Today when THE PLAYERS Championship is still in the rear-view mirror, the golfing world turns its collective attention to another TPC course. The Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas for the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship. Where six of the top 20 golfers in the world will be in attendance, with Dustin Johnson the +450 favorite at online books. Jordan Spieth (+1200), Sergio Garcia (+1200), Jason Day (+1600), Brooks Koepka (+1600), Patrick Reed (+2800), Louis Oosthuizen (+3300), Tony Finau (+3300), Charley Hoffman (+3500) and Russell Henley (+3500) round out the top 10.
Originally known as the Dallas Open, the very first AT&T Byron Nelson Championship was won by the man who the event is now named after, in 1944. As a measure of how big a tournament this once was, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan won the next two editions and the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Payne Stewart all took the title before between the 1970s and 1990. A three year spell in the mid-90s saw Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods victorious and since the turn of the century, major winners Vijay Singh, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Jason Dufner and Sergio Garcia have all also won here but the tournament isn’t as popular as it once was.
Defending Champ, Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters Tournament champion, is back to defend his title in the Lone Star State. He also took the title in 2004 and he’s the only man to win at this venue twice.
The Spaniard became the only man to win twice at TPC Four Seasons after prevailing in a one-hole playoff with Koepka. Garcia’s spring has been one for the ages and he enters this weekend on an impressive run that also featured a hole-in-one on the famous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass last weekend.
This year’s edition will be especially noteworthy since it’s the last time it will be played at the Four Seasons before moving to Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas next year.
Eleven of the last 17 Byron Nelson winners have done it after posting all four rounds in the 60s, so a strong start is crucial for success here. The event is especially important because of its connection to the U.S. Open, which gets underway in mid-June. At the conclusion of the Byron Nelson, all players inside the top 60 of the world rankings will be guaranteed an invitation to Erin Hills.
Despite being on the short end of PGA Tour courses at just 7,166 yards, TPC Four Seasons is surprisingly long at times. The majority of its par 4s will give players nightmares, including No. 3 the most difficult hole on the course at 528 yards. There were twice as many bogeys/double/others than birdies there in 2016.
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