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Byron Nelson 2021 Predictions: DeChambeau at +800 to win

Bryson DeChambeau is our Pick to win the AT&T Byron Nelson this week
Bryson DeChambeau is our Pick to win the AT&T Byron Nelson this week
By J.N. Campbell

Abraham Ancer was agonizingly close to winning the Wells Fargo last week at +4000 for our PGA man J.N. Campbell, this week in the AT&T Byron Nelson, he picks out his winner plus a few prop bets to get you going...

The AT&T Byron Nelson continues to be a major stop along the PGA Tour, positioned just before the PGA Championship in South Carolina. It is one of a pair of tournaments that the Dallas -Ft. Worth area hosts in the month of May (The Colonial in Ft. Worth is the other). It has the distinction of being the first PGA event named after a former professional golfer. 

Byron Nelson was a true ambassador for the sport if there ever was one. Even though he only played for a short time (late 1930s-early 1940s), his swing was scientifically studied for generations to come. Before his death in 2006, he was always on-hand to congratulate the pros as they finished “his” tournament. It was a lovely homage to the history of the sport.  

For many years, the TPC at Las Colinas hosted the event before it shifted to a pair of new sites. Most recently, the TPC at Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas (north of Dallas) became the home for Lord Byron’s Tournament. A Par-71 challenge awaits, along with a purse of $8.1 Million, and $1.42 going into the winner’s pocket. The distance markers come to the tune of 7,438 yards. This Tom Weiskopf-designed course is scaped by greens made of bentgrass, which should play nicely in the temps of North Texas. Don’t forget, golf in the region is always accompanied by that customary wind that emanates from the beyond. 

As far as who has the edge, you might want to take a turn through the PGA address book because you will quickly realize just how many pros reside in the area. Mainstays include Jordan Spieth and newcomers like Will Zalatoris. Perhaps this kind of “home field advantage” comes into play? Sleeping in one’s own bed, getting a good night’s sleep, can allow you to be rested and ready to fire on all cylinders.  

Last week, my Top 10 Finish List for the Wells Fargo Championship included winner, Rory McIlory (-10), Viktor Hovland (-8), and Abraham Ancer (-9). I just missed with Ancer (finished in 2nd, outright) who was a juicy +4000 before the start of the tournament. Now, the scene heads to Texas, and let’s see what we can come up with in another competitive field. 

Golf Odds

Here are some “Prop Bets” that you might consider ... (+ odds to win the Byron Nelson)

Making the cut ... (Kyoung-Hoon Lee +15000)

Who doesn’t like a long shot ... in golf, unlike other sports, the opportunity exists to find that diamond in the proverbial rough—really, no pun intended ... With a field of veterans and young upstarts, there are so many factors that contribute to making a wager. When it comes to the “Cut List” bet, then the best rule of thumb is to mine a selection that has the look of an outsider.

Do not think that just because they have missed playing on the weekend over the past few tourneys that they are unable to mount a charge in the coming one. My pick this time around for the Byron is Kyoung-Hoon Lee, who has made 5 cuts in a row. A pair of those performances were Top 25 efforts in the end, and that bodes well when it comes to facing a course like the CR in McKinney. This week if he can improve his OPA, and be stingy around the Texas-sized greens, then he might have the opportunity to make up some ground. Making the weekend should be a makable goal. Odds should be more than square ... 

Going low, Single Round ... (Will Zalatoris +2500)

Will Zalatoris, recently engaged to his girlfriend whom he met at Wake Forrest, just bought a house in North Texas. He joins a bevy of Dallas-dwellers that have their Tour Cards. It is a popular place to live, especially with so many readily-accessible places to practice and play. Some decent weather follows ...

In his mid-twenties, and after notching his first PGA win in Colorado last year, Zalatoris acquitted himself well last month in The Masters, and that makes him a popular selection since he will be returning to play in his hometown of Big D. When you miss a tie by one stroke to eventual champion Hideki Matsuyama, that counts for something. Though he missed the cut at the Wells Fargo, one fondly remembers stead his stellar play in the 2020 U.S. Open, when he tied with Dustin Johnson for 6th place. I think he has a major chance to win the Byron, and I like the idea of backing him in this category too. 

Top 5 Finish ... (Jordan Spieth +1100)

Local favorite Jordan Spieth has spent the past few years off his game. His meteoric rise from Hook’em neophyte to Ryder Cup regular, was one of the major storylines in sport. He finally cooled off after collecting some of the Majors. He was back in 2021 at Augusta, as he finished in the Top 5. It was a command performance.

Afterwards, he took some time off in order to recharge his batteries and prepare to play the Byron in his backyard. When his driving ability is under control, and his iron play can put him within 15-18ft., then he can be unbeatable. I think he is a lock to finish somewhere between 1 and 5. The relationship between Spieth and Michael Greller, his longtime caddie, continues to be the catalyst that keeps this marriage working. Greller is one of the best in the business, and the Texan couldn’t get along without him. The Dallas-ite should vie for supremacy as he combines a delicate touch with pure fire manifesting itself in the soul.

And the Winner is ... (Bryson DeChambeau +800)

In Charlotte last week, Bryson DeChambeau just knew that he missed the cut in the Wells Fargo. He was so supremely confident that he went ahead and packed his bags, and returned home to Texas. When he realized that he had just barely scraped by, he knew it was time to get on a plane and return to North Carolina. That is just what he did at 2:30 on Saturday morning ...

Maybe it was just the kickstart that he needed ... firing a pair of 68s over the weekend. Finishing tied for 9th ($228k to his pocket) was an impressive display for the FedEx Leader. He sunk birdies, one from 16ft., exhibited strong up-and-down play, and appeared to be a totally different golfer than the one that teed it the previous 2 days.

Now, coming into the Byron Nelson, he is poised to nab a victory, as he prepares for the PGA Championship. I like his chances to ride this hot streak all the way to the FedEx bank. Playing on his home turf could be a major advantage, especially since the Craig Ranch Course is virtually unknown to most. DeChambeau’s mix of science and artistry are partly experimental, but also deeply rooted in tangible practices that verge on the balance between Yin-Yang. He should be in a strong position to score after driving what is shaping up to be some forgiving fairways.

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Enjoy the Byron Nelson! Like its namesake, it’s a classic! Should be another great weekend on the Tour ...

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