The PGA Tour heads west this week to Dallas for the 76th edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson and the last chance for some high-profile stars to hone their game before the PGA Championship.
The pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 event, which was a first for the Byron Nelson since it was first played in 1944.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Korea’s Sung Kang reached 23-under-par 261, including a second round 10 under 61, in 2019 to defeat Americans Matt Every and Scott Piercy to claim his maiden PGA Tour title.
COURSE: The Byron Nelson moves Trinity Forest GC – its home of 2018-2019 – to the Tom Weiskopf-designed TPC Craig Ranch, which is making its debut as a PGA Tour venue and will play host for the next five years.
A hole that will provide plenty of excitement during the tournament will be the driveable par-4 14th hole. The 330-yard two-shotter offers a slightly downhill tee shot where water looms left and six bunkers ring the green.
Players can expect the large bentgrass greens to run up to 11.5 feet on the Stimpmeter this week, especially early in the tournament before the wind picks up over the weekend.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
TPC Craig Ranch is a home game for the defending champion, Sung Kang, who spends countless hours playing the course and practicing here when he’s not competing. Given this is an unknown course for 95 percent of the field, he has a distinct advantage before a ball has even been struck.
The course is not foreign to two Dallas locals, who will grab their fair share of support this week.
Will Zalatoris, who finished runner-up at the Masters a month ago, has seen his form cool a little but familiar surroundings this week could be the shot in the arm he needs … just as it was for Jordan Spieth at the Texas Open last month.
Spieth broke his four-year winning drought in San Antonio and it inspired him to greater heights the following week where he finished T3 at the Masters. The Byron Nelson will be Spieth’s first start since the Masters so you can expect he will be well rested and aiming to capitalise on his great recent form. He has a special bond with this tournament, having made his PGA Tour debut in it as a 16-year-old amateur and finishing T16.
Another player keen on a Texas return is Marc Leishman, who is coming off a T5 at the Masters and a win alongside Cameron Smith in New Orleans. This course suits quality ball-strikers like ‘Leish’ and when the wind starts picking later in the week he will be in his element
72-HOLE RECORD: Defending champion Sung Kang and 2018 Champion, Aaron Wise, share the record (to par) at 23 under 261.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Peter Thomson (1956), Bruce Devlin (1969), Adam Scott (2008), Jason Day (2010), Steven Bowditch (2015).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Jason Day, Rhein Gibson, Marc Leishman, John Lyras, Cameron Percy, John Senden. Greg Chalmers.
Round 1 Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5.30am – 8.30am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5.30am – 9am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 3am – 9am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 3am – 8am)
*AEST, check local guides