Future Kansas State golfer Levi Valadez
DALLAS, TX (June 30, 2016) -- Levi Valadez of San
Antonio won a one-hole playoff against Plano’s Parker
Coody to win the prestigious Byron Nelson Junior
Championship at venerable Lakewood Country Club.
Valadez, who has committed to Kansas State, was
the 36-hole leader and looked poised to win going away
after he took a commanding three-shot lead with six
holes to play. However, the leaderboard got a little
tighter when Valadez doubled-bogeyed the par-4 16th.
His lead diminished to one shot, and that advantage
remained until the final hole.
After an errant tee shot, Valadez found himself in the
trees. His approach to the 18th green landed in the
This left the door slightly open for Coody who was
just one back. Valadez hit a nice bunker shot and was
about 10 feet away from the hole. If he knocked it in,
he would’ve become champion without any drama.
However, that was not the case. Valadez bogeyed his
final hole and Coody made par, so the champion would
have to be decided in a playoff. Valdez finished with a
1-over 72 in the final round. Coody posted 1-under 70.
The Coody family is no stranger to playoffs at the
Byron Nelson Junior Championship. His twin brother
Pierceson lost to Lewisville’s Ryan Grider last year in
extra holes. Pierceson was proved to be valuable as a
caddie for his brother today.
On the other side, Valadez had to regroup after
giving up his lead on the final hole. His caddie, K-State’s
Ben Fernandez, gave Valadez some calming advice.
“My caddie just told me to slow down and take
deep breaths and you know, it’s in the past you can’t
really change it so I was just looking forward from
there,” Valadez said.
The playoff would consist of replaying the 18th hole
until one player became champion. Valadez just needed
one extra trip on the downhill par 4.
After Coody three-putted for a bogey, Valadez was
left with a short putt for par. He made no mistake this
time and rolled it in to become the 2016 Byron Nelson
“I came out here and I played really well,” Valadez
said. “I had one bad hole on the back nine but besides
that I had a lot of fun today so I was happy.”
It should be no surprise that Valadez won this
tournament. He just came off another win at the Patrick
Reed Junior Championship down in The Woodlands. Not
a bad summer.
“I just came off a win in the Woodlands so I was
pretty confident with my game,” Valadez said. “I just
knew if I hit decent shots and got on the green, I was
putting confidently and I think that was a very big
determining factor in this win.”
As for Coody, he has a bright future ahead of him.
Although only juniors in high school, he and his brother
already have committed to play at the University of
On hand to watch the dramatic finish was Peggy
Nelson, the late Byron Nelson’s wife. Peggy tries to
make it to every Byron Nelson Junior event. She said
she keeps coming because of all the young talent.
“I have been coming out here to watch the boys
play and getting to know [Jordan Spieth] a little bit
when he was playing three years in a row. It’s really fun
to see,” Nelson said. “The boys are all not only well
trained in terms of golf but they’re so polite and such
good examples for other kids coming up behind them to
emulate and to enjoy playing this great game.”
Nelson has already planned to be in attendance for
next year’s Byron Nelson Junior Championship which is
sure to be another great tournament.
Shaui Ming Wong from The Woodlands finished in
third place at 5-under 208. Beshoory Pryce of Pearland
was fourth at 4-under 209. Flower Mound’s Dawson
Lewis took fifth place at 3-under 210.
View results for HP Byron Nelson Junior Championship