The AT&T Byron Nelson is the next step on the Tour with the TPC Four Seasons hosting, albeit with a slight 'after the Lord mayor's show' about it. That does the tournament an injustice, especially when you consider the likes of world #1 Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and defending champion Sergio Garcia are all in contention.
Join us as we preview the runners and riders in our digest below; and suggest a couple of outsiders, including a 35/1 shot, that could cause a shock this weekend.
The AT&T Bryon Nelson | SS4, 12:10
Favourite: Dustin Johnson 9/2
The AT&T Byron Nelson is played at TPC Four Seasons, a Robert Trent Jones Jr-designed course that opened in 1983. It has gone through several redesigns but the course remains unpopular with players and it may cease to be a tour venue after this year, having been voted the worst course on the PGA tour in an anonymous vote by players.
Nevertheless, it is actually a par-70, 7,166-yard course that boasts tree-lined Bermuda grass fairways and eight water-hazard holes. Holes seventeen and eighteen have grandstands and can be particularly noisy and boisterous
The course doesn't really have a 'signature' hole exactly, but both the par-4 No.3 and No.15 are 500+yards and considered the hardest on a course which ranks 15th (out of 52) in terms of difficulty on the tour
With $7,300,000 up for grabs the winner collects a cool $1,314,000.
WEATHER: The weather forecast for the competition looks far from ideal: Thunderstorms are predicted for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and fairly windy, with gusts averaging around 15mph. Humidity will be high, with temperatures in the high 70s, so expect the flight of the ball to be affected. Obviously, this could cause interruptions, so be sure to keep an eye on the In-Play market, especially with StanJames' PLAYOFF REFUND INSURANCE.
Kaufman to leave us all smiling?
Jordan Spieth returns to his hometown and will want to put in a performance in front of his adoring home fans, especially after a season that promised so much has petered out. T6 at the World Challenge was followed by a T3 and 3rd at the Tourny of Champs and Sony Open, T9 at the Phoenix and a win at Pebble Beach and all seemed to be on the up-and-up for the 23-year-old 'veteran'. However, a spate of mid-order finishes culminated in his missing the cut at the Houston Open. The Players aside, he seems to have refound his pep, however, with a T11 at the Masters and a fourth in Zurich and it is easy to see why he's being backed at 12/1, the joint second favourite.* That said, he's looked under pressure recently and the expectation of a home crowd could get to him, which is why we'll give him a swerve this time out.
Instead, our first pick is the enigmatic Beyeong-hun An, who we tipped for the WGC HSBC Champions a while back. The same is true now as was then: " He certainly has the length for the course and his accuracy on the green will come into play with these undulating greens." Sawgrass is a course designed for bombers, but it also demands accuracy, something in which the 26-year-old South Korean has in abundance. He also has a calm, level-headed temperament, having contested a play-off in just over a dozen starts on the PGA Tour. He finished a respectable T8 at Wells Fargo and then skipped the Players, so he should arrive fresh and ready for battle. Given his ability, the 40/1 on offer looks big to us, so we'll have an each-way nibble, especially given the fact StaJames are paying 1/4 the odds SIX places!*
Next up is Smylie Kaufman, another we've had tentative nibbles at in recent weeks, but who seems ideally suited for this course. The 25-year-old is coming into form, as his T12 at The Players and fifth at Wells Fargo shows. Although he looks about ten and like he wouldn't hurt a fly, this Alabama native can knuckle down with the best gunslingers out there and seems to have that glint in his eye at the moment. Yet to play this course, he averages 300 yards off the tee and can hit a silver dime in mid-air. Saddle up, pardner: 60/1.*
Lastly, we're going for a 27-year-old who has flirted with us, only to leave us wanting more. Tony Finau, the Utah native is a player who can disappoint and frustrate, for sure, but on his day he's a match for many of the more-fancied runners in this field. He's got all the tools to do a job here: he smashes it off the tee and has a good eye around the green. He likes the Texan air, finishing T3 at the Valero Open recently, and could mount a serious challenge this time round. 35/1, for the each-way thief amongst us!
- 2016 - Sergio Garcia
- 2015 - Steven Bowditch
- 2014 - Brendon Todd
- 2013 - Sang-Moon Bae
- 2012 - Jason Dufner
Whoever you're backing, don't forget StanJames are offering our famous ACCA Insurance on the AT&T Byron Nelson and/or Rocco Forte
*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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