PGA Hot Picks for the AT&T Byron Nelson
Rory Mcllroy held on to defeat Abraham Ancer by one stroke at the Wells Fargo Championship last Sunday at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. The PGA Tour now turns to Texas once again for one last warm-up before the PGA Championship at the AT&T Byron Nelson. The event has been held at Trinity Forest for the past two seasons, but the event has been moved to TPC Craig Ranch, which will be hosting its first PGA Tour event this week.
Korn Ferry winners here (Matt Bettencourt, Justin Bolli) exhibited great iron play and elite short games when they brought home the hardware. The winner of this event is likely to eclipse 20-under par, so make sure you are betting on someone who can string together birdies. It will be mostly sunny throughout the event, excluding Sunday which should have scattered thunderstorms and winds ranging around 15 miles per hour. If the inclement weather is projected for early in the morning, the golfers will go off late.
World No.1 Dustin Johnson was the original favorite this week, but the odds board has shifted since he announced his withdrawal on Monday afternoon. Bryson Dechambeau (+800) and Jon Rahm (+800) are now co-favorites for this event. Jordan Spieth (+1000), Daniel Berger (+1600), and Scottie Scheffler (+1800) follow them up on the board.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 11, 2021
Spieth is a Texas native with a win in the Lone Star State already this season, but the University of Texas alumnus actually more worthy of a bet is Scottie Scheffler. Scheffler was close to his first Tour win earlier this year in Texas, when he finished runner-up to Billy Horschel at the WGC Dell-Technologies Match Play.
Behind Scheffler on the odds board is Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (+2000). However, it is the Masters runner-up we will be taking a look at this week in Will Zalatoris (+2500). Zalatoris is coming off his first missed cut in 14 events, which might actually produce the perfect chance to buy low on him. He moved to Plano, Texas before his 10th birthday and has been coming to the Byron Nelson event ever since. Zalatoris has displayed the iron play and short game to win at a course like this, and like Scheffler he could be the perfect candidate to become a first-time winner this week.
Best Value Plays
The middle tier features prominent golfers like Marc Leishman (+2800) and Sam Burns (+2800), but the first golfer worth a bet is Ryan Palmer (+4000). Palmer has the ability to go low and displayed some hot putting earlier this season that, if repeated again, could earn himself a win this weekend. Over the last 50 rounds on the PGA Tour, Palmer ranks ninth in birdie or better percentage, which displays his ability to light up the leaderboard in short spurts.
Kuchar has not been very consistent over the past year, but he has three top-20 finishes in his last four starts. He finished 12th at the Valero and third at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, so he has posted some great finishes in Texas thus far this season. The return of his approach and short games make him a great play to return to victory this week at 60-1.
This event has never hosted a PGA Tour event, which is precisely the type of course that oftren produces longshots who shock the golfing world. Everyone is on the same playing field and that opens the door for some smart longshot bets, starting with Talor Gooch (+8000).
The Oklahoma native would love to steal an event from the large number of Texas natives in the field, but his style of play really makes him worth a look. Gooch has been known for his iron play in his time on the Tour, but over the past month he is putting better than he has in his entire career. He has played this course before on the Korn Ferry Tour. Add in the fact that he has made seven of his last eight cuts, and Gooch appears to havethe form to win this week.
The second outright longshot worth a bet is Sebastian Munoz (+11000), who certainly has the birdie-making ability to reach 20-under this week. The North Texas graduate typically matches all of his birdies with a fair amount of bogeys, but at 110-1 he is easily worth a bet to limit the bogeys and win the 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson.
Top-10 Play of the Week
Ortiz has been known for struggling with his driver and approach games at times, but no one can doubt that he is one of the best putters on the entire Tour. He has one win on the PGA Tour, but with this semi-loaded field, the best bet is to look at him to finish top 10 at 5-1. Ortiz finished T-12 at this event in 2019. It was then played at a different course, but the layouts are similar enough to make this a great bet.
Matchup Play of the Week
The Matchup Play of the Week is Matthew Fitzpatrick (-140) over Brooks Koepka. Fitzpatrick has been knocking on the door for his first PGA Tour win for quite some time now, but he plays his best golf in tougher conditions, which is why he should be avoided for an outright bet this week. His recent form is too solid to ignore and he is very consistent.
He claims to be healthy, but with the PGA Championship on deck next week, he mainly will be working on ironing out his weaknesses more than actually aggressively pursuing the Byron Nelson trophy. Fitzpatrick is more hungry for a win and that should lead to a higher finish this week.