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AT&T Byron Nelson Expert Picks

Testing Jon Currans putting in Dallas

Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

AT&T Byron Nelson
When: May 19th -€” 22nd

Where: Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas
2015 Winner: Steven Bowditch (-18)


The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.

Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas -€” Designed in 1986 Jay Morrish and Robert Trent Jones Jr, the Four Seasons brings on a myriad of challenges. It features elevation changes, wind, narrow fairways, and a fair amount of angled fairways. The key to success here is good ball placement and solid putting. Driving doesn't fare as well here as other tournaments.  Watch for holes 16 and 7 to trip up golfers and holes 3, 15 and 18 to make up some ground.


A: 
Dustin Johnson -€” Right after mentioning how little driving matters I pick a player with one of the more dominant drives. His game is solid all around this year though as he's 4th in driving distance, top ten in sub 100 approaches, and 37th in putting. It should come as no surprise that given his solid all-around game, his last ten starts are: 10th, 18th, 41st, 4th, 14th, 5th, 3rd, 4th and 28th. His last few starts here: 2015 (8th), 2014 (7th), and 2011 (20th). 

B: 
Ryan Palmer -€” Ryan has arguably more success here than just about any other golfer. He finished 2015 (10th), 2014 (22nd), 2013 (33rd), 2012 (9th) and  2011 (2nd) Additionally, he's playing well lately with a 23rd finish at the Players Championship and 4th at Valera Texas Open.

Jon Curran -€” I'll be candid. I pondered Brooks Koepka here but he's missed the cut in the last two Texas Tournaments (Shell Houston and Valero Texas). Then I pondered Jimmy Walker but he's been slowing down as he typically does midseason. Then I pondered  Colt Knost who has missed the cut 3 of his 5 times here and there is a strong argument to historical success at a tournament. I'm sure one of these will do well but instead I'm going with Jon. He finished 6th here last year, he's been all over the place with missed cuts and 9th place finishes but he scrambles very well and is 15th in total putting.

C:
Marc Leishman -€” He's not having the best season but it's not exactly terrible either. He's had 3 top 20 finishes in his last 8 tournaments with one missed cut and two finishes above 50. With that said,  he is strong here 2015 (Cut), 2014 (3rd), 2013 (12th) and 2011 (3rd). His success here has a lot to do with his excellent putting where he is 12th in total putting.

Sleeper Pick:
Tim Wilkinson -€”
13 year vet out of St. Peter's College in New Jersey, Tim has been playing great golf over his last four tournaments: Coco Beach (21st), Valero Open (29th), Zurich Classic (64th) and Wells Fargo (11th). He's a great putter (10th on the tour) and while he missed the cut here last year, he finished 22nd in 2014.

Last tournament results -€” The Players Championship (155 total) -€” Picks: Fowler, Knox, Z. Johnson, K Aphibarnrat, Kizzire
A: 77th place
B: 54th place; 19th place
C: 93rd place
Dark Horse: 76th place

YTD Avg: (Average field of 129 people)
A: 41st place 
B: 34th place
C: 58thplace
Dark Horse: 49th place

Fun factoid about this tournament: Byron Nelson, who the tournament is named after, passed away in 2006. In his prime, he made the cut in a (then record) 113 consecutive events when making the cut in a pro tourney (at the time it meant being in the top 20 after two rounds).