Weekly Preview: AT&T Byron Nelson

Weekly Preview: AT&T Byron Nelson

This article is part of our Weekly PGA Preview series.

AT&T Byron Nelson

TPC Craig Ranch
McKinney, TX

The PGA Tour travels to Texas for another edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson.

At the beginning of the week, this event looked to have a lot of appeal with a handful of big names entered in the field, but the withdrawal of Jordan Spieth cost it some luster. Still, with this tournament falling a week before a major and following an elevated event, we've got a decent group of players -- relatively speaking of course. Speaking of Spieth, an injury certainly explains what happened to him at the Wells Fargo Championship, as a decent start was quickly erased with a second-round 77. While it's good to have an answer, this injury could be a problem with the PGA Championship right around the corner. 

As for that tournament, It's tough not to look ahead -- both for the golfers and fans alike -- but considering the history of this event, hopefully we can go into the season's second major in style. 

Something to keep in mind is that this will be only the third time TPC Craig Ranch has hosted this event, so while several golfers have played this event several times, only the 2021 and 2022 results will be of much use.

All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 3:00 PM ET Tuesday.

LAST YEAR

K.H. Lee shot a final-round 63 on his way to a one-stroke victory over Jordan Spieth.

FAVORITES

Scottie Scheffler (35-10)

Scheffler is an interesting case because he's clearly the best player in the field and he's playing in his home state, which usually provides some motivation. However, his track record here is not very good. He has made the cut in all three starts but hasn't done anything on the weekend. Scheffler should be the favorite, but it's not like he's coming in on top of his game, so this price seems like a stretch.

Tyrrell Hatton (13-1)

With Spieth's exit, Hatton is now the second favorite. He's coming off a nice showing at the Wells Fargo Championship, but he is a first-timer here, so I'm not quite certain he should be ahead of everyone other than Scheffler on the betting board. Hatton developed a reputation a while back as a guy who would go on extended heaters, but that hasn't been the case in recent years, so I'm not sure these odds are justified.

Jason Day (17-1)

The steam on Day faded a bit over the past month and his track record on this course isn't great, so why is he the third favorite? Well, for starters, I don't think we can put too much stock into Day's performance on this track because he wasn't playing as well as he is now over the past two years. With the PGA Championship around the corner, I'm expecting Day to fine-tune his game and perhaps make a run.

THE NEXT TIER

K.H. Lee (24-1)

The odds of winning an event three consecutive years are off the charts, but defending a title isn't easy either, and Lee managed to pull that off last year when he won for the second time in as many chances. Lee played well this past week on his way to a T8, so his game is exactly where it needs to be. He has the confidence and the form to win again. It won't be easy, but he is capable.

Hideki Matsuyama (24-1)

Matsuyama hit a rough patch a couple months ago, but he played pretty well in his last few starts. His track record here is fairly solid, with his best showing coming this past year when he finished T3. Maybe it's nothing, but Matsuyama skipped an elevated event and chose to play here, a week in advance of a major.

Matt Kuchar (32-1)

Kuchar's peak isn't what it used to be, but as he's shown a couple times this season, he can put himself in a spot to win. His ability to close is in question, but if you continue giving yourself chances all it takes is one last push to get across the finish line. Kuchar hasn't quite been in the mix on this course, but he did finish top-20 in both starts he has made here.

LONG SHOTS

Adam Scott (36-1)

Outside of Lee, it's tough to find a high-end player who had success here the last couple years, so we're going to focus on current form. Scott checks that box, as he played very well this past week on his way to a T5.

Jimmy Walker (130-1)

It wasn't long ago that Walker was one of the better players on the PGA Tour, but due to some health issues his game fell off a cliff. Fast forward a few years and it looks like he might be making a comeback. Walker posted a top-25 in four of his last five starts, and while it's a long way from a top-25 to a win, this is a guy who knows how to wind up in the top spot.

ONE-AND-DONE LEAGUES

Highly-owned Pick: K.H. Lee - Any OAD player that has Scheffler available would be foolish to use him here with such a small purse, so he won't be rostered by many, which means we're probably looking at a week where the ownership will be spread out. With that said, Lee should get plenty of attention after winning this event in consecutive years. His form is where it needs to be, so there's really nothing not to like.

Moderately-owned Pick: Tyrrell Hatton - Hatton will likely be a popular option because he's the only golfer outside of Scheffler who is less than 20-1 and in good form. I expect Hatton to play well, but considering he's making his debut and will likely be selected by plenty of players, this might not be the pick for you.

