This week we are at the Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas Texas for the AT&T Byron Nelson with another strong field that includes Billy Horschel, who is looking to defend the trophy that he won in a playoff against Jason Day 12 months ago.
Last week the Players Championship at Sawgrass gave us its usual share of drama, particularly around the gruelling last three holes. It ultimately produced a worthy winner in Webb Simpson who came from among the outsider picks to claim the trophy.
For this AT&T Byron Nelson 2018 tournament, Jordan Spieth (+500 with Bovada) is the highest ranked golfer and a favorite by some margin. He played solidly, if unspectacularly at TPC Sawgrass last week before disaster at the final hole saw him drop right down the field.
While he hasn’t won the Byron Nelson, Spieth first appeared here as a 16 year old in 2010 and extensive course knowledge could be key at this rather unique venue but his putting remains a concern for potential backers.
Behind our market leader, Matt Kuchar (+1400) and Sergio Garcia (+1800) are similar odds with most U.S online sports betting sites. Garcia is our first Byron Nelson champion and is in fact a two time winner having lifted the trophy back in 2004 and far more recently in 2016.
Of the two, Kuchar has been the most consistent player this season and the course may well be set up to his style of play as we will see when we take a closer look at the venue.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2000), Jimmy Walker (+2000) and Branden Grace (+2200) all carry prices that put them within the chasing pack category. Walker is of particular interest with a tie for second here in 2015 and a return to form that sees him playing his best golf since his battle with Lyme Disease.
Some single figure finishes in big events this year leaves us very interested in the betting odds next to the name of Marc Leishman (+2200). His fellow Australians have a good record in this event with three wins since 2008 but more importantly, Leishman has the perfect game for this course and is listed at number three in the Power Rankings.
Defending Champion Billy Horschel (22/1) is quoted at the same price as Leishman in some quarters. It is worth noting that he already has a win in 2018, albeit in the two-man event that is the Zurich Classic.
Other players start to move into distant odds now and they include Beau Hossler (+3300) who is attracting interest as a Texas local who comes here off a second place at the Houston Open a few weeks back.
Brandt Snedeker (+5000) was a former favorite of ours in the Top Ten betting until injury struck but he is just starting to show glimpses of his best form. Others to consider from long range include 2009 Champion Rory Sabbatini (+8000) who still holds the course aggregate record plus Ryan Palmer (+5000) and Martin Laird (+5000). All three have good relevant stats and could mount a challenge.
This Preview’s Byron Nelson Predictions, Picks, Course & Betting Trends
The Trinity Forest Club provides us with a par 71 course at 7,380 yards where the distance hitters can prosper if they can mix in a required dose of accuracy at the same time. It is a strange venue with no water hazards and not a single tree on the course but there is a plethora of bunkers to compensate and punish wayward hitting.
It has been likened to a number of links courses in the UK and in windy conditions can require the same low hitting and course management.
Sergio Garcia picked up his second Byron Nelson win in 2016 but multiple winners are exceptionally rare and the Spaniard is the only player in 30 years to have lifted the trophy on more than one occasion.
Looking at all of those facts, coupled with the key statistics, we can see why Jordan Spieth heads the betting market and the Power Rankings. His issues with the putter, coupled with a winless streak that dates back to The Open last July means this preview will look elsewhere for the pick.
As a player that enjoyed success on UK links courses last year, Matt Kuchar is nicely priced for the win this week and he has been consistent in the US too without getting over the line. Spieth is just too short for comfort this week while 14/1 shot Kuchar carries definite value. Add in some Top Ten AT&T Byron Nelson predictions, and we will look for a profitable four days down in Texas. This preview’s picks are: