Big field on a big ball park before a big major.
Everything is bigger in Texas.
AT&T Byron Nelson
TPC Craig Ranch
|Yards (per official scorecard):||7,468|
|Rough:||Bermuda at 2.5 inches.|
|Bunkers/Water Hazards||83/4; water in play on 13 holes as Rowlett Creek runs through the property.|
|Architects:||Tom Weiskopf (2004).|
|Course Record:||61; Ryan Palmer.|
|Tournament Record:||New event.|
|Purse:||$8.1 million; $1.458 million and 500 FedExCup points (winner).|
- Field of 156 (maximum).
- Top 65 and ties play the weekend.
- First TOUR event on the property.
2020-2021 Season Winners
*- First-time winner
**- First-time winner AND rookie winner
|Safeway Open||Stewart Cink|
|120th United States Open||Bryson DeChambeau|
|Corales Punta Cana Championship||Hudson Swafford|
|Sanderson Farms Championship||Sergio Garcia|
|Shriners Hospitals for Children||Martin Laird (playoff)|
|CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK||Jason Kokrak*|
|ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP||Patrick Cantlay|
|Bermuda Championship||Brian Gay|
|Vivint Houston Open||Carlos Oritz*|
|84th Masters Tournament||Dustin Johnson|
|The RSM Classic||Robert Streb|
|Mayakoba Golf Classic||Viktor Hovland|
|Sentry TOC||Harris English|
|Sony Open in Hawaii||Kevin Na|
|The American Express||Si Woo Kim|
|Farmers Insurance Open||Patrick Reed|
|Waste Management Phoenix Open||Brooks Koepka|
|AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am||Daniel Berger|
|The Genesis Invitational||Max Homa|
|WGC – Championship at The Concession||Collin Morikawa|
|Arnold Palmer Invitational||Bryson DeChambeau (2)|
|THE PLAYERS Championship||Justin Thomas|
|The Honda Classic||Matt Jones|
|WGC- Match Play||Billy Horschel|
|Corales Puntacana||Joel Dahmen*|
|Valero Texas Open||Jordan Spieth|
|85th Masters Tournament||Hideki Matsuyama|
|RBC Heritage||Stewart Cink (2)|
|Zurich Classic of New Orleans||Cameron Smith/Marc Leishman|
|Valspar Championship||Sam Burns|
|Wells Fargo Championship||Rory McIlroy|
Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details and angles for this week.
|2012||Justin Bolli||-16||Played as Par-71; defeated James Hahn by two shots.|
|2008||Matt Bettencourt||-17||Won by a shot.|
Facts and Figures:
|Lowest Rounds||63 – 2008 64; James Hahn – 2012|
|Multiple Champion(s) Entered:||n/a.|
|First Time – TOUR:||n/a.|
|First Time – Event||n/a.|
|Odd Fact:||Also used for a Q-School qualifying site.|
New track, for most, will open the door for plenty of names and faces.
TPC Craig Ranch is Par-72 (7,468 yards) so there’s plenty of ballpark here to cover.
Bentgrass greens return. Those who didn’t play the Masters will have to adjust because it’s been a while.
35 acres of fairway and greens approaching 6,800 square feet on average allow for wind to factor.
Big targets off the tee and into the green = door wide open for most.
Putting contest? Probably.
BUT: Guys who can overpower it will have less club in their hands attacking big greens. Hit it close, make less feet of putts!
With 2.5 inches of rain in the last week it shouldn’t be “hot and fast”. Plus, Zoysia doesn’t encourage roll.
Week before the major is always interesting because you never know what the rationale of the best players will be. Unless Jordan Spieth is playing and is on a heater.
If the wind is a factor, power players, as usual, will be the factors.
Benign conditions will open it up to more.
Check out the low rounds from the Web.com Tour Championships in HFC.
Last Week: Wells Fargo Championship
Jon Rahm (+1100): Let’s get it out of the way immediately: He’s never played this event on this course. He was T58 at 2017 PGA Championship. I don’t think it matters where he tees it up but this is his rust buster after the Masters. I prefer him in rhythm. MC; streak ends at 22.
Justin Thomas (+1100): No top 10 before his win at THE PLAYERS and no top 10s before it in full field events in 2021. Weird. His ball-striking last week was better than great but he missed everything on the greens. Memories of the first major championship will come flowing back this week as well . T21, MC, T7 in three previous trips suggests another top 20 this week. Just missed with T26 but out of sorts again with the putter (58th; SG: Putting).
Bryson DeChambeau (+1400): Another lush, green track that will allow him to bomb away should have him excited. Don’t forget about his usually excellent short game and putting as well. Last time he was here he played his final 54 holes 12-under for solo fourth. Played his final 36 holes this time 6-under for T9.
Rory McIlroy (+1600): The horse for the course has had three weeks as well to sort it after the run of MC-T28-MC. Softest landing spot possible. I’d expect a very strong start if he’s figured anything out. I like him more for FRL. COMPLETE OPPOSITE. First time he’s ever won opening with a score above par!
Xander Schauffele (+1800): Full bag and plays difficult courses well. No luck here, yet, with MC PGA and T72 in 2018. T14 with only one round in the 60s is a proper grind. He’s a proper grinder.
Viktor Hovland (+1800): Turned on the class last Sunday at Valspar to hit the podium. New courses don’t bother him and neither to big ones. Across the board, win, top 10, top 20. Lowest 36 hole total on the weekend for T3. Cashed two of three.
