Lee followed with a 9-iron from 168 yards to 14 feet on the par-4 13th and rolled that one in to give himself a two-shot cushion. It was enough to secure the win, thanks as well to a sporty up-and-down from an awkward lie on the par-3 17th and a closing birdie on 18.
Lee’s irons are Callaway’s X-Forged CB 21 model, but it was a Callaway Apex 4-iron (2019 model) with a True Temper X100 shaft that he used for the shot that led to eagle on 12. For the week, Lee ranked ninth in strokes gained/approach-the-green, picking up nearly five shots on the field.
Rogue ST Max/ST Max D/ST LS
WHAT IT DOES: Callaway has used its computer-driven, machine-learning platform to improve the “jailbreak” internal support structure in its woods for years. That system stiffens the body, directing more flex into the face. But high-speed computers are relentlessly smart, so the structure has been updated. Rather than two bars joining the crown and sole directly behind the middle of the face, the new frame is pushed to the extreme heel and toe. This frees up the center of the wraparound cupface for better flexing where most hits occur. The carbon-composite crown and an internal, forward tungsten weight produce a low center of gravity for higher launch with less spin. The internal weighting is used to produce three versions: the ultra-forgiving Max, the high-launching, slicer-friendly Max D and the low-spinning LS for players trying to flight their fairway woods down.
On the greens, Lee used an Odyssey O-Works 2-Ball Fang Black mallet putter that he put in the bag this week.
The week proved to play out exactly as Lee suggested after his opening round. Asked what about the course suits his game, Lee replied, “I think here is irons game, irons game needs to be good, and also putting, because a lot of guys [make] a lot birdie and eagle, so need to low under par,” he said. “I think here is irons and putting.”
Irons and putting and a repeat performance.
What K.H. Lee had in the bag at the 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Callaway Epic Max LS (Graphite Design DI 6X), 9 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST LS, 15 degrees
Hybrid: Titleist TS3, 19 degrees
Irons (4): Callaway Apex 19; (5-PW) Callaway X-Forged CB 21
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey O-Works 2-Ball Fang Black