Back Zach For Byron Nelson Glory
AT&T Byron Nelson
The AT&T Byron Nelson takes place in Texas this week, with Jordan Spieth heading the betting.
Established in 1944, this tournament is one of only two PGA tour stops to be named after former players, the other being the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It is the leading charity fundraising event on the tour and is estimated to have raised around $121 million over the years. American golfers don’t have a great recent record in this event, winning just five of the last ten renewals and only two of the last six.
Since 2008, this tournament has been based at the Four Seasons Resort, Las Colinas, Irving, Texas. The course is short and narrow, with big greens which offer plenty of birdie opportunities, so driving accuracy and a hot putter are the keys to success, rather than power and distance off the tee. It can also get pretty breezy at Four Seasons, so the ability to flight the ball low into the wind is also important.
In The Bunker
Jordan Speith bounced back from missing the cut at the Players Championship to finish second at Colonial, and could have won but for a costly misjudgement at the sixteenth on Sunday. Not surprisingly, he goes into this event as a short-priced antepost favourite, but his record at Four Seasons is of some concern for favourite-backers.
In four attempts, he’s only once cracked the top twenty, and that was on his debut in 2010, so I’m not inclined to back him at 9/2 this week.
Zach Johnson has been putting in some consistent performances in recent weeks, making the top twenty in six of his last seven outings, including a strong finish at Colonial last time. He hasn’t played this event since missing the cut in 2005, but that was in his second full season on the PGA Tour, so we shouldn’t read too much into it.
Four Seasons should suit his style of play and he’s a solid bet at 33/1.
After making an impressive start to the season, Brandt Snedeker had gone off the boil in recent weeks, but he returned to form at Colonial last week, tying for second with Speith and Jason Bohn. Like Zach Johnson, he’s only played this event a couple of times, and missed the cut last year, but we can overlook that failure as he was out of sorts at the time.
His accurate driving and solid putting should stand him in good stead on this course, and now that he’s returning to his best, he’s a good bet at 25/1
Ryan Palmer has disappointed in his last couple of outings, but he does have a couple of top tens to his name this year, including a sixth at the Texas Open and in another home-state event, he’s worth considering.
He finished second behind Keegan Bradley in a play-off at Four Seasons in 2011 and made the top ten there in 2012, and at odds of 45/1 he’s a decent outside bet to add to your shortlist.
*Prices correct at time of publication.