Korea’s An and Kim shine with top-5s as Pendrith wins THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson

Hun AnKorea's Byeong Hun An and S.H. Kim made it a memorable week by claiming tied fourth finishes at THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson on Sunday, with Taiga Semikawa of Japan also beaming with delight following a career-first PGA TOUR top-10.

An, 32, enjoyed a glorious finish with five birdies over his closing seven holes for a 6-under 65 and 20-under 264 total at TPC Craig Ranch, which was matched by Kim who fired a stellar 64 following a birdie-eagle conclusion in the US$9.5 million PGA TOUR showpiece where Korean conglomerate, CJ Group, is the title sponsor.

It was An’s fourth top-10 of the season which moves him up one rung to eighth place on the FedExCup points list while Kim savoured a first top-10 of the year. Canadian Taylor Pendrith claimed his maiden PGA TOUR title by a single stroke from Ben Kohles of the U.S. with a final round 67 giving him a winning 23-under total.

Japanese rising star Semikawa, competing on a sponsor’s exemption, also impressed with a second 64 of the week which propelled him to a share of ninth place on 18-under. Compatriot Ryo Hisatsune (64) and Si Woo Kim of Korea (67) were a further stroke back in tied 13th place.

An traded seven birdies against a lone bogey as he put on another impressive finish despite playing with a sore wrist. "I was short by only a few shots, but I gave it my all. Despite not being at 100 percent, I managed to play consistently, which I'm happy about," said An. "I'm especially satisfied with my performance in the latter half of the tournament. I created some opportunities. I hope to maintain this momentum next week (Wells Fargo Championship). My wrist is feeling good at the moment. I was struggling at Harbor Town last week, but it's much better now."

S.H. Kim, featuring in his second season on the PGA TOUR, was finally able to crack a smile and after achieving his best result of the season so far. The highlight of his day came with an eagle on the par-5 18th hole as he executed a precise second shot that landed 12 feet from the pin. "I had a good start on the first hole. There was quite a gap with the leader, so I just wanted to maintain my game. Overall, I'm happy and satisfied," said Kim, who made birdies on Hole Nos. 1, 6, 9, 10, 14 and 17, all from within eight feet.

"I struggled with my iron shots and putting for a while, but I saw improvement in this event. My putting wasn't too bad, although I experienced some ups and downs. This week, I felt confident reading the greens. I'm happy with this result and feel confident now. I know I still have a long way to go, but this week has set the tone for the rest of my season," he added.

Like An and Kim, Semikawa also made a late surge up the leaderboard, picking up five strokes in his last five holes, which included a chip-in eagle on the sixth hole after starting his day from the 10th tee. The 23-year-old, who is a four-time Japan Golf Tour winner, earned a spot in the Myrtle Beach with his top-10 finish.

“A 7-under round with two bogeys, so it's hard to be too disappointed. I was pleased to birdie No. 5, and on the sixth, I focused on getting my second shot close to give myself a birdie opportunity. Luckily, it hit the pin and dropped in (for eagle). No. 7 was challenging, so securing a birdie there felt good," said Semikawa, who is a former world No. 1 amateur.

Pendrith, 32, made history as the first Canadian to win THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson, securing a victory with a composed birdie on the final hole, one ahead of Kohles who had led made a bogey. "I've never had a putt to win a PGA TOUR event, so my caddie said this is the straightest putt we've had all year and just knock it in. It managed to slip in the left. I'm pretty happy,” said Pendrith.