Since the great Byron Nelson's passing, his tournament has become a tough one to call. Who will be able to maneuver his way around this extremely difficult test of golf? Check our picks inside.
The AT&T Byron Nelson
Fresh off of a very interesting Players Championship in which we saw the scoring go from very easy to nearly impossible, and back again to somewhere in the middle on Sunday, The Tour heads west to Irving, Texas and The TPC Four Seasons Resort for the 63rd edition of The Byron Nelson. Tour players were not thrilled with how things unfolded at TPC Sawgrass last week, primarily with the inconsistent conditions, and this week they are at a course that typically ranks one of the lowest on the list of courses they prefer on the schedule. The Nelson has a long history of storied champions, with Mr. Byron Nelson himself winning the inaugural event in 1944. Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Payne Stewart, Vijay Singh.. have all followed up that tradition with victories here but sadly when the great Byron Nelson passed away in 2006, the marquee names in the sport were no longer showing up to play in this tournament.
Since the heyday of this event passed, we have seen many competitors make this their first ever victory on Tour. That is understandable given the fact that there is not a real definitive set of skills that often translate into victory here at TPC Four Seasons. The tournament began being played at this particular course in 1995 and has undergone a couple of major redesigns since. Driving Accuracy does seem to be important with the course's tree lined fairways. Greens In Regulation is always an important asset to winning and it has been for many of the former champions at The Nelson. The course plays to a par of 70 and that means scoring on the plethora of par 4-holes will be important. If you look at how past winners did on the par 4's here, they all ranked very high in performance for the week. Another interesting fact when trying to handicap The Byron Nelson is that current form has not meant much. Many of your winners have come in here without a single Top 10-finish during the season, prior to this start. A crap shoot this week? Maybe. Let's see what the betting odds look like..
Jordan Spieth (7-1) at Bet365
One of only two top-10 ranked players in the world in the field this week is Spieth and he is coming off of a missed cut at The Players. Prior to that was his unraveling at The Masters down the stretch on Sunday. Will being back in his home state rejuvenate his game?
Dustin Johnson (8-1) at PaddyPower
Johnson is the other top ranked player in the field this week, along with Spieth. He had a solid week at TPC Sawgrass last week and comes in here with two straight Top-10 finishes at The Nelson, finishing 8th last year and 7th in 2014.
Matt Kuchar (15-1) at BetVictor
Kuchar has always played well here, having never missed a cut and recording a couple of Top-10's along the way. He finished 3rd last week at The Players, drives the ball very accurately, hits greens, scrambles very well, and is one of the best in Par 4 Scoring.
Sergio Garcia (20-1) at Coral
In 2004, Sergio Garcia won this event but his overall results have been haphazard, missing the cut three times as well. Garcia is normally one of the sharpest players in the field at The Players but he did not have his usual good week last week, finishing +2 and in 54th place.
Charley Hoffman (25-1) at Betfair
The San Diego native always seems to have an affinity for playing in Texas, winning The Valero Texas Open last month and finishing 2nd here at The Nelson last year. He has three other Top-10 finishes at Byron's place in addition to that in 2015.
Charl Schwartzel (25-1) at 888Sport
Schwartzel skipped The Players Championship last week and this will be his first return to action on Tour since The Masters where he was cut. This will be his fourth time playing at TPC Four Seasons, where he has a 78th, an 11th, and a 3rd place finish the last three seasons.
The Long Shots
Bryson DeChambeau (40-1) at BetVictor
DeChambeau exploded onto The Tour scene with a great week as an amateur at The Masters. He then turned professional and now must finish high enough in the earnings or FedEx Cup Points to earn his Tour card. He only has a handful of events left to do so and he will be gunning for a big finish this week.
Jimmy Walker (40-1) at Ladbrokes
Walker had an awful week at TPC Sawgrass last week, missing the cut and finishing nearly dead last on top of that. However, here is another Texas native that plays well in his home state, taking second here at The Nelson last year.
Lucas Glover (60-1) at William Hill
The former U.S. Open Champion has been playing pretty well as of late, including an 8th place finish two weeks ago at The Wells Fargo. He drives it straight, is number one on Tour in Greens In Regulation, is a great scrambler, and ranks 7th in Par 4 Scoring.
Zach Johnson (25-1) at Ladbrokes
Johnson is another guy who always seems to fare well in the state of Texas. He finished 5th here at The Byron Nelson last season. Last week at The Players, he was going along wonderfully before falling victim to the crazy conditions on Saturday when he shot 80. Without that he's probably looking at a Top-15 finish. He's been in the neighborhood plenty of times this season. As for my betting pick I think for my this is the week he gets the W.