The HP Byron Nelson Championship
Dates: May 26th29th, 2011
Course: TPC Four Seasons Irving, TX
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, Golf Picks Expert, Predictem.com
As the summer schedule gets into full swing, there are only a few tune-ups left before the seasons second Major and the PGA heads to Texas this week for the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Lord Byron welcomes the players to TPC Four Seasons and all are looking to not only grab a win, but also get ready for the U.S. Open. Jason Day is the defending champion and will face a capable field but one that is missing some of the very best in the game. Tiger Woods continues his knee and Achilles rehab this week and several of the top Euro Tour players are in attendance at the BMW Championship in England. That leaves this event wide open and any number of players have a shot to win this week. The Golf Channel has the early round coverage with CBS picking up the weekend finish.
The TPC Four Seasons will do its best to provide a Major-like challenge and low scores have been hard to come by recently. Last years winning total was 10-under par and the course has some of the hardest faiways to hit on Tour with the field finding the short grass less than 50% of the time in 2010 play. The first three holes on the 7,166 yard, par-70 layout are among the toughest starting three anywhere with a 450-yard par-4, a 220-yard par-3 and a 528-yard par-4 that measures just 20 yards shorter than both par-5s at the TPC. All that length combined with difficult greenside conditions for up and downs will require players to hit greens to avoid bogeys and par is a good score on many of the holes.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight a few players that we think have a shot at winning it all. We give you a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a few head to head matches that youd find at any golf sportsbook. Here are our picks to win the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship with odds and matches courtesy of the board at Bodog.
Short Favorite: Nick Watney (14 to 1 odds to win)
Watney is definitely in the mix for player of the year in 2011 with only one cut missed in ten starts and six top-10 finishes already. Nick comes off a T4 at the PLAYERS and looks to gain his second win on the season. The real good element of Watneys game this week is that he is long and straight off the tee. Bombers tend to miss a lot of fairways, but Nick ranks 16th in distance and hits enough fairways to be 4th in total driving. That mixed with a 14th rank in greens hit and a 17th ranked putter is a lethal combination and its no wonder how this player has top-10 marks in birdies, scoring and all-around.
Middle of the Road: Brian Gay (25 to 1 odds to win)
If you could create a golfer that would be perfect to win at this course, you would come up with one that is pretty much like Brian. Gay is 1st on Tour in fairways hit and scrambling, which are two of the most important aspects to scoring at TPC Four Seasons. Add in his Texas roots and you can see why he has two top-10s in his last three starts here, including a T2 last year that included a final round 63. Gay is also due for a run at a win having missed just one cut on the season but recording zero top-10s since February.
Longshot: D.A. Points (66 to 1 odds to win)
Admittedly, this is a bit of a gut pick, but if you follow golf on a weekly basis, youve seen D.A. on the leaderboard a lot early but the results have been pretty inconsistent other than his win at the Pebble Pro-Am. Points has proven winning ability and he has a good track record here with a 3rd in 2009 and a T7 last year, so maybe his latest run of three missed cuts in four events is about to come to an end at a favored course. D.A. has top-40 ranks in fairways, total driving and putting average which are good enough to contend and his 3.82 birdies per 18 mark is respectable as well.
Head to Head Matches (our pick to win) *matches are for entire event, check with your favorite online bookie for single round matches and prop bets.
Brandt Snedeker (-115) v. Ben Crane (-115) (Crane)
As one of the slowest players out there, Crane comes into his comfort zone when the course is a grinder and he gets the nod over Snedeker mostly on his sizeable edge in greens hit. You have to hit greens this week to shoot a good score and while Cranes birdie average is less than his opponents, Ben has a slightly better scoring average so you can rely on a steady, no mistakes approach that tends to win matches over the long run.
Robert Allenby (-115) v. Jeff Overton (-115) (Allenby)
Normally, you could take the better putter in every match and break even at worst, but that cannot be said with Allenby. Statistically, Allenby is one of the worst putters on Tour, but that is mostly due to hitting a ton of greens and having a lot of two-putt pars. Thats bad for the putting average, but good for a no-nonsense game that wins matches. Allenby hits more greens than Overton, makes about the same amount of birdies per round, but has an edge in scoring average based on a much stronger ballstriking game.
Be sure to check back weekly for my thoughts and predictions on all PGA events!