News Worms
News Worms


Garcia moving on from Masters win at Byron Nelson

Garcia moving on from Masters win at Byron Nelson

The Byron Nelson is usually a weaker field that produces some unique champions.

Ben Coley has three selections for this week's PGA Tour event, the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship. There will be no back-to-back victor come Sunday as the surprise champion of last week's Players Championship, South Korea's Si Woo Kim, has withdrawn with a back injury. He withdrew right before the Wells Fargo Championship and did not go to The Players Championship.

According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Dustin Johnson is the favorite in this tournament, as he is getting 5/1 odds.

It's a home state event for Jordan Spieth this week at the TPC Four Seasons Resort's Las Colinas Golf Course in Irving, Texas - a par-70 course which was redesigned in 2007. With his hot play of late to go with his ability to hit the ball long off the tee, averaging 296 yards, he is a solid guy for Rounds 1 and 2 with the potential of bonus points for a top-25 finish. That means two fewer par 5s. He finished 18 here past year, 30 in 2015 and 37 in 2014.

After 35 years in Las Colinas, the Nelson is moving next year to Trinity Forest, a brand new Coore-Crenshaw design south of downtown Dallas. His most recent play at Byron Nelson was in 2012 where he finished 9. He has made six starts on the Web.com Tour in 2017 cashing four times, all in between 30th- and 40th-place. May.

Surprisingly, the Spaniard didn't sound so convincing previous year.

"I don't think things have changed that much", Garcia said about winning the Masters. Believe it or not, that's still Spieth's best finish.

The defending champion is Sergio Garcia, who is trying to join Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead as the only repeat winners of a tournament that dates to 1944. Both finished at 15 under.

Sergio Garcia has a similar history with the course. He also did in 2004 in a playoff.

Bombers have established good records - Johnson, Gary Woodland, Keegan Bradley, Brooks Koepka and Day among them - but Todd, Colt Knost, Jon Huh and a few others demonstrate that this is nearly as much a test of precision as it is power. He won the Byron Nelson in 2010 and has a pair of top-10 finishes since then. On the first extra hole, Koepka found the water. And if someone not already eligible wins at Wentworth next week, that will be a total of 78 exempt players - half of the 156-man field, which is just how the USGA likes it. The seventh highest-priced golfer this week, Reed hasn't sniffed a top-10 lately and has missed the cut in his two Byron Nelson starts.

It's easy enough to envisage a return to form for the Arnold Palmer Invitational champion - he didn't fare too badly at the Masters or indeed the Heritage before a missed cut at Sawgrass - but my instinct is that two wins in relatively quick succession may just prove beyond him.

Nick Taylor is +7600 and Brad Fritsch +41600. He also came close to victory at the Pheonix Open back in February, but his best result at Nelson is T11 - which came back in 2014. Mike Weir was second in 2014, two shots behind victor Brendon Todd. Some names that stand out in the field are Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Tony Finau, and Zac Blair. Woods has not returned to the Nelson since missing the cut in 2005.

BACK OUT: Terry Mundy was at The Players Championship with Ian Poulter for the 11th consecutive year, this time with a new badge - player manager, not caddie.

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