Preview of the AT&T Byron Nelson 2018 – My Matchup Picks
Published on May 16, 2018
A brand-new golf course unlike any other on tour. A stellar field and lots of betting options. What’s not to love about this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest Golf Club?
The players can’t wait to get things going on this hidden gem located just 9 miles southeast of downtown Dallas.
The stunning creation opened in the fall of 2016, and I’m excited to see how the players will respond to the links-style track. Shaped by the dynamic duo of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, local member and favorite this week Jordan Spieth stated that he has shot anywhere from 64 to 78 on the diabolical layout.
Those who have poor attitudes won’t last very long on a course that features quirks such as a massive 35,000 sq. ft. double-green (used for the 3rd and 11th holes). Those who aren’t striping it at the 7,380-yard par-71 venue will be packing their bags early and heading home Friday after an MC Hammer.
When I was investigating the betting sheet at Bovada.lv, I tried to focus on the golfers that have shown good form as of late.
Being that it’s the first year that Trinity Forest GC has hosted this event, there’s no past history to fall back on. All we can do is make our best projections based on what we see in front of us.
Check out the wagers I like and see if you can get inspired to place a few bets. Wouldn’t you like to make some cash by simply watching a golf tournament play out?
If you don’t know who Keith Mitchell is, don’t worry; you’re not alone. He’s a 26-year-old rookie from the University of Georgia who earned his PGA Tour Card via the Web.Com last year.
What’s important is that the dude has been ultra-consistent this season, making 12 of his last 13 cuts in individual stroke-play events. What I love about the PGA Tour leader in club-head speed is that he knows how to get off to quick starts.
Over the last 12 times Mitchell has teed it up on the PGA Tour, he has fired 67 or better on Thursday an astounding 7 times and hasn’t shot higher than 71.
He’s 4th in strokes gained off-the-tee thanks to an average poke of 311.9 yards, so we know that distance is the least of his concerns. His 69.55 final-round scoring average ranks 13th on tour, so I don’t think it’s the pressure that gets to him.
On the other hand, I’d love to speak highly about J.B Holmes, but the problem is that he hasn’t given me anything to brag about at all since his 4th-place finish in San Diego nearly 4 months ago. He has actually missed 5 of 11 cuts since Torrey Pines and has failed to crack the top 30.
While Trinity Forest is the type of golf course Holmes can let it fly and find some success at, this Mitchell kid out of Georgia actually tags it further then J.B. and is clearly in a groove right now.
You can take Holmes at the egregious price of -140, or you can ride the hot hand and roll with the young gun at +110. I’m going to opt for the latter.
No, I’m not a graduate of the University of Georgia, and I don’t bet with any biases. The reason I am picking another former Bulldog golfer in a head-to-head matchup is because again, the opposing player is simply not on form right now.
Bill Haas was a passenger in a fateful auto accident back in February and still appears shaken up when he gets to the golf course. The Wake Forest alum has been unable to regain the ball-striking numbers we are accustomed to seeing, and I can’t help but think it’s partly due to his mind still being elsewhere.
In 6 events since the Ferrari crashed in Pacific Palisades, the 3-time Presidents Cup team member has only finished better than 48th once. Bill is a great golfer and an even better human being – I really hope he gets his emotions in check and is able to get back to being a top 50 player in the world.
On the flip side, Harris English has slowly fallen out of the conversation of great young golfers after winning twice during the 2013 calendar year. The one saving grace is that he has logged 4 top-25s this year and has a couple mediocre (32nd and 36th) finishes over the past month.
There isn’t a whole lot to go off here, but Trinity Forest seems like the type of course that the 28-year-old can find a rhythm on if he can just find some fairways. Despite an overall disappointing campaign thus far, Harris has been chipping and putting halfway decently, ranked 44th on tour when it comes to overall putting.
Bill, meanwhile, is way down at 179th. I anticipate plenty of scrambling going on this week, and players need to be zoned in and focused.
With that being said, I’ll lean towards English here and give him the slight edge over Haas.
Let me preface this by stating that I really like Hossler and think the rookie from the University of Texas has some serious game. He’s 15/18 cuts so far, including 6 straight. He does everything well and seems wise beyond his years. Playing somewhat of a home game, I imagine the 23-year-old will be calm and steady and most likely have a solid week.
However, what I saw out of Adam Scott this past week at TPC Sawgrass leads me to believe that the Aussie has finally found his stride, just in time for the summer stretch. Don’t look at his season game log to see what kind of form the former Masters winner is in.
He finally made the switch back to the long putter last week at THE PLAYERS, and it immediately paid dividends. He ended the week 28th in strokes gained on the greens en route to a season-best T-11th finish. If the world-class ball striker can repeat that performance with the flat stick at Trinity Forest, look for Adam to get into contention come Sunday.
It’s worth noting that it’s the 10-year anniversary of Scott’s win at the 2008 Byron Nelson. I like Hossler a lot and will be rooting for him all year, but I anticipate the veteran and 13-time PGA Tour winner gets the best of him this week.
I am really starting to get amped up for the AT&T Byron Nelson to get underway on Thursday morning. I have been following the PGA Tour closely and have realized that picking players to win or finish in the top 10 is a tough ask. Fields are so deep; golf is such a funny game.
Bottom line – there is just too much variance for my liking. This week, I decided to comb through the head-to-head matchups and see if I could spot any value. As sharp as the casino operators are nowadays, “beating the books” is not an easy task. It requires some digging and some thoughtful preparation, so let’s see how it works out this week.
If you have an opinion or have some light to shed, I’m always here to chat.
Trinity Forest is setting up to be one heck of a ride. I hope you enjoy the week!