Webb Simpson (+2200): Wrong home game. Yeah, lives on No. 7, got it. Also says he never plays THIS course when he’s at home. And doesn’t play it very often either. I believe THIS week is the social week and Wyndham is the business trip. WD – neck injury before his tee time on Thursday.
Will Zalatoris (+2800): We’ll see if he’s human this week. He got engaged on his two week break and he was T42 at RBC his last time out. Was he distracted because he was gonna pop the question? Is he no longer distracted since SHE SAID YES??? I mean, he KNEW she was gonna say yes anyhow, right? Life changing shit. I’ll sit back and observe. MC, because he’s human…
Tony Finau (+2800): Not top 10s in four starts but four paydays. Streak ends at four straight with MC.
Patrick Reed (+3000): OAD last week left me for dead. I’d expect a very solid bounce back performance. He’s never MC in six tries and was T2 at the PGA Championship. Top 10, Top 20. All four rounds par or better for T6 and two more winners.
33-1 or worse
Patrick Cantlay (+3300): He’s MC on his own ball in his last three events. You know when the last time that happened? Well, the last time he MC more than 3 times IN A YEAR was 2013. I’ll wait for bentgrass or poa. Make it four straight on his own ball.
Joaquin Niemann (+3300): It was his PUTTER last week that did the damage as he struggled tee-to-green but cashed T8. Another week on Champion Bermuda surely won’t make him upset. Top 10. Top 20. T18 splitsville but that’s better than taking the L.
Max Homa (+3500): It’s great that he’s won since his last visit but he’s still the star of the show this week as the last champion. Besides McIlroy, defending champs don’t fare well here so I’ll let history run its course. MC
Corey Conners (+3500): Wash, rinse, repeat. T21 last week cost me a few but his vein of form is outstanding. Try again Top 10, Top 20. T43
Abraham Ancer (+5000): Yes please. Solo second should have helped plenty at this price.
Jason Day (+6600): Skinny across the board. Fat loss.
Lucas Glover (+9000): Top 10, Top 20. Gave some back – MC.
$2 Long Shots
Matthew NeSmith (+14000) – T58
Phil Mickelson (+17500) – 69th
Vaughn Taylor (+25000) – MC
Seamus Power (+30000) – T54
Chesson Hadley (+35000) – MC
This Week – AT&T Byron Nelson
Bryson DeChambeau (+800): Part of my mind wants to wander to TPC Twin Cities in 2019 when he posted 20-under and was second to Matt Wolff. Home game but with a major next week, I’ll pass.
Jon Rahm (+800): I’m sure he took his first MC well hahaha. Interesting he’s playing this week. But not interesting enough to get involved.
Jordan Spieth (+1200): The best form of the top three by a mile. No problem on Bentgrass either. Returning after a bout of COVID and 3 weeks off is tough.
Daniel Berger (+1800): Last time we saw him T13 RBC on Pete Dye Bermuda. Plenty of rust busting this week scares me off. Especially if a big score is required to win.
Scottie Scheffler (+1800): Start here. Across win-top10-top20.
Matt Fitzpatrick (+2000): 5 of last 7 T11 or better. If a putting contest breaks out, I won’t be worried. Top 10, Top 20.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2200): First appearance after two weeks of quarantine and sainthood. I’ll let him bask in the glory of the green jacket.
Brooks Koepka (+2200): Showed up at TPC Scottsdale and won after a harsh run of form. We’ll see how the knee is holding up after a month off. If he shows up, I’m concerned.
Will Zalatoris (+2800): Real life engagement was followed by real life MC at Quail Hollow. Local should be in high demand this week professionally and personally. Balancing act will be on display.
33-1 or worse
Marc Leishman (+3300): His last two events are WIN (Zurich) and T5 (Masters). Noted wind player if that picks up. No problem making birdies. Across the board.
Sam Burns (+3500): Last time we saw him he won for the first time on TOUR. I don’t follow up with life-changing moments! Your money, you do you!
Ryan Palmer (+4000): 14 straight paydays should be 15. Oh, and he holds the course record and is a local. Another across. Riding the veterans this week.
Si Woo Kim (+4500): I’d feel better if this was a Dye track haha.
Sergio Garcia (+5000): Rolls in MC-MC-T5-T9 in his last four. Went low at Sanderson Farms to win after MC-MC. Lives in Austin.
Charl Schwartzel (+6000): 5 straight, 6 if you include P2 at Zurich. T14 and T21 in his last two are the best on his own ball. Top 10, Top 20.
Keith Mitchell (+6000): Fire lit at Valero with T17, carried on to Zurich and then he bent his putter. Fixed that and led by 2 after 54 holes last week before falling to Rory. Top 10, Top 20.
Aaron Wise (+6600): Last time this event moved venues he won with 23-under at Trinity Forest. T9 last week is his best of 2021 so let’s ride. Top 20 at least.
Carlos Ortiz (+7000): North Texas grad played great last week minus the final round and was top five TPC Scottsdale on another Weiskopf course. Stretching? Sure. Skinny across.
Cameron Champ (+8000): Big open ballpark always will throw my eyes back in this direction. Top 20
Thomas Pieters (+8000): Lightly raced but all of those races are T15 or better in less than optimal fields on TOUR.
$2 Long Shots – Use them where you need
Peter Uihlein (+10000)
Alex Noren (+10000)
Wyndham Clark (+12500)
Camilo Villegas (+15000)
KH Lee (+17500)
Vince Whaley (+22500)
Roger Sloan (+27500)
Hank Lebioda (+30000)
Sung Kang (+30000)
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter (@mikeglasscott) or email me: email@example.com.