HP Byron Nelson Championship Preview, Picks + Predictions Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #IronByron

A lot has been written about the diminishing quality of the annual field at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, but there’s undoubtedly a farily high level of quality in looking at the recent winner’s list: ’08- Adam Scott, ’09- Rory Sabbatini, ’10- Jason Day, ’11- Keegan Bradley, ’12- Jason Dufner, ’13- Sang Moon-Bae.  Ok, so Sabbatini and Moon-Bae are the clear outliers here, but three of the other four are major champs, with Jason Day having his finger tips on numerous major championship trophies the past couple years (amazing that his win here in ’10 still remains as his only PGA Tour victory).

TPC Four Seasons-Las Colinas is the host course, a track that annually plays as one of the tougher par 70 tracks of the season (ranked 4th toughest on Tour last year).  The course is mostly a bomber’s paradise, as at only 7,166 yards it is gives big advantages to the bomb-and-gouge player types; however, with gusty winds and slippery greens, it can play deceivingly tough (as noted above).  Expect the winner this week to be a bomber, who has an extra hot week with the flatstick.

A so-so performance for my picks last week as Lee Westwood finished a solid t-6th and my BUST pick of the week on Bubba was accurate as he finished t-48th, meaning his best career PLAYERS finish still remains a t-37th (twice).  As far as the rest, Scott and de Jonge made the cut, but disappointed overall, and my DOTD pick Roberto Castro missed the cut.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Scott t-38th, Westwood t-6th)          

Keegan Bradley
Keegan Bradley
– Despite the fact that Keegan’s herky-jerky, stutter-stepping pre-shot routine drives me absolutely batty, I love his chances this week.  Keegs won here in ’11, finished t-24th in ’12 and set the course record in shooting 60 here on Thursday last year en route to his solo 2nd finish.  He did miss the cut at the PLAYERS last week, but frankly, his spray-it-everywhere roller-coaster game isn’t suited for TPC Sawgrass.  He finished t-8th in his prior tourney at the Zurich Classic, so the current form is still there.  Also note that he missed the cut in his prior two tourneys before shooting that 60 last year, so have no fear in rostering him aplenty this week.

Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
– Looking for his first top 10 since the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February, Moore undoubtedly flies under the radar a bit coming into this week, but hear me out here.  First, his current form is solid with a t-26th last week at the PLAYERS and a t-18th the prior week at Quail Hollow.  Second, although he hasn’t played here since ’09, he doesn’t have some positive vibes to draw from as the prior year in ’08 he lost in a playoff to Adam Scott.  Ok, so losing in a playoff isn’t the best of memories (recall that 50 foot bomb Scott made to win on the first playoff hole), but playing solid all week in shooting 67-70-68-68 and nearly winning is something to draw from.  Moore makes a very sleepy-solid pick this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: de Jonge 70th)

Morgan Hoffmann
Morgan Hoffmann
– The young dude better known for being Rickie Fowler’s college roommate at Oklahoma St than for his own game, had a sneaky good t-17th finish last week at the PLAYERS, shooting 4 very steady under par rounds of: 71-70-70-71.  Throw in his t-5th here last year and the recent momentum plus good vibes from last year make him a solid sleeper pick this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last Week: Bubba t-48th)

Harris English
Harris English
– Harris was one of the hottest players on Tour from late last year through February, as he notched a victory (Mayakoba), as well as six other top 16 finishes…and then golf happened.  He missed the cut at the Masters, finished t-31st at Harbour Town, and then missed the cut at the PLAYERS.  He did finish t-17th here last year, but due to recent form, stay away until further notice.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Castro MC)

Paul Casey
Paul Casey
– It’s easy to overlook players when they take a week or two off, especially when they’re first timers at an event, which are both spot on the case this week with Casey.  The former top 5 player in the world is on the cusp of finding that prime form again, finishing t-11th (Zurich) and t-18th (RBC Heritage) in his past two events.  Don’t forget that this is a Ryder Cup year as well, so undoubtedly he’s playing his tail off to qualify for that team in Gleneagles.  I flat out guarantee a top 10 by Casey this week, with a potential for an outright victory, bearded-goose and all.  Paul Casey is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

Comments

  1. “Flat out guarantee”. You are 100% right he wasn’t on my radar. I play in many Daily Fantasy Sport sites and also bet 5 guys at 20 a pop each week to win and have won 3 weeks in a row… picking the winners. I had 4 of my guys set for my bets this week and couldn’t make up my mind on the 5th. I will put 20 at 50/1 on Casey now. If I hit you let me know where the 10% referral fee goes to!! I hope you are right. Thanks again for your picks.

    • Hey Ben,
      Thanks for your comment and great work picking winners three straight weeks! That’s a helluva tough task even picking 5 guys each week.

      Casey’s price on DK ($8,300) and DS ($16k) have both risen, but he’ll still go unnoticed by the masses this week, which is money in the bank for us.

      Joel

  2. Great article. What are your thoughts on Vijay? Seems to have success here

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