Lightly-owned Pick: Matt Kuchar - Kuchar has been a trendy pick a couple times this season, but I don't see that being the case this week. There are plenty of quality options in front of Kuchar, so I'm expecting him to slide under the radar. Kuchar hasn't won this season, but he's been pretty reliable in spots where he has a good history.

Buyer Beware: Scottie Scheffler - As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, not every golfer is suited to play well as a huge favorite. I'm not doubting Scheffler's ability to perform, but most of his wins over the past 18 months came with other elite players in the field, and I don't recall if he's won as a huge favorite. Maybe he has and I'm forgetting it, but whatever the case, there's no reason to take him this week. The return is not worth the risk.

This Week: Adam Scott - I might be letting my position in the standings dictate my picks a little too much of late, but I feel like I have to avoid Lee, as many will be on him. I like Lee's chances, but I'd prefer to be on someone that gives me a chance to make a move. Scott will likely get a fair share of attention, but not as much as Lee.

Previous Results

TournamentGolferResultEarningsRunning Total
Wells Fargo ChampionshipMatt FitzpatrickT35$99,600$9,345,215
Mexico OpenBrandon Wu3$531,300$9,245,615
Zurich Classic of New OrleansBilly HorschelT11$93,633$8,714,315
RBC HeritageCameron YoungT51$49,133$8,620,682
Masters TournamentScottie SchefflerT10$432,000$8,571,549
Valero Texas OpenMatt KucharT3$525,100$8,139,549
WGC-Dell Technologies Match PlayTyrrell HattonT59$76,500$7,614,449
Valspar ChampionshipAdam HadwinMC$0$7,537,949
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipXander SchauffeleT19$275,000$7,537,949
Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by MastercardKeith MitchellT24$163,000$7,262,949
The Honda ClassicShane LowryT5$288,120$7,099,949
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa2$2,180,000$6,811,829
WM Phoenix OpenJon Rahm3$1,380,000$4,631,829
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmJoel DahmenT41$31,950$3,251,829
Farmers Insurance OpenJason DayT7$282,750$3,219,879
The American ExpressSungjae ImT18$110,000$2,9327,129
Sony Open in HawaiiCorey ConnersT12$138,908$2,827,129
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsRussell HenleyT30$208,500$2,688,221
The RSM ClassicMackenzie HughesMC$0$2,479,721
Cadence Bank Houston OpenTaylor MontgomeryT57$19,236$2,479,721
World Wide Technology Championship at MayakobaTom HogeMC$0$2,460,485
Butterfield Bermuda ChampionshipSeamus Power1$1,170,000$2,460,485
THE CJ CUP in South CarolinaRickie FowlerT34$54,180$1,290,485
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPMaverick McNealyT12$222,310$1,236,305
Shriners Children's OpenMatthew NeSmithT2$712,000$1,013,995
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipDenny McCarthyT39$31,995$301,995
Fortinet ChampionshipSahith TheegalaT6$270,000$270,000

FANDUEL PICKS

Upper Range: K.H. Lee ($11,000)
Middle Range: Tom Hoge ($10,100)
Lower Range: Jimmy Walker ($8,600)

SURVIVOR LEAGUES

This Week: K.H. Lee - We are starting to get into uncharted territory here, as my streak has reached 12 in a row. This week is going to be a tough one, though, as there aren't a ton of quality options and there is major on the horizon, which can distract some golfers. Lee should be focused, though, as he's trying to accomplish something that hasn't been done very often in PGA Tour history. Unless the pressure becomes too great, Lee shouldn't have a problem reaching the weekend.

Previous Results

TournamentGolferStreak
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRickie Fowler12
Mexico OpenJon Rahm11
Zurich Classic of New OrleansPatrick Cantlay10
RBC HeritageCameron Young9
Masters TournamentScottie Scheffler8
Valero Texas OpenMatt Kuchar7
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns6
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas5
Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by MastercardTyrrell Hatton4
The Honda ClassicShane Lowry3
The Genesis InvitationalAdam Scott2
WM Phoenix OpenHideki Matsuyama1
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmMaverick McNealy0
Farmers Insurance OpenLuke List3
The American ExpressAndrew Putnam2
Sony Open in HawaiiHarris English1
The RSM ClassicJason Day0
Cadence Bank Houston OpenRussell Henley0
World Wide Technology Championship at MayakobaBilly Horschel4
Butterfield Bermuda ChampionshipRussell Knox3
Shriners Children's OpenMatthew NeSmith2
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipDenny McCarthy1
Fortinet ChampionshipChez Reavie0

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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