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Byron Nelson Picks – 2011 Byron Nelson Championship Odds

This week the PGA Tour makes it’s second straight stop in Texas for the HP Byron Nelson Championship. TPC Four Season will host this week’s event and it’s an absolute gem of a course. Last year Jason Day took the Championship but he will have some stiff competition this week.

TPC Four Seasons is a shot makers course. With tight fairways and well-placed bunkers it challenges players to be accurate. In 2010 the fairways were the 2nd hardest to hit on the PGA Tour. The course is susceptible to low scores if the winds do not pick up (currently they are projected to be moderate). Playing 7166 yards and a Par 70, TPC Four Seasons has seen some players go very low (though I expect it to be more challenging this week than in years past).

One of my favorite holes on the golf course and one where players will be very lucky to avoid a bunker is the 4th. The 4th Hole at TPC Four Seasons is a short Par 4 (433yards) but is guarded with 7 fairways bunkers off the tee. If players are lucky enough to avoid this plethora of bunkers, they may find the water that is located on the left hand side of the fairway. When someone finally does hit fairway, they will be forced to be extremely accurate in order to hit a contoured green guarded by two more bunkers. The 4th will provided a difficult test for many players (especially when the wind picks up).

When I looked at this week’s field and was making my selections I thought of 3 things. Firstly, I wanted players who had previously played well at TPC Four Seasons. Knowledge of a course is a key ingredient to success in any PGA tournament. Secondly I wanted players who hit a lot of Greens in Regulation. I don’t mind if players slightly miss fairways, so long as they can hit the Green in Regulation. Finally I started thinking about the US Open. It is quickly approaching (June 16th) and our bankrolls need to continue to increase leading up to it.

Steve’s Byron Nelson Picks and Odds

(The other 3 picks can be found at Golfpicks.net)

Dustin Johnson 14.5/1 – DJ is a player who can win every single week. He has a rare ability to combine strength with touch around the greens. We dream about the ability to drive the ball 350 yards and then hit a flop shot to 3 feet. Dustin does it. Look for him to feed off past success at the HP Byron Nelson and play very well this week.

Rory Sabbatini 24/1 – Rory is a player who seems to relish playing on courses like TPC Four Seasons. He was the champion at this event in 2009 and will bring those good vibes into this week. Look for Rory to hit plenty of 3woods and keep the ball in the fairway. Avoidance of bunkers, trees and water is something Rory can do at this course.

Gary Woodland 45/1 – Gary currently sits 9th on Tour in Greens in Regulation (he hits just over 70%). Woodland does this through his ability to hit the ball so far. Woodland has length like Dustin Johnson and should use this to his advantage at TPC Four Seasons.

Head to Head Match up – Dustin Johnson (+127) over Matt Kuchar

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I hope you all enjoy the golf and come back next week as we work our way towards the US Open.
Steve