HP Byron Nelson Championship Predictions
Dates: May 15-18, 2014
Course: TPC Four Seasons Irving, TX
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, Golf Betting Handicapper, Predictem.com
The season is flying by and the PGA Tour is heading back to the Lonestar State for the Byron Nelson Championship. Having a legendary name associated with an event shows how deep its roots run with the PGA and Lord Byron himself did win the tournament back in the early years. The young guns on Tour take on the TPC Four Seasons this week and the course has been gaining a reputation for being a very friendly scoring environment.
Keegan Bradley set the course record of 60 during last years first round but was eventually edged out for the win by Sang-Moon Bae after Bradley struggled to a final round 72. Bae got his first win by carding a Sunday 69 after three consecutive 66s to start and this years champion will likely need four rounds in the 60s too. The best scoring opportunities are generally the par-5s but Four Seasons gives plenty of opportunities to score all around the 7,166 yard, par-70 layout. The greens are like everything else in Texas: big. That size might make them easy to hit in general, but the undulations and runoffs make putting a challenge and the more accurate players will reap the rewards of being as close to the hole as possible. A 2007 remodel has added subtle challenges and brought danger into play but expect the top of the field to once again push the scoring pace into the double digits under-par by the weekend.
The online betting sites have started advertising their odds this week, so lets take a look at some players that have the potential to contend. Im highlighting a few shorter odds guys and moving down the list from there.
HP Byron Nelson Championship Predictions to Win
Jordan Spieth (12 to 1 odds to win)
There has been a lot of talk surrounding this youngster as no one player has been able to fully steal the spotlight while Tiger has been out. Spieth has all the makings of the next Tour superstar but he will still need a couple more seasons to truly emerge. That doesnt mean he isnt a solid bet this week, however. The Dallas bred golfer will have plenty of crowd support and he already has proven he can hang here after he ran T16 as a high school junior in 2010. His last three starts have netted a T2, T12 and T4 so its hard to find a hotter golfer right now and Jordan has shown he can maintain long periods of good play. Stat-wise, you have to like top-30 ranks in total putting and strokes gained, alongside the 6thbest scoring average. If hes close come the weekend, the galleries will give him huge boost and hes still itching to shake off the disappointment of Masters Sunday.
Keegan Bradley (20 to 1)
I was pretty darn surprised to see Bradley this far down, I was expecting something more like 14 to 1 odds but that just makes for a better potential payday. Keegan is the 2011 Nelson champ and really gave another one away last year so there is not a better recent resume in the field. He hasnt been quite up to his standards this year but even a so-so start has produced eight top-25s and just two missed cuts. Bradley still puts up the 11thmost birdies per round and is 14thin scrambling, a key stat this week as the green complexes routinely funnel balls away from the hole. Even a struggling Keegan is still 23rdin the all around category so a moderate turn around should have him back near the top.
Ryan Moore (30 to 1)
Moore has a quiet but good season going with eight top-25 finishes and four top-10s in thirteen starts. He ran 2ndhere in 2008 and the course really sets up well for someone with his skill set. Ryan is 24thin fairways, 6thin greens hit and 16thin both ballstriking and birdie average. That diversity will pay off well as Four Seasons has target golf elements and rewards precise approaches. Moore is top-15 in both par-3and par-4 performance. Not bad when there are two less par-5s than normal.
Pat Perez (50 to 1)
Expecting a shootout? Call Pat. Perez is perennially one of the best birdie makers on Tour and brings the 4thmost total birds into this week. Pat is currently on a run of fourteen straight made cuts and has been as high as 9that the Nelson so this longshot has some credentials. Pat is a good scrambler and is currently 10thin strokes gained-putting so the tricky greens here shouldnt be too much of an issue. Sometimes the bogeys fly as often as the birdies do but this value for this scoring potential shouldnt be overlooked.
Robert Streb (80 to 1)
When was the last time a big name won on Tour? Bubba won the Masters but most of the other events have been won by lesser known players. The top and bottom of the Tour have never been separated by less and this might be another good week for a coming out party. Streb hasnt missed a cut in any of his eight starts this year and jumped up to grab a 2ndat the Zurich just two weeks ago. Robert is an Oklahoma kid so while he might not get any gallery love, hes certainly played plenty of golf in Texas to have the basics down of what it takes to score down there. Streb is simply solid across the board with a bunch of rankings in the 30thto 50thrange. Nothing to jump off the page but nothing to suggest he cant have a week like Bae did last year. A manageable bet here might may you really happy come Sunday afternoon.
Head to Head Golfer vs. Golfer Betting Predictions
I grabbed some head to heads that I found at a couple of different online sportsbooks. If you cant find these in particular, check out Bovada Sportsbook as they have a ton of wagering options!
Graham DeLaet (-110) v. Harris English (-110) (our pick to win: DeLaet)
The books did a heck of a job of finding a tough nut to crack as usual. Neither of these players really separates themselves on the stat sheet and both are really strong in the exact same categories. DeLaet is the best ballstriker on Tour and that is hard to ignore but his putting has held him back from better scores and overall results. The same can be said about English but a slightly better putter has produced a bit better scoring marks. I give the edge to Graham as you just cant ignore his tee to green prowess on a course that rewards ballstriking. If his putter improves even a minor amount, he should be pushing for a top-10 finish.
Ryan Palmer (-110) v. John Senden (-110) (Palmer)
This is another good match between very similar players. Palmer is longer, Senden is straighter but they both score about the same. Ryan makes more birdies on average however, and I like to have that ability when the scoring pace will be brisk. Senden makes fewer mistakes so I see him grinding out good rounds that will ultimately be tough to beat but Palmer has the higher ceiling and also should be feeling the love as a Texas native.
Good luck and good betting.