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FanDuel PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson

Michael Riek

Michael is the 2016 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year winner. He is a former collegiate golfer with a passion for analytics and strategy.

AT&T Byron Nelson – Irving, TX

TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas (7,166 yards, par 70)
$7.5M Purse
$1,350,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner

Tournament Preview

TPC Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas will again serve as exclusive host of the AT&T Byron Nelson for a 10th year, the last before the tournament switches to the yet-built Trinity Forest golf course in 2018. The hometown tournament of Jordan Spieth, this prestigious event lives on in the name of the late Byron Nelson, a five-time major champion and Texas native who is among the best ball-strikers of all time. Others in the field include Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and defending champion Sergio Garcia. The event has significantly increased its purse to $7.5M this season, a $0.2M increase from last year, the winner receiving a smug $1.35M. Though heavily dependent on the swirling North Texas winds, scoring is generally around PGA Tour average, the winner posting around 11-to-15 under par.

Prior Decade Champions

2016 – Sergio Garcia
2015 – Steven Bowditch
2014 – Brendon Todd
2013 – Sang Moon Bae
2012 – Jason Dufner
2011 – Keegan Bradley
2010 – Jason Day
2009 – Rory Sabbatini
2008 – Adam Scott
2007 – Scott Verplank

Key Stats to Winning at TPC Four Seasons Resort

• Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
• Par-4 Scoring
• Course History

Champion’s Profile

The late Byron Nelson was well known for his ball striking, and the host course favors that strength, especially considering the par-70 scorecard and presence of only two par-5s. This puts a premium on par-4 scoring since there’s 12 of these holes, two more than a standard par 72. With some longer par-4s and par-3s, it’s the long irons and good driving that separate the top finishers from the rest of the field. Though names like Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and Matt Kuchar have traditionally played well here, it’s not uncommon to see a first-time winner at this venue, as seen in four of the last seven years.

FanDuel Value Picks

The Chalk

Dustin Johnson, $11800 – World No.1 was 12th at THE PLAYERS last week on the heels of a Sunday 68, continuing a scorching stretch of golf this season. His elite ball striking has notched him top-20s in his last six trips to Irving, including four top-10s.

Jordan Spieth, $10500 – As a local superstar, Spieth made his PGA Tour debut here as a teenager in 2010, finishing 16th. To-date it’s his best finish here, but his game is in great form this season as he looks to improve upon his best finish.

Sergio Garcia, $10200 – The defending champion and recent winner of the Masters is a good course fit for TPC Four Seasons, with no red flags to indicate he’s cooling off. Look for El Nino to rekindle last year’s positive memories and this year’s form to post a good finish.

Brooks Koepka, $9500 – Koepka came oh so close to winning last year’s Byron Nelson as he lost in a playoff, and enters having posted top-20s his last five PGA Tour starts.

Longer Shots Worth a Risk

Charley Hoffman, $7900 – Hoffman is a solid ball striker known for his strong play in windy Texas conditions, just check his Valero Texas Open history. In Irving, Hoffman has accumulated three top-12s throughout his last three starts dating back to 2013. This week should be another fruitful one for Hoffman, who has overall played well since February.

Tony Finau, $7700 – In two career starts at this event, Finau has nabbed finishes of 10th and 12th. Two quality finishes in two seasons can’t be a fluke for the long-hitter who is sixth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green this season with a recent third-place finish at the Valero Texas Open last month.

Russell Henley, $7500 – The winner of the Shell Houston Open last month, Henley has since made 3-of-3 cuts at stroke play events, including a T11 at the Masters. At TPC Four Seasons, Henley has one missed cut and one top-25 in two starts.

Ryan Palmer, $7200 – The local Fort Worth resident is keen of windy Texas golf and TPC Four Seasons, earning four top-25s his past six starts here. Though he missed the cut at THE PLAYERS last week, prior to that Palmer strung together three-straight top-11 finishes.

Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)

As they say, “Everything is bigger in Texas”, which this year translates to an increased purse and the threat of thunderstorms, which are in the forecast for most of the tournament. There are a handful of Texas natives who have a clear knack for playing this style of course in windy (and wet) conditions, so rely on course history and Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green as your guide to forming a team.

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