Luke Dossey Wins Bryon Nelson Junior Championship
Luke Dossey Wins Byron Nelson Junior Championship
DALLAS – Luke Dossey stood on the first tee box Thursday at Lakewood Country Club with a one-shot lead in the Byron Nelson Junior Championship. His older brother and caddie, Cooper, wrapped his arm around him minutes before his opening tee shot. Nearly five hours later, Dossey was embraced by his older brother once again. This time on the 18th green as the 2017 Byron Nelson Junior Champion.
“It means a lot,” Dossey said. “There are a lot of great names up on that champions board and just to join them is really special.”
Dossey, 17, opened his final round with three straight pars; however, bogeys on the par-5 fourth and par-3 fifth quickly dropped him into a share for the lead. Not fazed, Dossey birdied three of his closing four holes to card 1-under 35 on the front side. He made the turn with a one-shot lead over Nathan Petronzio of Austin.
Petronzio, 15, showed the most poise early. The rising sophomore at Lake Travis High School closed his bogey free front nine with an 8-foot birdie on the par-5 ninth.
Sam Bennett of Madisonville was the third member of the final group. He bogeyed three of his first five holes, but birdied the par-4 sixth and the par-3 seventh to turn in 1-over 37.
The back nine became the story of Dossey versus Bennett. Petronzio played steady, but the pin-seeking display from the future Big 12 opponents was unmatched. Bennett made the first move with back-to-back birdies on the par-4 11th and par-3 12th. Dossey responded. He joined Bennett for birdie on the par-3 14th and again on the par-4 15th.
Dossey, a 2019 Baylor commit, led Bennet, a 2018 Texas A&M commit, by one shot heading into the final three holes. Bennett parred 16. Dossey parred 16. The leaderboard was untouched with two holes to play.
Bennett made some noise on the par-5 17th. He played his third shot from underneath a tree to within inches and proceeded to tap in for birdie. Dossey would have the chance answer with a birdie of his own. Just two and a half feet separated his ball from the hole. He stroked back and through. The ball caught the right edge of the cup and spun out. Bennett and Dossey were tied at 4-under-par for the tournament heading into the final hole.
Both found the fairway on the par-4 18th and spun their approach shots off the green and down the false front. Dossey and Bennett stood over similar chip shots for their third. Dossey played first and left himself four feet for par. Bennett’s chip ran out past the pin to just under 10-feet.
Bennett missed his par putt. Dossey immediately received some words of encouragement from his older brother. He stepped up to the ball, gave it one last look and poured in the biggest putt of his young golf career.
“When I three-putted for par on 17 my heart just sunk,” Dossey said. “He (Cooper) just told me your still in this and just go hit a good shot and that’s what we did.”
Dossey joins PGA Tour winners Jordan Spieth and Cody Gribble along with a host of other talented past champions of the Byron Nelson Junior Championship.
Petronzio carded a final round 1-under 70 to clinch solo third overall. Jack Randle of The Woodlands, Trey Bosco of Austin, Turner Hosch and Sam Clayman of Dallas, Paul Gonzalez of Waxahachie, Jansen Smith of San Angelo and Houston’s Grant Lincecum rounded out this year’s top ten.
Peggy Nelson congratulated each of the top-10 finishers and presented the Byron Nelson Junior Championship trophy to Dossey. She expressed her gratitude for Lakewood Country Club, the Legends Junior Tour and the entire 2017 field.
The Legends Junior Tour extends its warmest and most sincere appreciation to the staff and members of Lakewood Country Club, as well as our volunteers, for their integral part in making the 2017 Byron Nelson Junior Championship a memorable and successful event. For more information about this championship click here.