Slate Breakdown | AT&T Byron Nelson
With just one week remaining before the year's second major golf championship, the world of sports is increasingly focusing on the upcoming PGA Championship. But before that, we have the AT&T Byron Nelson. Let's concentrate on delivering a strong performance here to increase our bankroll in preparation for next week's PGA TOUR event.
The AT&T Byron Nelson tournament, named after the renowned golfer who won the event himself back in 1944, has been a consistent fixture on the TOUR's schedule, in various forms, since its inception. Originally known as the "Texas Victory Open," the tournament has undergone considerable evolution over the years. The event has been hosted by various golf courses throughout its history but has now found a permanent home at TPC Craig Ranch, located just outside of Dallas.
For the purposes of DraftKings Reignmakers PGA TOUR, this tournament is classified as a premium event, featuring a total prize pool of $275,000. The first-place winners in both the ELITE and REIGNMAKER tiers stand to win a top prize of $10,000.
Now, let's turn our attention to TPC Craig Ranch, the esteemed host course for this week's tournament.
During the initial years of the tournament at TPC Craig Ranch, golfers often scored close to 30 under par, indicating that the course might be slightly easy for today's professional players. However, a notable adjustment was made this year: one of the short, reachable par 5s on the back nine has been transformed into a lengthy par 4. This modification is anticipated to raise scoring averages nearly a full stroke higher than in previous years. This is similar to the changes observed at Pebble Beach during major championships, when the second hole is played as a Par 4, compared to a par 5 for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
With this alteration, TPC Craig Ranch now stands as a par 71 course, measuring approximately 7,500 yards. However, with several drivable par 4s and three short par 5s, the scores are expected to hover around 20 under par.
As summer arrives, bringing with it longer daylight hours, the opportunity for golfers to complete 18 holes in a single day increases. Consequently, field sizes during this season typically expand to 156 players, providing a wide array of choices.
This week's tournament features Dallas native Scottie Scheffler as the headliner. He was expected to be accompanied by fellow Texan golf star, Jordan Spieth, but due to an injury, Spieth will be absent not only this weekend, but possibly the next. K.H. Lee, a resident of the TPC Craig Ranch community and two-time consecutive winner of this tournament, won't have to travel far to defend his title – a true home-field advantage!
He will be joined by Tyrrell Hatton, who is making his second Texas appearance this year just before a major championship, aiming to improve upon his performance in San Antonio a month ago where he didn't make the cut.
The top end of the field also features two Kims - Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim. Tom Kim, who relocated to Dallas last offseason, will appreciate the short commute to the tournament this week. Other top contenders include the Kim's President Cup teammates: Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, and Jason Day.
Three-Ball: 3 DraftKings Reignmakers PGA TOUR Targets
Find below a trio of options for this week's AT&T Byron Nelson.
The 44-year-old seasoned golfer is experiencing a renaissance in his career this year. After spending the past few years in the spotlight for unfavorable reasons, Kuchar has rejuvenated his game, reminiscent of his prime years. Perhaps it's the influence of his 15-year-old, who is displaying promising potential while attempting to qualify for the U.S. Open, that has ignited Kuchar's resurgence. This renewed energy has propelled him back into the world's top 50 for the first time in three years.
One golfer who stands out is the towering South African who, likely due to the length of his name, doesn't have his full moniker listed on DraftKings. Despite splitting his time between the DPWT and the PGA TOUR, Bez hasn't quite hit his stride this year. In fact, he hasn't yet made the top 10 in this calendar year. However, with a course that doesn't pose much trouble off the tee and demands good putting skills, this might be the week where his streak ends. Bez last participated a few weeks ago at the ISPS Handa Championship, where he didn't make the cut. As such, fatigue is unlikely to be a factor in his performance this week.
Most golf enthusiasts would likely concur that Stallings making the PGA TOUR Championship last year was a significant surprise. While this year has not quite lived up to expectations, with no top-10 finishes yet, Stallings seems to be on an upward trajectory as he has made his last four cuts, including a tie for 26th at The Masters. With his consistency making a comeback and his solid performances at TPC Craig Ranch over the first two years — placing 3rd and 39th — Stallings is poised for one of his best finishes of the season thus far.