The Four Seasons Hotel in Irving played host as usual for the annual Byron Nelson Championship this weekend, seeing a flood of golfers, avid fans, celebrities and those wishing to mingle with the glitterati poolside or in air conditioned villas. A premiere location on the US PGA Tour, the Nelson’s 43rd event was held May 17-23, with Australian Jason Day earning the win by two strokes, making it his first PGA Tour title. It’s quite a surprise, considering Day’s iffy health throughout the tour, which lead him to actually pull out of a tournament back in March.
Known as one of the longest running tournaments on the PGA Tour and definitely the most successful charity event, the Byron Nelson has seen champions like Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. But the headliners this year were a little more ripe. Jason Day is only 22 years-old and walking with the Nelson championship, but it was Jordan Spieth who garnered the most attention, fighting off older contendors at the mere age of 16. What it must feel like to be beaten by someone who can’t even enjoy a cold one–or vote, for that matter–must rub at least some the wrong way.
Not to shy away from the real news, however, the golf at the Byron Nelson being only about half as important as the social scene. Celebrity spottings included Tony Romo (who tried out for the Nelson but failed,) and Miles Austin (who had a gaggle of girls following him around the Pavillion), among others. Pat Green played to a large, clamoring crowd on Friday evening. Badges and tickets were worn like flair, not so much for security as for onlookers who didn’t have the all-access villa passes, so there were often suppressed sneers or nods of approval. Golf in Texas, after all, is akin to the horse races of the East Coast.