The PGA Tour stops in Texas this week for the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Now while this isn’t one of the new “designated” tournaments on the schedule with a $20 million purse (the purse is $9.5 million for the AT&T), it does offer players one big incentive for playing. It’s the final tuneup before the year’s second major, next week’s PGA Championship.
2023 PGA Championship Odds & Betting Guide
But before we talk about the major, let’s talk about the AT&T Byron Nelson, a tournament that sees more than its share of top talent teeing it up including one hometown guy who we love.
More on that in a minute.
This year’s tournament will feature 13 of the top 50 in the world rankings. Not a bad showing and last year’s leaderboard showed the cream definitely rose to the top — with a sprinkling of rising talent thrown in for good measure.
While K.H. Lee won by a stroke following a final round sizzling 63, names like Jordan Spieth (second), Hideki Matsuyama (T-3) along with Xander Schauffele, and Justin Thomas (both T-5) were right there coming down the stretch.
For Lee, it was his second career win on the PGA Tour. There’s more to the story as Lee comes in as the two-time defending champion after winning in 2021, too.
Now he’s gunning for three in a row. It’s a feat that has been accomplished just 15 times on the PGA Tour, six of them by Tiger Woods (of course). The most recent was Steve Stricker, who won the John Deere Classic from 2009-2011.
The sportsbooks aren’t jumping on the Lee bandwagon to win again, as he’s anywhere from the sixth pick to the 10th pick at many top-rated sportsbooks.
Can Lee make it a three-peat? Will we see someone pick up their first win on the PGA Tour? Will we see one of the guys tuning up for next week’s PGA Championship win?
So many questions and so little time.
Let’s start digging.
Odds to Win AT&T Byron Nelson
|Si Woo Kim||+3500|
|Min Woo Lee||+3500|
|Byeong Hun An||+5000|
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Fade K.H. Lee This Week
It’s simple, really. K.H. Lee has been one of those players who is going to be solid for many years to come. He’s got the two wins here, but has made just 85 of 133 cuts and earned a little more than $10 million.
Those are numbers most of us mere mortals would take over his four years on Tour.
But diving a little deeper, he’s got just 10 top-10 finishes in his career, and that includes those two victories. Lee played well last week at the Wells Fargo, finishing T-8. Like we said, he’s a solid player with one course that seems to really fit his game.
But for him to win three in a row? That is asking a lot.
Also read: PGA Championship Predictions, Odds & Longshots for Second Major
Another Hometown Hero in Spotlight
Jordan Spieth missed the cut badly last week at the Wells Fargo, and now we may have a reason why as he withdrew this week with a wrist injury.
We found this out after we spent time looking at plenty of reasons why we had him as our top pick this week. Now, we’ve got to hit the erase key and move on.
With Spieth out of the picture, we’re turning our attention to another guy who calls this a home game: Scottie Scheffler.
We’ve seen this picture before: Scheffler comes into a tournament as the favorite (he’s +450 this week) and takes down the field and wins a title.
It’s not a very action-packed picture, as Scheffler doesn’t show his emotions on the course like a few other players.
It’s actually kind of boring to watch if you’re looking for reactions of any type–either good or bad–from Scheffler’s shots. He’s not like Tyrrell Hatton, who has a habit of tossing many golf balls into water hazards around the course after bad results on a hole.
But for Scheffler, it’s another of those tournaments where everything seems to be lining up for him to win again. He’s playing a hometown event as a former University of Texas player.
Scheffler’s also on another roll like last season. Since the start of 2023, he’s had one of those runs that just doesn’t seem possible.
He’s got two high-profile victories at the WM Phoenix Open and Players Championship. Want more?
Since the calendar turned to 2023, he’s played in nine events with nine made cuts. Along with those two wins, he’s also got four other top-10s. Now before you wonder about the other three events, we’ll tell you not to worry: He’s got two T-11s and a T-12.
He’s always right there. Give him the home course edge and the fact he was T-15 here last year after a mediocre final round and, despite the fact he’s just +450, we’ll keep our seat on this bandwagon.
Matsuyama Worth a Wager to Win
We thought we had this down to a science with the two hometown guys as picks No. 1 and No.2. (Spieth is also a former University of Texas player).
With Spieth out, we’re going to set our sights down the list, and take a look at Hideki Matsuyama at +2200.
He hasn’t been in the best form since the calendar turned to 2023, with his best finishes being a pair of top-10s in 10 events including a solo fifth at the Players Championship.
He also had back-to-back missed cuts in that run, but in the last two outings he’s been T-15 and was T-16 in the Masters. Matsuyama hasn’t played since the Masters, so hopefully he’s been working on his game to get back into top form.
He was T-3 here last year, so he will have good memories coming into the tournament including a final-round 62 that vaulted him up the leaderboard and into contention.
Around the Prop Scene
We’re going to go with one of our old-time favorites as a prop bet this week: Adam Scott to finish in the top-10 at +320.
Scott is 9-for-9 when it comes to making cuts in this wraparound season. But those made cuts have resulted in just one top-10 finish, which means mediocre golf for the most part.
His one top-10 did come last week with a T-5 at the Wells Fargo, so there is reason to be optimistic. He was T-32 here last year.
We’re also going to look at there being a playoff this week at +300. Since 2000, there have been seven playoffs with the most recent coming in back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017.
Here’s a weird prop to ponder: If you’re thinking Scheffler will come out of the gate hot, you can get impressive odds on him to lead after the first round at +1600.