AT&T Byron Nelson: Preview and Early Favorites

The AT&T Byron Nelson tournament will take place Thursday May 17th and come to a conclusion on Sunday May 20th. The new location for this prestigious event will be held at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, Texas. The course runs at 7,380 yards with nothing but greener pastures. Trees will be nonexistent on the golf course with a lack of trees as well as water hazards.

The course will be challenging and require a bit of creativity. Nonetheless, the weather will be beautiful outside in one of the hotter states in America. The temperature will be in the high-90s, so it could play a factor in pressure moments. The defending champion, Billy Horschel, will be competing as he is the 37th ranked golfer in the world. His scoring average is 71.3 and on the year he has only won the Zurich Class of New Orleans with Scott Piercy.

Speaking of Piercy, the American is among a slew of golfers that should be favored in this one. He is 39, but is ranked 34th. His steady play will be needed from start-to-finish if he wants to win this one. Beau Hossler might only be 23, but he is light-years ahead of his time. He has made the cut 15 times this year and will hope to earn his first victory of the year. Charles Howell III is tied for third among all golfers with Hossler as he too has made the cut 15 times. These are probably a few guys with an outside shot of winning, but as we saw in THE PLAYERS Championship with Webb Simpson if a guy gets hot anything can happen.

Jimmy Walker got lost in the shuffle at THE PLAYERS, but he ended up finishing in second in a solid outing. You have to wonder if his late momentum can carry over into this one or if fatigue might set in. He does have three top 10 finishes to his credit. Marc Leishman is one of the highest ranked players in this tournament at 23rd. He has not won an event this year, but he is tied for fifth in the PGA Tour with five top 10 finishes. He has a 4.13 birdies per round average along with a 1.73 putting average. Look for him to start off hot.

There are fewer golfers who have been hotter than Jordan Spieth. He is the hometown golfer in this one and is the early favorite to win the whole thing. His 69.4 average is one of the lower scores in the entire field and he has four top 10 finishes. Even though he remains win-less this year, it is hard to ignore the Dallas native’s third place finish at the Masters. The weather should not be something he “sweats” over.

Keep an eye on Satoshi Kodaira and Aaron Wise in this one as well. Kodaira won the RBC Heritage, but struggled at THE PLAYERS. Wise finished second at the Wells Fargo Championship.

There will be a lot to keep an eye on in this one with a lot of golfers early on. Look for the golfers to use the early rounds as a feeling out process as they will need to adjust to the par 71. In a new venue, look for a few mishaps that could effect the outcome. On the flip side, this might be a classic case of “beginner’s luck” as whoever finds their groove early might be in good shape in the later rounds.

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