AT&T Byron Nelson Championship
Date: May 28-31, 2015
Course: TPC Four Seasons Irving, TX
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Handicapper, Predictem.com
You know you have made it in the world of golf when the PGA Tour names an event after you. Currently, we have the Palmer Invitational and effectively the Memorial is Nicklaus event but once upon a time, the only golfer to have naming rights was Byron Nelson. The PGA heads to the Dallas area this week for another AT&T Byron Nelson Championship and as a former champion and course architect, there is little that Nelson hasnt done at TPC Four Seasons. Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson highlight a strong field that includes many players still looking to punch their ticket to the U.S. Open. Many top players have won here; names like Woods, Singh and Garcia, but Sang-Moon Bae and Brendon Todd have won here recently to prove this is a course that rewards great golf, not just great names.
TPC Four Seasons had previously shared the opening rounds with Cottonwood but has hosted the Nelson exclusively following renovations before the 2008 event. The 7,166 yard, par-70 course is a shotmakers layout and will provide some similar challenges to those seen at last weeks Crowne Plaza. The distance, or relative lack thereof, offers players many ways to attack this course but there is plenty of trouble lurking for loose drives and wayward approaches. Players are going to need a full complement of skills this week, including a good recovery game, and making birdies will be a necessity to keep up with what is traditionally a pretty fast scoring environment. You cant talk Texas golf without mentioning the wind or early summer weather in general and Mother Nature can always play a big part and turn this course quite difficult at times.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the players that we think are the best bets to win. We make some picks to win the event outright and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that that you can find at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Here are our picks to win the 2015 Byron Nelson Championship!
Jason Day (16 to 1 odds to win)
Im not against picking Jordan Spieth to win any event he enters right now but his value (roughly 4/1) isnt getting me all that excited so Id rather look for some bigger payouts that are attached to players like Day. He is the 2010 Nelson champ and he has two other top-10s here since. Day is making his first start since the PLAYERS Championship and has just one missed cut on the year. He is top-30 in key statslike greens hit, strokes gained-putting and ballstriking, adding up to the best overall birdie average entering the week. He isnt a true statistical standout in any category but has the 2ndbest all-around ranking, making him a good option for a course like TPC Four Seasons.
Brandt Snedeker (22 to 1)
We had bets riding on Snedslast week and he nearly paid off but ultimately finished a stroke back of Chris Kirk at the Crowne Plaza. Four Seasons has enough similarities to suggest that players that fared well last week should do so again so Brandt is another good call at a good value. Snedeker has a lot of solid tee-to-green ranks but really excels on the greens with several top-flight ranks with the putter. He is 3rdin strokes gained-putting, 9thin 1-putt percentage and adds a top-5 scrambling stat to help save those crucial pars. It seems like Snedeker is still a little off from the level that would have him in the conversation to win a Major but he is still plenty good to win multiple events during the regular season.
Charley Hoffman (33 to 1)
It always appears that Hoffman is just a break or two away from breaking through to the next level but it might also be his own shortfalls holding him back. Hoffman was in good position to win last week but a final round of 70 that included a couple of ill-timed mistakes held him back to a T10. There is nothing really to with a player like this other than keep betting him or avoid him entirely. I think this week is another good week to ride him as he has shown he can contend here (T8 in 2013) and he has five top-17s in his last eight starts, making the cut in all eight as well.Charley is longer than average and uses that length to hit a bunch of greens. His putting is statistically below Tour average but Hoffman simply makes a lot of pars and that inflates his simple putting average. In truth, Charley is an above average putter and can hang in most scoring environments as he sees plenty of birdie chances per round. His tendency to throw in one too many bogeys is his real Achilles heel but he is poised to win in the weeks when he can eliminate them.
Brooks Koepka (50 to 1)
Koepka has a win already on his 2015 record and his missed just one cut to this point. He is making his first start since The PLAYERS so he is plenty rested, in fact, I expect him to be chomping at the bit to get back out there. Koepkas stats compare very favorably to Jason Days, so that makes him a good analog pick for another that we think can make things happen. Koepka is 8thin distance, 37thin total driving, 5thin total putting and inside the top-16 in both birdies and scoring. His all-around is at 12thentering the week so there are few as well rounded as Brooks. He needs to add some veteran seasoning to his game to become a steadier factor but he can make a push in any given week.
Head to Head Matches
Picks to win based on final score after all four rounds. Check with your favorite online betting site for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Jimmy Walker v. Zach Johnson (pick to win: Johnson)
Walker is in the middle of another quality campaign so he makes it tough to bet against but TPC Four Seasons is more in Johnsons wheelhouse. Walker has the edge in length but that is of little matter on this par-70 and Johnsons edge in fairways will pay bigger dividends instead. Walker leads the Tour in strokes gained-putting but his sizable edge over Zach in that category only earns him a relatively small advantage in scoring average. If Walker were further ahead there, he could more easily cover up for some of the tee-to-green faults but Zach is poised to be a tough out for anyone this week and you can probably find him as the underdog in this match as well.
Ian Poulter v. Keegan Bradley (pick to win: Poulter)
As a former champ, Bradley should get some betting love but that win came a few years back when he was belly-putting his way to the top and he just hasnt made the transition to the standard putter yet. Bradley is 133rdin putting average entering the week, over 100 spots worse than Poulter and is behind Ian in birdies, scoring and scrambling as well. Poulter is rounding back into form after an uneven start to the season and he should be good this week on a course that wont penalize his relatively light power game. Bradley is still as good as ever when it comes to ballstriking but the putter isnt producing birdies at the rate he would like and saving those critical pars has been a problem as well.
Good luck and good golf!