The AT&T Byron Nelson 2023
The PGA Tour heads south from North Carolina to Texas this week for the AT&T Byron Nelson – an event that was first played as the Texas Victory Open in 1944. We again have a full field of 156 players in action this week, and the top 65 players plus ties after round 2 will move on to play round 3 on Saturday and round 4 on Sunday.
There’s $9.5M to be won this week, the winner nabs $1.71M, and also receives 500 FedEx Cup points. TPC Craig Ranch is 7,468 yards in length, is a par 72, and the large greens are bentgrass. The average winning score at this tournament over the last ten editions is -18, but it has only been played at TPC Craig Ranch since 2021 and the winning score was -25 in 2021 and -26 in 2022, so it averages -25.5, making it one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour. The record here is -26 and is held by K.H. Lee, and in fact, he’s the only player to have won this tournament on this track and will be looking for the three-peat this week. In order, some core key stats to focus on this week include strokes gained: approach, strokes gained: total, strokes gained: putting, strokes gained: tee to green, and driving accuracy percentage.
Three questions that are relevant to the AT&T Byron Nelson this week:
- Strokes gained: approach is the most important key stat this week, so which 10 players have fared the best off the tee over their last 24 rounds? Scottie Scheffler, Tyrrell Hatton, Aaron Rai, Stephan Jaeger, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Ryan Palmer, Tom Kim, Chesson Hadley, Satoshi Kodaira, and Tom Hoge.
- Which 10 players gained the most strokes total (minimum 8 rounds) at this event since 2018? We have only had two tournaments on this course, so I’m just using the TPC Craig Ranch data. K.H. Lee, Jordan Spieth, Scott Stallings, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Kuchar, Seamus Power, Ryan Palmer, Joseph Bramlett, Vince Whaley, and Brice Garnett.
- What’s my top calculated bet for the week (the goal here is to at least double the wager)? This won’t quite double your ROI, but Scheffler to finish top 5 at -110 is in the neck of the woods – bet with confidence.
Below you will find players that I will bet, might bet, and five random bets that interest me. The odds come from DraftKings Sportsbook and are outright numbers. My betting strategy is to hedge quite a bit so my upside isn’t huge but neither is my downside, and I’m profitable or break even in roughly 70% of the weeks I’m active.
5 Players That I’m Absolutely Betting
Scottie Scheffler (+360) – Scheffler was already the clear cut best player in the field this week, and that gap has widened due to Jordan Spieth withdrawing. He just keeps on piling up top 12 finishes, has two wins in his last six stroke-play events including winning THE PLAYERS Championship, and is a ball-striking machine. He had a T15 here a year ago despite losing 1.59 strokes putting, and he can win this tournament even if he loses on the greens since his tee to green game is super strong. I’m betting Scheffler every which way this week even though his betting odds aren’t that attractive.
K.H. Lee (+2200) – Lee has won both tournaments on this course in 2022 and 2021 and is looking to threepeat this week. He has outrageous stats on this track, so something really fits his eye at TPC Craig Ranch. He’s coming off a T8 last week, and although I’m not sure I can bet anyone to win other than Scheffler this week, I still like K.H. as a top 10 and top 20 wager.
Seamus Power (+4000) – He has produced solid results at this event over the past two years with a T9 in 2021 and a T17 last year on the back of solid short game play. He also had a T18 last week gaining strokes across the board, so there’s some promise this week for Power to do well. I like him as a top 20 and top 30 bet this week, but don’t think I can get to him in top 10 territory.
Tom Kim (+1600) – Kim secured a T16 at The Masters last month, had a T7 at the Zurich Classic, and has three top 23’s in his last four starts if you include the team event that is the Zurich Classic. He had a T17 here last year because of strong approach play, and his off the tee play has been solid over his last six starts being a gainer in five of those in the stat category. I don’t love his betting odds, but can get behind him as a top 10 and top 20 threat.
Hideki Matsuyama (+1800) – He should be good and rested since Matsuyama hasn’t played professionally in a month. He had a 5th at THE PLAYERS Championship and has three top 16’s in his last four starts. Add to it that he gained 11.13 strokes ball-striking here last year en route to a T3, and there’s lots to like about Hideki this week provided he doesn’t have rust. I’m likely going to make top 10 and top 20 bets on him this week, and I would have considered the top 5 also if he had played more recently with a favorable result.
5 Players That I Might Bet
Matt Kuchar (+2500) – He’s a short game specialist who puts up good results on the regular including four consecutive top 23’s – a T3 and a 9th inclusive. Kuchar also has two top 17’s here over the last two years, so it seems easy to pull the trigger on a +125 top 20 bet this week, but I can’t commit to that just yet.
Jason Day (+1400) – Day missed the cut last week, but prior to that he was on an extended heater with five top 10’s in seven starts, and seven top 19’s in eight starts. Every part of his game has been solid since last October, and I can see him bouncing back well this week after not collecting a paycheck last week. He actually won this tournament back in 2010 albeit on a different course, and has four top 9’s over his last seven appearances at this event.
Adam Scott (+3000) – It was nice to see Scott lock down a top 5 last week, and he had a T32 here last year, so there’s hope for him to get into top 20 territory this week. I’m interested in betting him to finish top 20 and top 30, but I need to do some more research before laying down some coin.
Stephan Jaeger (+4000) – Jaeger has two top 38’s here since 2021 including his T17 two years ago when his short game was in fine form. He has three top 27’s in his last four starts and has been sound with his ball-striking and around the green play since mid-February. I’m looking at his -105 number for a top 30, but I’m not prepared to make the wager quite yet.
Jimmy Walker (+9000) – Walker is coming off two straight top 15’s and four top 25’s over his last five starts. He failed to make the cut here two years ago and didn’t compete last year, but has done well over the years in his home state of Texas. He had a T2 at this tournament in 2015, a T6 in 2018, and has seven top 37’s since 2009. I really don’t mind betting Jimmy to finish top 30 and top 40 this week, but for now I’m just pondering the idea.
5 Other Interesting Bets
Top 40 – Vincent Norrman (+140) – I’m intrigued with this bet since Norrman has three top 18’s in his last four starts if you include the Zurich Classic, and four top 21’s in his last six starts.
Top 40 – Dylan Wu (-105) – Wu is a consistent performer having made nine straight stroke-play cut lines, and seven of those were top 39’s. He has had back-to-back top 21’s and was solid with his ball-striking and putting to earn those results. You won’t quite double your money on a top 40 Dylan Wu bet this week, but close enough.
Tournament Matchup – Dylan Wu over Brandon Wu (+105) – This is a fascinating betting opportunity since these two are brothers. Dylan is more consistent than Brandon, so I like his odds to win this week even though Brandon did top Dylan last year.
Player to Win Wire to Wire – Scottie Scheffler (+1600) – Scottie is miles ahead of everyone in this field in terms of talent, and I’ll be betting him in many different scenarios this week. I can see him leading after every round and winning the tournament with ease, so I don’t mind these odds for Scheffler to win in a dominant way.
Tournament Trio – Scheffler over Hatton and Day (-125) – Here we go again with another Scheffler bet, but it’s too good to pass on even though Hatton and Day are great golfers in their own right.
Be sure to do lots of research and due diligence on each player before parting with your hard-earned money, and all the best in having a profitable week!
Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience – including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings – specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.