The AT&T Byron Nelson returns to TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Los Colinas with Sergio Garcia as the defending champion. Here is a preview and power ranking to get you off and running.
TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club is a par-70 layout that tips out at 7,166 yards. It features a pair of par 5s, 12 par fours and a quartet of par 3s. The winning number can vary greatly based on weather conditions, but the ability to play par 4s well goes without saying. Both par 5s measure under 550 yards and offer legitimate birdie opportunities that must be converted.
This venue has served as the lone host dating back to 2008. Before that, the first two rounds were split across two layouts that included TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club dating back for as far as you’d like to look relative to course history. That means course history from 2008 through 2016 is obviously relevant, but prior to 2008 is also useful.
Stats are a little mixed in terms of a player type that is favored, but what is clear is that the putting surfaces are relatively easy to find in regulation. That takes a little bit of the pressure off scrambling. It also could serve to boost the GIR stats for average ball-strikers. That could be, in part, why some surprise winners will pop up from time to time.
When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to play solid wind players when in Texas. That remains relevant this week. Toss in the usual blend of current form and course history, and we have this week’s power ranking.
Off we go!
1. Dustin Johnson – Given his course history at TPC Sawgrass, his T12 last week in THE PLAYERS was an excellent result. Other than the risk of catching the raw end of a weather draw, DJ is easily the top pick this week. He’s made all seven cuts, with four top 10s and six top 20s at TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club.
2. Sergio Garcia – Defending champ kind of chopped it up at THE PLAYERS on Sunday, but had a decent week going before that debacle. In three starts at this venue, he’s never finished on the bad side of a top 20.
3. Jason Day – Was a consistent player here from 2010 – 2013, winning in 2010 with a 5-T9-T27 run thereafter. Other than the constant worry regarding his health, there is absolutely no reason to think he won’t be in the running for another top 10 or better.
4. Brooks Koepka – Bomber is trendy in this tournament, going MC-T16-2 in this event. No worse than a T16 in his last six PGA TOUR events. Invest with confidence.
5. Jason Dufner – Noted ball-striker and very solid iron player, Dufner is 6/6 with a win and three top 10s at TPC Four Seasons Resort. It’s almost a given that he will be strong tee-to-green. If he makes some putts, consider him dangerous.
6. Bud Cauley – Playing really well of late and scored a T4 in this event last year. Classic case of form meets history.
7. Marc Leishman – Noted wind player has been feast-or-famine in this event, making five of his eight cuts with two T3s and all five of his paydays going for T12 or better. He has missed his last two cuts here, so there is reason not to go all in.
8. Jordan Spieth – Difficult player to slot this week, given his overall class, but this has not been his best event over the years. He is 6/6 with two top 20s, which would be good for the average player on TOUR.
9. Louis Oosthuizen – Has a WD on the record here, as well as two missed cuts in four appearances, but also has a sporty T11 back in 2014. Was on his game last week at THE PLAYERS.
10. Ian Poulter – Cashed in just one of three appearances since this tournament began playing exclusively here in 2008, which includes a missed cut last year. I’m a little more in favor of monitoring Poults this week rather than playing him. After barely fulfilling his Major Medical, he looked solid with a T2 last week at TPC Sawgrass. Playing free and easy for the first time in at least a year, he could be on the verge of a bit of a renaissance.
11. Charl Schwartzel – South African has made all four of his cuts here, including a T4 and a T11. He’s historically very hard to peg on a weekly basis, but this is as good a place as any to roll the dice.
12. Charley Hoffman – If you need a reminder that he’s a noted wind player, you don’t have to dig any deeper than the opening round of this year’s Masters to feel very confident in him. His last three trips here went T8-T2-T12.
13. Keegan Bradley – Once a course horse here with a Win and a runner-up, he’s made five of six cuts with four top 25s. An interesting conundrum is that his only missed cut came last year. While he showed some strong flashes of a big year early in 2016-17, recent returns have been relatively flat.
14. Tony Finau – Has a T10 and a T12 in his two visits to the AT&T Byron Nelson. Perhaps this will be the charmed third time.
15. Matt Kuchar – Barely made the top-15 cut despite a perfect 8/8 record that includes a T3 last year. That speaks to his current form when compared to what we expect from this Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup regular.
Check out all of the Rotoworld Staff Picks at Playing the Tips.
Best of luck to all!