The PGA Tour remains in Texas this week for the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Australia’s Jason Day defends the title around the TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas.
With the majority of the big European names at Wentworth this week for the BMW PGA Championship, the field is relatively weak in terms of the World Ranking. Matt Kuchar (10th) is the top ranked player on the start sheet. Having said that, Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney and K.J. Choi will all tee it up.
The TPC Four Seasons course at Las Colinas was originally designed by Jay Morrish back in 1982 but, after the 2007 tournament, D.A Weibring and Steve Wolford oversaw a major redesign of the layout – reshaping greens and bringing more water into play. The course now poses a more strategic test and demands creativity and solid shot-making.
This tournament began life back in 1926 as the Dallas Open. It was renamed as the Byron Nelson Classic in 1968. Since then Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have been champions.
Venue: TPC Four Seasons Resort, Las Colinas, Texas
Date: May 26-29
Course stats: par 70, 7,166 yards
Purse: $6,500,000 Winner: $1,170,000
Defending Champion: Jason Day (-10)
Thursday 26 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 27 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 28 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Sunday 29 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Dustin Johnson – He’s finished in the top-10 on his last two starts at Las Colinas. He bombs it miles and finds greens in regulation – that should be a good combination on this layout.
Nick Watney – Together with Johnson, Watney is viewed as the future of the PGA Tour and he has proved he has the game to back that up. Also like Johnson though, there are questions around his ability to close out tournaments. A victory here would go a long way to silencing the doubters.
Brian Davis – The Englishman was runner-up here in 2009. He’s enjoying a consistent if unspectacular year on the PGA Tour and is overdue a top five finish..
Key hole: 16th. A par-5 of 546 yards, this is a definite birdie hole. It always ranks as one of the easiest holes on the course and, if a player fails to make birdie here down the stretch, he’ll feel as though he’s dropped a shot.
Skills required: Finding the fairways. Las Colinas ranked second on last year’s PGA Tour in the list of courses with the toughest fairways to hit. In 2010, the players found the short stuff from the tee an average of just 49% of the time. The players who can keep it on the straight and narrow will have a distinct advantage here.