Dates: May 12, 2022 to May 15, 2022
Location: Texas, USA
Course: TPC Craig Ranch
Course Par: 72
Course Length: 7468 yards
Prize Purse: $9000000
FedEx Cup leader Scottie Scheffler headlines the field at the AT&T Byron Nelson, which features seven of the top 15 golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking. KH Lee, who won at TPC Craig Ranch last year for his first PGA Tour title, returns to defend.
A slightly strange week at the Wells Fargo, with some truly horrible weather making for some very volatile scoring (half-way leader Jason Day in particular). Cameron Young made the places for us, comfortably enough in the end, although without ever getting quite close enough to make a serious challenge for the title. Again, the winner, Max Homa was given a favourable mention in our preview without making the staking plan – hopefully our luck will change soon enough.
With just one week to go until the second major of the year, we have the usual pre-major dilemma of trying to work out who will be focused on this tournament in its own right as opposed to largely trying to get their game in tip-top order for the big prize at Southern Hills next week. It’s a slightly deeper field than the last few weeks as several of the bigger guns show up for a warm up.
TPC Craig Ranch is a relatively new venue for the tour, having hosted this event for the first time in 2021. It’s a fair test length-wise, coming in at almost 7500 yards, although the fairways are fairly generous, so perhaps a chance for the bigger hitters to gain some advantage. However none of the SG metrics from last year’s result jump out as being significantly more important than usual.
|Player||Points||Type||UK Odds||Places||Outright US Odds|
|Will Zalatoris||4||each way||22/1||8|
|Adam Hadwin||2||each way||45/1||8|
|Sepp Straka||2||each way||70/1||8|
|Mito Pereira||2||each way||70/1||8|
|Tom Hoge||1.5||each way||100/1||8|
Will Zalatoris (4pts ew, 22/1, 8 places) has been on our radar since soon after graduating from the Korn Ferry Tour. He’ll be disappointed not to have bagged a win yet, but there is no disputing this kid’s talent. He has the length off the tee to really attack this course (which he has played many times) and there won’t be many in this field gaining more ground from tee-to-green. His putting issues have been well documented, but to my eye (and backed up by the data), he’s made some improvement in this regard in recent times; if that pattern continues he’ll undoubtedly be winning sooner rather than later. He rates a confident selection to make the places at the very least.
Adam Hadwin (2pts ew, 45/1, 8 places) looks short enough in the market at first glance, but his data suggests he fully deserves the respect he’s being given. 20th in total SG in the field over the last 6 months and 4th over the last 3, the Canadian is certainly trending and another big performance looks to be very likely. He’s been gaining ground in all departments; slightly less so off the tee, but the wide fairways at Craig Ranch may well help from that perspective.
We’ve put him up a few times recently, but I’m happy to go in again on Sepp Straka (2pts ew, 70/1, 8 places). Missing the cut by a single shot last week doesn’t concern me in the slightest given the conditions faced by the field and in fact we’re benefitting from that in the form of the price on offer.
Mito Pereira (2pts ew, 70/1, 8 places) has arguably not pushed on since coming onto the tour with big expectations, but as a result he’s now getting to the point where his price justifies a small investment. It wasn’t uncommon to see prices around the 33/1 mark about the Chilean, but this week we can take more than double that. It’s a slightly risky play, and his putting remains a weakness, but that aspect of the game can turn quickly and in all other departments he’s been posting some solid numbers.
Tom Hoge (1.5pts ew, 100/1, 8 places) did us a huge favour in winning at Pebble Beach earlier in the season. That was his first tour victory and it was understandable that it’s taken a little while for him to process what must have been a big moment for him. My sense is that, having got that first win under his belt, he could pop up every now and again at big prices, and a three-figure price for this event is certainly interesting; I feel he’s a better player than your average journeyman.
I’ll no doubt regret saying this, but none of the top three in the market make any appeal to me at the prices. Scheffler is clearly the form player in the world right now and fully deserving of the number one ranking, but surely he’ll be more focused on next week. While neither JT nor DJ look to me like they’re about to win. I’d much rather be taking bigger prices about any of them next week, given that major results tend to follow the world rankings much more closely than is likely to be the case this week.
Others we considered including were Sam Burns, who of the market leaders looks to be a very solid contender, particularly in light of his second place finish in this event last year. At bigger prices, Davis Riley was interesting on the back of several good recent performances and a general upward trend. Maverick McNealy has an obvious chance, and we’ve had Jason Day on the radar for a while now – he seems to be on the way back following some health and personal life challenges. I was a little surprised that 50/1+ is on offer this week given how good his game looked for most of last week, and the market may have over-reacted a touch to his third round collapse, which came in truly horrible conditions. I also had a good think about including Matthew Wolff, who has played some awful stuff of late, but is a player whose unorthodox (to say the least) swing is hugely dependent on timing; given there have been some signs of life in his game with a top 30 finish last week, it’s not impossible he could go very well at a huge price, but I’ll leave him out of the main selections this week and keep him under close watch.