This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
AT&T Byron Nelson
Course: TPC Craig Ranch (7,468 yards, par 72)
Winner: $1,638,000 and 500 FedExCup points
The 2022 edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson has attracted the best field in recent tournament history. Seven of the top 13 ranked players in the Official World Golf Ranking will be teeing it up in McKinney, Texas. That contingent is led by World No. 1 and Dallas native Scottie Scheffler, who has won four of his last six individual tournaments. The only man that will likely garner more support than the reigning Masters champion this week is AT&T golf ambassador and Dallas native Jordan Spieth, who is coming off a win of his own at the RBC Heritage. Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Sam Burns, Will Zalatoris, Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, and Joaquin Niemann round out an impressive list of notables looking to gain some momentum heading into next week's PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
This will be the second year that TPC Craig Ranch will host the AT&T Byron Nelson. K.H. Lee set the tournament-record score to par at 25-under last year en route to his first career PGA Tour win. The event was held at Trinity Forest Golf Club in downtown Dallas in 2018 and 2019. Prior to that it had been held for a long time at TPC Four Seasons in Irving, Texas. Tom Watson is the All-Time wins leader at this event with four (1975, 1978, 1979, 1980).
After a largely rain-soaked AT&T Byron Nelson last year, it should be hot and dry this year. Temperatures will max out around 90 degrees and the traditional Texas breezes will be the only defense of this golf course. The winning score had reached 20-under-par just once prior to 2018 and now the winner has been at least 23-under in each of the last three editions. It should be an old fashioned Texas shootout this week.
2021 – K.H. Lee (TPC Craig Ranch)
2020 – None
2019 – Sung Kang (Trinity Forest)
2018 – Aaron Wise (Trinity Forest)
2017 – Billy Horschel (TPC Four Seasons)
2016 – Sergio Garcia (TPC Four Seasons)
2015 – Steven Bowditch (TPC Four Seasons)
2014 – Brendon Todd (TPC Four Seasons)
2013 – Sangmoon Bae (TPC Four Seasons)
2012 – Jason Dufner (TPC Four Seasons)
Key Stats to Victory
- SG: Tee-to-Green
- SG: Approach
- Birdie Average
- Par-5 Scoring Average
TPC Craig Ranch was the easiest par-72 on the PGA Tour last year with a eye-popping scoring average of 69.574. The 36-hole cut fell at six-under-par as well. While it should play a tick more difficult this year with dry conditions and a little more wind, you are going to have to make a lot of birdies and maybe a couple eagles if you want to win this week. All the par-5's at TPC Craig Ranch can be reach in two by most players in the field, and as a result par-5 scoring average should be a key stat to look at. The top two players on the leaderboard last year in K.H. Lee and Sam Burns ranked second and first respectively in SG: Tee-to-green, so this figures to be another ball-striking test. There is some trouble to be found off the tee here, but the rough should not be anywhere close to the kind of factor it was last week at TPC Potomac. The greens are also pretty spacious, but do feature a fair amount of undulation that will make iron play even more important. This one of the easiest courses to scramble on last season as well, so short game statistics can probably be ignored this week. These bentgrass greens will run about 11.5 on the Stimpmeter.
FanDuel Value Picks
Sam Burns ($11,400)
Burns has really become one of the best all-around players in the world. He is gaining strokes in every category and ranks 11th in SG: Approach, 18th in SG: Tee-to-Green, 10th in GIR percentage and seventh in birdie average. Burns is also top-10 on Tour in birdie average and has a win and runner-up finish in two of his last three starts. As mentioned before, Burns was also second at TPC Craig Ranch last year after starting the week 65-62.
Will Zalatoris ($11,200)
Zalatoris has made the cut in all eight of his starts in 2022, and he has posted five top-6 finishes. The 25-year-old ranks second on Tour in both SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green this season. Zalatoris is also 11th in both SG: Off-the-Tee and GIR percentage. He is going to give himself a lot of quality looks this week and that first PGA Tour win could come at any point. Zalatoris was T17 a year ago at TPC Craig Ranch.
Joaquin Niemann ($10,900)
There's really nice value here getting a player like Niemann under $11,000. He ranks 23rd in SG: Approach, ninth in SG: Tee-to-Green, sixth in putts per GIR and 12th in scoring average this season. If the wind kicks up this week that should help Niemann's chances given his low-ball flight. He has three top-12 finishes in his last seven starts in individual events, including that win at the Riviera.
Talor Gooch ($10,800)
Gooch has been incredibly consistent this season. In 17 total starts on the PGA Tour he owns 13 finishes of T27-or-better. Gooch ranks top-26 this season in SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green and GIR percentage. He is also 11th in putts per GIR and fourth in par-5 scoring average. In a field with a number of big names, it should drive Gooch's ownership down even though he is one of the safest plays out there.
Longer Shots with Value
Seamus Power ($9,900)
Power has scuffled a bit the last couple months since we have moved into some of the harder golf courses. This wee we should be back to a birdie barrage, something we witnessed earlier in the season that he knows how to go low. Power went T4-T15-T3-T14-T9 in a five tournament stretch at the RSM, Sentry TOC, Sony Open, AmEx, and Pebble Beach, all courses which gave up a ton of birdies. The Irishman is fourth in GIR percentage and fourth in par-5 scoring average this season. Power scored a top-10 a year ago at TPC Craig Ranch.
Adam Hadwin ($9,500)
Hadwin has been known for his strong putting prowess throughout most of his career, but this season his ball-striking has gone to another level. The Canadian is 17th in SG: Approach, 29th in SG: Tee-to-Green, seventh in GIR percentage and 14th in proximity to the hole. Hadwin has played very well over the course of the last few months, scoring six top-26 finishes in his last seven individual events.
Kurt Kitayama ($9,100)
Kitayama is certainly a player that is trending. He is coming off a T2 at the Mexico Open and a T15 at the Wells Fargo Championship the last two weeks. Kitayama ranked second for the week in both SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green at TPC Potomac, something that should bode well for his chances at TPC Craig Ranch.
Tom Hoge ($8,600)
This is a great buy-low opportunity. Hoge hasn't scored a top-25 since a T14 at the Phoenix Open following his first PGA Tour win at Pebble Beach. Despite that, Hoge still ranks ninth in SG: Approach, 19th in SG: Tee-to-Green, 12th in proximity to the hole, eighth in scrambling, 34th in one-putt percentage and first in par-3 scoring average this season. Something has to give in the form of results eventually and TPC Craig Ranch figures to be a good venue for that to happen for Hoge.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
Unlike last week at the Wells Fargo Championship, this is definitely a much more top-heavy field. Other than Brooks Koepka, I think you are splitting hairs with all the players $10,800 and up. They all for the most part are extremely good ball-strikers and have had a lot of good results the last few months. The play might be to take a couple from that top tier range that aren't the popular players like Scheffler, Thomas, or Spieth, who figure to lead in ownership this week. Nate Lashley ($8,300), Austin Smotherman ($8,100), and Tyler Duncan ($7,600) are a few cheaper options that intrigue me this week as well.