AT&T Byron Nelson preview and golf betting tips 2023
AT&T Byron Nelson Golf Tips
2pts ew Tom Kim 20/1 (8)
2pts ew Hideki Matsuyama 25/1 (8)
1pt ew JJ Spaun 60/1 (8)
1pt ew Christiaan Bezuidenhout 70/1 (8)
The AT&T Byron Nelson will be taking place at TPC Craig Ranch in Texas for the third year running. There has been a slight course setup change from last year with the 12th hole now playing as a par 4 rather than the par 5 it was in 2022 and 2021, the course will play as a 7,414 yard par 71 as a result of the change. This ranks as the third easiest course on the PGA Tour circuit. Nine of the world’s top-50 players are teeing it up this week, some of these include Scottie Scheffler, Tyrrell Hatton, Tom Kim and the resurgent Jason Day. Jordan Spieth withdrew on Monday with a wrist injury. K.H Lee returns to defend his title again after his victories in 2021 and 2022. Just nine men since World War II have won the same event on the PGA TOUR three straight years, so Lee is looking to make even more history with another win here at the Byron Nelson. It should be another birdie fest this week, the last two tournaments here have yielded winning scores of -25 and -26, expect something similar. Important to note that this marks the final event prior to the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.
Key Stats Analysis
A quick look into the stats at the last two renewals here at TPC Craig Ranch. The first thing that stands out is that it seems that approach play is key, the first four players in 2022 all ranked inside the top-10 for SG: Approach and T2G. Winner Lee ranked 8th for approach and 5th T2G. In 2021, five of the first six players on the leaderboard ranked inside the top-10 for approach and four of the six were inside the top-10 for T2G. That year, Lee ranked 2nd for both stats. Solid iron play and a hot putter is the winning recipe in what is sure to be a low-scoring contest.
Tom Kim 20/1
The week before a major championship is usually a week where the top players are getting their games in shape ahead of one of the most important weeks of the golfing calendar, however one player I simply couldn’t leave out the staking plan was 20-year-old Tom Kim. Kim burst onto the scene in 2022 by winning the Wyndham Championship and the Shriner’s Open. He accompanied these victories with a third at the Scottish Open and a top-10 finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He’s arguably the most exciting youngster in the golf world right now, he turns 21 next month! So far in 2023 he’s managed three top-10s and only two missed cuts in twelve starts. Ranking 6th T2G among players in this field over the last 20 rounds, it feels like we just need an above-average week with the putter for Kim to be contending come Sunday and the return to bentgrass greens can certainly help that.
Hideki Matsuyama 25/1
Jordan Spieth did make my original staking plan before his withdrawal with a wrist injury and I am replacing him with world number 22 Hideki Matsuyama who is teeing it up for the first time after his top-20 finish at the Masters. Firstly, I will mention that despite the lengthy break we shouldn’t be too concerned. He did the same last year and finished 3rd at this event and then had another long break after the PGA to the US Open and recorded a top-5 finish in the US Open. In last year’s renewal at TPC Craig Ranch, Hideki ranked 1st for approach and 3rd T2G and managed to shoot a 62 in the final round. Good memories of last year, as well as the fact that TPC Scottsdale rates as good a comparison as we’ll get this week where he has won twice and I think Hideki rates as one of the best each way bets of the event.
JJ Spaun 60/1
Seamus Power was close to being picked this week with his top-20 and top-10 finishes at Craig Ranch but instead I opted for two slightly bigger-priced players. The first one is JJ Spaun who won his only PGA Tour event in the state of Texas which is obviously where the tournament this week is being played. Spaun’s record here in the last two renewals is average at best but two made cuts can be worked on this year. What has impressed me recently is his iron play, he has gained strokes on approach in his last five starts since the end of March and ranks 6th in the same statistic over the last 20 rounds. Personally, I thought the 60/1 on offer for Spaun in a significantly weaker field represented solid value.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 70/1
Last up for me this week is a player I’ve backed probably too often as I think he’s capable of a lot better than what he has done so far on the PGA Tour since he earned his card and that’s the South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout. He’s gone close to winning on the PGA Tour once when finishing runner-up in the John Deere Classic last Summer but other than that, a top-10 at Bay Hill over two years ago, there’s just been a series of top-20 finishes. However, there’s reason to believe he could land his first win this week in the Byron Nelson. I mentioned that good iron play and a hot putter is the recipe for this week and when Bez is on, that’s exactly what he excels in. A 12th place finish in 2022 at Craig Ranch, ranking 2nd with the putter is encouraging course form. What’s even more of a positive is the fact he ranks 9th SG: Putting and 5th SG: Approach over the last 20 rounds. If both aspects of his game tick this week, I struggle to see how Bez isn’t in with a chance to land his first PGA Tour victory.
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