Dan Roebuck’s PGA Tour preview: HP Byron Nelson Championship
TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas slipped from the fifth to the 14th most difficult layout on the PGA Tour last year, but the Texas layout, home of the HP Byron Nelson Championship on its own since 2007, remains one of the tougher venues on the schedule.
Punters looking to find the winner of this week’s event in the Lone Star State, therefore, should focus on those players that have proved themselves on unforgiving tracks that put a premium on accuracy from tee to green.
The field in Irving is strengthened by the inclusion of major winners Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, but as they can boast only one missed cut between them at this week’s event, the pair are overlooked. As are 14/1 market leaders Jason Dufner and Jason Day – the two most recent winners of this tournament. Dufner is without a stateside top ten in 2013, while Day looks to have completely lost his touch on the greens.
Straight-hitting Mark Leishman might be an obvious pick due to his good course and current form but he cannot be ignored at 20/1. The Australian comes into this event off the back of three straight top tens, including at the Masters and the Players Championship, and with three top-dozen finishes in four starts at Las Colinas, he must be backed.
Jimmy Walker’s last-day 67 at Sawgrass would have been much better but for a double bogey on the 17th. Still, 15th place against a top-class field came hard on the heels of good performances in New Orleans and North Carolina. His putting has been excellent and he deserves a place on the shortlist at 33/1.
As does Ben Crane at 40/1, who was runner-up in this event as long ago as 2002, and claimed eighth place in Jacksonville on Sunday.
My trio to follow – Leishman, Walker and Crane.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.