Aaron Wise is only 21, but he is playing like a grizzled veteran.
Wise, who grew up in Lake Elsinore in Southern California, posted a bogey-free 6-under-par 65 to earn his first PGA Tour victory by three strokes over Marc Leishman of Australia in the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas.
“It’s awesome to win like this,” said Wise, who captured the 2016 NCAA individual title as he helped Oregon win the national championship. “Now I can play in the majors, set my own schedule (with a two-year exemption on the circuit).
“It’s a dream come true, and I had the self-belief, it was always there, but to do it today is amazing. I was oddly very calm all day; I was more nervous yesterday. It’s just incredible to get this win.”
Wise, who won three times on minor-league pro tours and tied for second two weeks ago in the Wells Fargo Championship, collected six birdies in seven holes through No. 10 and closed with eight consecutive pars to record a score of 23-under 216.
Leishman, who has won three times on the PGA Tour, carded a 68 and finished second after holding at least a share of the lead following each of the first three rounds after opening with a career-record 61.
J.J. Spaun of Los Angeles and San Diego State sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole to complete a bogey-free 63 that left him four shots back in a tie for third with Branden Grace of South Africa, who holed a 67-foot bunker shot for eagle on the 14th hole en route to a 62, and Keith Mitchell, who holed a 25-foot eagle putt at No. 7 on his way to a 63.
Kevin Na of Diamond Bar, jarred an 83-foot eagle putt at No. 14 while shooting 68 to wind up seven down in a tie for sixth with Jimmy Walker, who totaled 67, and Ryan Blaum, who finished with a 66.
Adam Scott of Australia, the 200x Byron Nelson champion, put up a bogey-free 65 and wound up eight strokes behind in a tie for ninth with Charles Howell III, who had a 66, and Kevin Tway, who came in at 67.
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, ranked ninth in the world, tied for 16th after a 66, while third-ranked Jordan Spieth, a Dallas native, closed with a 67 to finish in a tie for 21st that included defending champion Billy Horschel, who also had a 67.
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