2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship Expert Picks, Fantasy Golf Advice & Predictions

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“The 2014 Byron Nelson Championship”

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The 2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship

The PGA Tour is heading back to Texas – this time to the DFW Metroplex for the HP Byron Nelson Championship followed up by the Colonial (or as they now call it the “Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial” – that’s a mouthful but the tournaments need their money. Previous Byron Nelson champions include: Sang-Moon Bae (2013), Jason Dufner (2012), Keegan Bradley (2011), Jason Day (2010), Rory Sabbatini (2009), Adam Scott (2008), Scott Verplank (2007), Brett Wetterich (2006), Ted Purdy (2005), Sergio Garcia (2004), Vijay Singh (2003), Shigeki Maruyama (2002), and Robert Damron (2001). The winner has typically been younger, and either a little fluky or someone just starting to make their mark on tour. The past several winnners (sans Bae) have a pretty good track record on Tour especially with the reemergence of Sabbatini this year. The Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas is a par 70, 7,116 yard test that tends to favor longer hitters like Keegan Bradley and Dustin Johnson, who just committed to this coming week’s tournament.

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Group A
Group B
Group B
Group C
Round 4
Gary Woodland
Martin Kaymer
Keegan Bradley
Charl Schwartzel
Round 4 Notes
  • Weather: 10-12mph in the morning and 15mph in the afternoon.
  • Starters: We don’t need to burn a Walker or Spieth start this week, so we’re thankful for that. However, the big question is with Kuchar. He’s -6 and 4 back from the lead right now after dumping one in the water on #18. We’re going to go with Woodland and save our final 3 Kuchar starts for later this year. There are so many guys in between him and the lead that while he is capable of a top 3 tomorrow, it’s probably a 33% chance. Hopefully Woodland will beat him by a few and it won’t matter.


Recent Finishes
“Byron Nelson” Finishes
(A) Matt Kuchar (17) Players
(1) RBC
(5) Masters
(P2) Shell
(33) 2013
(15) 2012
(6) 2011
(39) 2009
No surprise that Matt tops our list for Group A players. Despite a so-so performance at the Players, he still got another top 20 against the best field in golf. We’re “happy” we didn’t use up one of this starts at the PLAYERS although he was on our team, so this week may be a good time to get him involved. 4 quality finishes at the Byron Nelson over his past 4 starts there.
(A) Gary Woodland (11) Players
(18) Wells Fargo
(26) Masters
(20) Bay Hill
(24) 2012
(49) 2011
(32) 2010
(MC) 2009
Gary is a cut-making machine recently and also at the Byron Nelson. He’s quietly put together a great 8 tournament stretch starting with a 10th place finish at the Farmers and ending with an 11th place finish at the PLAYERS. Others to consider: #3 Rory Sabbatini, #4 Marc Lieshman, #5 Charles Howell III, #6 Ryan Moore
(B) Jordan Spieth (4) Players
(12) RBC
(2) Masters
(MC) Shell
(68) 2013
(32) 2011
(16) 2010
It turns out Jordan has a fair amount of history at the Byron Nelson, given his two amateur starts in 2010 and 2011, both of which he made the cut and got top 35s. Very impressive recent run, but when will he find that ability to finish on Sundays. We bet sometime soon. He’s gaining a wealth of experience in a very short period of time that other golfers take years or decades to amass. He’ll learn and improve.
(B) Martin Kaymer (1) Players
(18) Wells Fargo
(23) RBC
(31) Masters
(5) 2013
We can’t ignore Martin any longer. His last four tournaments have been fantastic. The real question is how focused he’ll be at the Byron Nelson (or if he’ll withdraw after his big victory). Stay tuned as this pick may have to change. Oh, did we mention he finished 5th at the Byron Nelson last year?
(B) Keegan Bradley (MC) Players
(8) Zurich
(MC) Masters
(43) Shell
(2) 2013
(24) 2012
(1) 2011
Despite a few recent Missed Cuts, he’s the #1 Horse for the Course this week with a victory and a 2nd + a 24th over the past three years. There’s something in the water for Keegan in Dallas.
(B) Jason Dufner (48) Players
(54) Volvo China
(MC) Masters
(14) Valspar
(33) 2013
(1) 2012
(8) 2011
It was a toss-up this week for our 4th and final Group B player, coming down to Dufner, Dustin Johnson, and Freddie Jacobson. Dufner and Johnson have great track records at the Byron Nelson while Jacobson has played better recently. Dufner gets the nod since he’s a former champion and he’s been playing slightly better than D.J. Finally, his Byron Nelson experience has come more recently while Johnson has taken a few years off. Others to consider: #5 Dustin Johnson, #6 Freddie Jacobson, #7 Graham DeLaet, #8 Robert Garrigus
(C) Jimmy Walker (6) Players
(MC) Wells Fargo
(8) Masters
(24) Shell
(27) 2013
(29) 2012
(MC) 2011
(53) 2010
(23) 2009
Had a back door top 10 this week at the Players and despite a Missed Cut at Wells Fargo, he’s been playing very well. Decent/consistent track record at Byron Nelson helps make him the #1 Group C player this week.
(C) Charl Schwartzel (48) Players
(12) RBC
(MC) Masters
(19) Shell
(3) 2013
We dislike his inconsistency, but he’s still playing decent and did place 3rd last year at the Byron Nelson. He’s not our favorite pick, but he’ll have to do this week. Others to consider: #3 Erik Compton, #4 John Senden, #5 Justin Hicks, #6 Robert Streb, #7 Ryo Ishikawa, #8 Paul Casey


#1 Jordan Spieth (15/1) #2 Matt Kuchar (16/1) #3 Dustin Johnson (18/1) #3 Keegan Bradley (18/1) #5 Martin Kaymer (22/1)
#5 Jimmy Walker (22/1) #7 Charl Schwartzel (27/1) #8 Jason Dufner (28/1) #9 Graham DeLaet (30/1) #10 Gary Woodland (34/1)
#10 Harris English (34/1) #12 Ryan Moore (38/1) #13 Brandt Snedeker (42/1) #14 Patrick Reed (44/1) #14 Louis Oosthuizen (44/1)
#14 John Senden (44/1) #14 Ryan Palmer (44/1) #18 Charles Howell III (50/1) #19 Freddie Jacobson (55/1) #20 Marc Leishman (60/1)
#20 Brendon de Jonge (60/1) #22 Pat Perez (65/1) #23 Paul Casey (70/1) #24 Peter Hanson (75/1) Odds by Betfair