It’s that time again…time for the PGA Tour players to gear up for the next major of the year. Well, almost.
Before we hit the second major, the PGA Championship in two weeks, the Tour stops this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.
Some golf tournaments can fall into the category of other tournaments that fall the week before a major: Lack of starpower.
Not this week.
And that’s a good thing. While many of the bigger names take the week off before a major to hone their games for the sport’s brightest spotlights, names like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and more are here and ready to go.
But that doesn’t mean players down the list won’t get their chance to shine and get in the winner’s circle.
In fact, as we will show you, it’s recently been the spot for players to make their mark as a PGA Tour player and winner.
Odds To Win The AT&T Byron Nelson (DraftKings)
Scottie Scheffler +700
Justin Thomas +900
Will Zalatoris +1400
Dustin Johnson +1800
Xander Schauffele +1800
Jordan Spieth +2200
Sam Burns +2200
Brooks Koepka +3500
Joaquin Niemann +3500
As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
Breaking Into Winner’s Circle For First Time
The last three winners at the AT&T Byron Nelson–Aaron Wise in 2018, Sung Kang in 2019, and K.H. Lee in 2021–have one big factor in common.
Their victory here marked the first time in the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour, as well as being their only win on the PGA Tour thus far. (Note: There was no tournament in 2020 because of the pandemic).
Can that run continue this week, or will one of the Tour’s big names rise to the top and break that streak?
One thing is certain, no matter who wins this tournament–along with the almost $1.5 million first-place check–they will definitely vault up the FedEx Cup points rankings.
Let’s Look At An Up-And-Coming Big Name
We’re going to go with a big name who isn’t a big name to many golf fans yet.
It’s Sam Burns at +2200. Sure, he’s won three times on the PGA Tour in the last year. But he’s not one of those players fans recognize as they step up to the first tee yet.
His first win came at the 2021 Valspar Championship just about a year ago. It was the week before last year’s AT&T Byron Nelson where he also played impressive golf and finished second.
But does that put him in the category of up-and-coming PGA Tour stars in the same stratosphere of player recognition as Johnson, Thomas or Koepka (all are in the field this week)?
Nope. But he’s getting closer as his confidence and bank account continue to grow. He has added two more victories to his resume to go along with five other top-10s in this wraparound season, so he’s getting more and more TV and recognition time.
Add in the fact he’s 11th in the world golf rankings and second in the FedEx Cup standings and his stock just keeps rising. And if he wins this week? Well, like the saying goes–the sky’s the limit.
Guess Who’s Back In Action?
Like we said, there are some superstars in the field this week. In fact, seven of the top 15 players in the world are entered this week. That includes–cue the theme from Jaws–Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 ranked player.
If gamblers don’t have him on their list, even as the favorite this week at +700, they need to re-check Scheffler’s play over the last year. It’s as impressive as any golfer in the last decade. In this wraparound season he’s got four victories (with all of them coming in his last seven stars), a second, seven top-10s and 10 top-25s all in just 13 starts.
That’s an impressive career for many golfers.
As hot as he’s been, there’s likely going to be a time when he runs out of gas and his play suffers a little. We’re betting that right now isn’t that time, and he’s right in the hunt come Sunday afternoon’s final pairings. Especially considering the fact the tournament is back in his old stomping grounds of Texas.
Around The Prop World
We’re going to go with a couple of props this week that have solid value.
The first is a head-to-head-to-head matchup with Joaquin Niemann at +170. He’s up against Adam Scott (+175) and Talor Gooch (+175).
It’s good value for the simple reason Niemann has been there come Sunday. And we mean just about every Sunday he tees it up. And he’s won recently, picking up the winner’s check at the Genesis Invitational this past February.
Gooch, who also has a win this season (last fall’s RSM Classic), has been so-so this calendar year with a T-7 being his best finish in 11 events. Scott’s latest event, the Masters, saw him finish T-48. He missed the cut at The Players, so he’s not in top form coming into this week.
Another bet we’re going to look at is: Will there be a playoff?
We’re thinking yes, at +300.
Now for the caveat. It appears this is a good bet if the players in the hunt come Sunday are the bigger names in the field. In the last three tournaments, with the three first-time winners, there was no playoff.
But the two tournaments prior to that did have a playoff. In 2017, Billy Horschel and Jason Day tied at 12-under-par with Horschel winning the tournament on the first playoff hole.
In 2016, it was Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka finishing regulation at 15-under-par. Garcia wound up with the title on the first playoff hole.
One more bet to consider: Koepka finishing in the top 10 at +330.
The reason? It’s the week before a major, his driving force in golf, and he’s going to want to be in top shape heading into next week’s PGA Championship.