The AT&T Byron Nelson | Thursday 28 May - Sunday 31 May | TPC Four Seasons
In a rather surprising turn of events the golfing world will be focussing on the European Tour this week as Rory McIlroy seems to have managed to convince a number of the world’s best to make the journey to his home country for the Irish Open. That doesn’t mean that we can ignore the PGA Tour as although the quality of golf on display won’t measure up to that on offer in Europe, the Byron Nelson Championship still offers a lot in the way of value for astute golf punters. More often than not this event throws a few surprises our way and if you can find the value there’s a lot of money to be made at TPC Four Seasons. Sure, that’s easier said than done but armed with a bit of course knowledge things begin to look more manageable.
Measuring an impressive 7,166 yards (impressive for a par 70 layout that is), TPC Four Seasons features a number of water hazards and strategically placed bunkers which lie waiting to swallow wayward drives and approaches. In this respect the course is not that much different from most that you will find on the Tour but it seems that the greens are often the undoing of players. The large, undulating greens seem difficult to tame and although the obvious strategy seems to be to avoid that issue altogether and focus on ensuring you pick players who will hit it stiff more often than not, that will prove difficult. Rather, look for those who possess a solid tee to green game with a bit of emphasis on putting ability.
To Win Outright
Jordan Spieth 9/2
Dustin Johnson 12/1
Jason Day 16/1
Brandt Snedeker 25/1
Justin Thomas 30/1
John Huh (80/1 a win, 17/1 a place)
John Huh’s game looked to be in pretty decent shape last week as he managed to pull off an eighteenth-place finish against some pretty stiff competition and he looked especially good on Sunday as he shot a final round 64. With that in mind, he looks like he may be worth an each way bet here in a tournament that he’s managed a Top 10 and Top 20 in. He’ll be finding a lot of fairways this week, let’s just hope he capitalises on those and makes a few birdies.
Marc Leishman (40/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
Anyone can win this week and with the form that Leishman is in at the moment he looks as good a bet as anyone. He’s consistently found himself in the Top 20 this season and has even managed a couple of Top 5s, although he hasn’t yet managed to claim a victory. That could all change this week though and I can’t ignore the Aussie in this company. Each way is my bet here.
Gary Woodland (35/1 a win, 55/1 a place)
Gary Woodland has a lot going for him this week and although I doubt that I’ll ever back him at such short odds again, the 35/1 available actually looks a little too big against this field. Woodland is one of the form players participating this week and almost won the WGC Matchplay, although he was narrowly edged out in the final. He also looked in good form at Quail Hollow where he finished T4, about twenty shots behind runaway leader Rory McIlroy, who (thank goodness) won’t be here this week. This current form combined with his tournament form - he managed a Top 10 last year - make Woodland an appealing bet.
Keegan Bradley is arguably the weirdest golfer in the professional game and the fact that you have to watch him stalk his ball before every shot is almost enough to put you off backing him entirely. That’s not the case this week though as I’m sure I’ll be able to endure his strange mannerisms if he wins at 40/1. Sure, he doesn’t win a lot of golf tournaments but he does seem to excel in Texas and TPC Four Seasons seems to be a course that suits his game perfectly. At this price Bradley has to be backed this week.