May 18, 2014

Nelson notes: Teenager Scheffler beats forerunner Spieth by two strokes

Scottie Scheffler finishes in a tie for 22nd to outdo Jordan Spieth, who twice played the Byron Nelson as a teenager.

Dallas teenager Scottie Scheffler, a senior at Highland Park High School, finished the HP Byron Nelson Championship in a tie for 22nd, shooting a 4-under 276 total in his first PGA Tour event.

Scheffler, an amateur, received a sponsor’s exemption into the field.

Jordan Spieth tied for 16th as an amateur in 2010, but bragging rights Sunday went to Scheffler. Spieth finished two shots back at 278, a tie for 37th. Both shot 2-under 68 on Sunday.

“I think if I was playing on the tour this year, he’d beat me a couple more times,” Scheffler said.

Scheffler would have made $62,198.57 as a pro. He has signed to attend the University of Texas, where Spieth spent a year and a half before turning pro.

“Jordan told me I’d be mad when I get down to Austin that I couldn’t make all that money,” Scheffler said. “I guess I’ll be mad then, I’m not too sure now.”

Scheffler also has accepted a sponsor’s exemption to the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, June 5-8.

The good old days

Spieth continued his pro struggles at the Nelson. He tied for 68th last year as a PGA Tour rookie.

“I could have shot 6 under today pretty easily on a course that doesn’t suit my game very well,” said Spieth, 20, whose 68 Sunday included a bogey at No. 3. “It’s tough for me to get off to a good start the first four holes on this course, and it always has been.

“No, it’s a tough week, with wanting to play so well on a course that I have more experience than anywhere else.”

The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial this week suits his game much better.

“Colonial is one of my favorite tracks of the year,” he added. “I think it’s an awesome golf course, and if I can get out there and get comfortable on those greens, they felt good this week.”

Red River rivalry

Former Longhorns star Speith was paired Sunday with Oklahoma graduate and former Mansfield High School star Martin Flores.

“I asked him what he was going to wear and he said orange. I told him I don’t have anything that color,” Flores said with a grin.

Flores and all family members wore Sooner crimson, even his dad, Marty, who pitched for the 1975 NCAA-champion Longhorns baseball team.

“I think when it comes to anything where he’s going to root for me, he doesn’t mind,” said Martin, who finished at 2-over 282.

Partner perils

Steve Marino, who was paired with Fort Worth resident J.J. Henry for the final round, posted a 7-over 42 on the front nine Sunday and would finish alone in last place at 9-over 289.

“We’re all professionals and he wasn’t feeling too well,” said Henry, who finished 73-282. “It was just one of those deals where he had a bad day. It was tough out there.”

Correspondent Travis L. Brown contributed to this report.

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