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DraftKings PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson

Len Hochberg

Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.

AT&T BYRON NELSON

Purse: $7.3M
Winner's Share: $1.314M
FedEx Cup Points: 500 to the Winner
Location: Irving, Texas
Course: TPC Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas
Yardage: 7,166
Par: 70
2015 champion: Steven Bowditch


Tournament Preview

Named after the five-time major champion, the Byron Nelson falls victim to the schedule again this year, returning to a position just after The Players Championship. Jordan Spieth, still looking for his first win in his native Texas, and Dustin Johnson represent the top-10 golfers entered, with seven more from the OWGR top 30. TPC Four Seasons was overhauled before the 2008 event, so any previous course history doesn’t help us. The course redesign created large, undulating greens, and getting the ball close to the hole on approach shots may determine the best putters, more than the actual best putters. Last year’s tournament may be an aberration for our purposes, as it was the rain-delayed and water-logged, so much so that a flooded par-4 was reduced to a 104-yard par-3 (No. 14), marking the first par-69 setup in PGA Tour history. And Steven Bowditch winning, and winning easily, in retrospect is among the great outliers in recent tour memory. The Aussie returns this year struggling mightily, having missed five straight cuts and eight of 15 overall, with a string of 80s dotting his weekly scorecards, including four of them at the WGC-Cadillac. At par 70, TPC Four Seasons has only two par-5s, and thus favors long hitters, especially with rain already falling this week in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, with more in the forecast through Friday. As with any Texas tournament, wind will be a factor.

Key Stats to Winning at TPC Four Seasons

Ball striking
Proximity to the hole
Scrambling
Par 4 scoring

Past Champions

2015 - Steven Bowditch
2014 - Brendon Todd
2013 - Sangmoon Bae
2012 - Jason Dufner
2011 - Keegan Bradley
2010 - Jason Day
2009 - Rory Sabbatini
2008 - Adam Scott
2007 - Scott Verplank
2006 - Brett Wetterich

Champion’s Profile:

The course favors long hitters and, of course, preferably ones who can keep it in the fairway. As mentioned previously, the difficult setup of the greens puts a premium on proximity to the hole. Otherwise, any advantage a golfer has with his putter will be somewhat neutralized. Bowditch was eighth in proximity to the hole in victory, while Bae was 13th and Dufner was first. Todd was a rare winner relying on his short game to come out on top, finishing first in strokes gained-putting and scrambling. Dustin Johnson has four top-10s in five trips to Las Colinas, but has never really contended on a Sunday.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Jordan Spieth - $12,500 (Winning odds at golfodds.com: 7-1)
Dustin Johnson - $11,900 (8-1)
Charley Hoffman - $10,800 (25-1)
Matt Kuchar - $10,500 (15-1)

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Louis Oosthuizen - $9,900 (25-1)
Marc Leishman - $9,500 (30-1)
Ryan Palmer - $8,900 (30-1)
Charles Howell III - $8,200 (60-1)

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Graham DeLaet - $7,900 (50-1)
Keegan Bradley - $7,900 (60-1)
Ian Poulter - $7,600 (100-1)
Boo Weekley - $7,400 (80-1)

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Patrick Rodgers - $7,000 (100-1)
Jon Curran - $6,900 (Field, 11-4)
Jerry Kelly - $6,700 (125-1)
Tim Wilkinson - $6,800 (Field, 11-4)

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)
Charley Hoffman - $10,800
Ryan Palmer - $8,900
Scott Piercy - $8,000
Graham DeLaet - $7,900
Boo Weekley - $7,400
Tim Wilkinson - $6,800

Hoffman must love that Texas barbecue! He recently won the Valero Texas Open, where he’s always played well, just like at the Nelson, where he was runner-up last year and eighth in 2013. Palmer is a Texan who hits the ball a ton, and has made five straight cuts at Las Colinas, three of them top 10s. Piercy is another with length off the tee, and he was fifth here three years ago. DeLaet, yes, is another long hitter with five straight cuts at TPC Four Seasons, including two top-10s; he’s 50th on tour in proximity to the hole and 22nd in par 4 scoring. Weekley was fifth two years ago. He recently stopped drinking alcohol, lost 20 pounds and shaved his beard, and he looks mahvelous! And he’s coming off a T16 at The Players. Wilkinson is not a long hitter, but is very accurate, is 10th in proximity to the hole, first in scrambling, seventh in par 4 scoring and has made nine of 11 cuts.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)
Jordan Spieth - $12,500
Dustin Johnson - $11,900
Jon Curran - $6,900
Jerry Kelly - $6,700
Mark Hubbard - $6,100
Greg Owen - $5,900

The field is heavily weighted at the top, with a soft middle and a very soft bottom. Loading up on the two overwhelming favorites, Spieth and Johnson, forces some craftiness in filling out the roster. Spieth’s best finish here was T16 as a 16-year-old invitee in his first Tour event back in 2010, and he hasn’t had a top-30 since then. But we expect something better, especially after a disappointing MC at The Players last week. Johnson’s course history is well documented. Curran placed sixth here last year and this season has made four of his past five cuts. Kelly is always dependable, steady and a cut machine, making four in a row at the Nelson. Hubbard has impressively made 17 of 20 cuts on the season and played the weekend last year at Las Colinas. Owen? Well, he hits the ball far and costs only $5,900, which is all we had left.

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