Starts: 13th May 2021
Course: TPC Craig Ranch
Length: 7,438 yards
2020 Champion: N/A
Overall Profit/Loss: -12.5pts
Pre-Event Bets: -4.5pts
0.75pts EW Cameron Champ 70/1 @ William Hill 1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Russell Knox 100/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Scott Piercy 125/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Wyndham Clark 150/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-8)
In-Play Bets: -8pts
14 May 2021(-2.5pts)
0.5pts EW Ted Potter Jr - 300/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
0.5pts EW Kristoffer Ventura - 300/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
0.25pts EW Jonas Blixt - 400/1 @ Skybet (1/4 1-5)
15 May 2021 (-1.5pts)
1.5pts Sung Kang to beat Si Woo kim - 2/1 @ Betway
16 May 2021 (-4pts)
2pts Charl Schwartzel Win Only - 11/1 @ General
2pts Ryan Palmer Top 5 Finish - 8/1 @ Betway
Designer: Tom Weiskopf.
Used Since: First time used on PGA Tour.
Fairways: Zoysia, wide
Greens: Large, Bentgrass.
Water Hazards: In-play on 13 holes.
Par 5's: 5th,8th,12th,18th.
Premium on: Putting and driving distance.
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
This event was used for the Nationwide Tour Championship in 2008 and 2012. Notable finishes in 2012 were James Hahn in 2nd and Adam Hadwin in 3rd place. In 2008, Marc Leishman placed in 6th.
Ryan Palmer holds course record here.
10,000 fans per day permitted.
Cool and wet conditions early in the week but should clear up to get into the mid 70's by the weekend. The wind usually blows in texas but it is due to be calm until the weekend.
Partly cloudy, max winds 7mph.
Mostly sunny, max winds 10mph.
Partly cloudy, max winds 13mph.
Partly sunny with isolated thunderstorms, max winds 15mph.
Previous winners Justin Bolli and Matt Bettencourt won with -16 and -17.
Very little to go on, see significant info for notable finishes on Nationwide Tour.
2012 winner Justin Bolli had no previous form with figures of MC-45-MC. 2008 winner Matt Bettencourt arrived in great form with figures of 2-18-MC-1-5.
Since both events played here were on the Nationwide Tour, it's not a relevant stat this week.
Both leaderboards were American dominated.
With no previous stats available we cannot analyse previous trends. However, quotes from players about the course earlier this week indicate long hitters are preferred.
"I think the biggest defense of this place really is the wind. Typically, when I've played here, it's fairly wide open, it's very long, especially when you have Zoysia grass, the ball doesn't roll very far. Getting weather as well is going to slow down the ball off the tee, so it's going to benefit a lot of the longer hitters. But you're able to really hit some darts into some of these greens, especially with how the weather is going to, or at least how so far the conditions are going to look like for the rest of the week. So expecting some low numbers this week."
“It’s going to be a bomber’s golf course”
"I think that when the wind blows it can be a significant -- it can play very different based on the conditions. You can say that about any golf course but really even more so out here. You've got, if the wind doesn't blow, you really are kind of looking at trying to go score. Then when it does, you're almost kind of holding on and saying, all right, I want to take advantage of the par-5s but the rest of the course is going to be really tough. It's got really hard par-3s. 17 being kind of the outlier, the kind of shorter one. So I think there's, you just, you got to have really -- you step up in a lot of these, where these hole locations will be, you got bigger greens but they play effectively smaller and it's really hard to kind of get your mid irons to long irons into kind of the sections of the greens where the pins will be. So I think it's going to be more of like a second shot risk-reward golf course to try and go low, but you can also play it smart and really hang in there if you're able to putt well."
Fast or Slow Start
Bolli led after round one, before slipping back and then going on to win. Bettencourt was four behind after round one and two before a 3rd round 63 shot him into contention.
We don't have stats from 2008 or 2012 but Sung Kang is a course member and he had this to say in his pre-tournament interview:
"So the front nine and back nine are totally different. Front nine you can get really after it. There's some shorter holes you can actually score some. And then par-5s, like No. 5 and 6 are pretty simple. So you got to score well on the front. But as soon as you get to the back nine, there are a lot of long par-4s, so I think the driving will be the key. The fairways are pretty generous, but if you miss the fairway then it gets a little bit harder. So you got to hit the fairways.
And then coming in, 16, 17, 18, if it is normal wind from the south, it will be dead into the wind. So the 16th will be a very challenging par-4.
17 will be a short par-3, but with the wind it can play a little more difficult.
18's a par-4, you need a good tee ball to get home in two. So it will be fun to watch on the last couple of holes coming in."
AT& T Byron Nelson In-Play Blog
16th May 2021, 11.10am
“Wouldn’t it be so Spieth-like if he chips this in”, said the commentator as his second shot on 18 flew over the back of the green. Jordan duly obliged, closing the gap from five shots to three. He still has his work cut out to catch Sam Burns, but it could prove a pivotal moment in the tournament. Burns would have slept that little bit easier had it not dropped for eagle.
Spieth looks on course for his seventh top 10 finish in his last 9 tournaments and those with Spieth PGA Championship tickets at juicy prices will be licking their lips. The market rates him a 9/2 shot at catching Burns and no one would be surprised if he does, but it seems a little short given the confidence Burns will have gained from his maiden win at Valspar two weeks ago.
Against Burns' chances of winning would be three additional factors to Spieth lurking. Firstly, it is notoriously hard to win back-to-back. Secondly, Burns' stats were significantly worse yesterday than the first two days, posting his worst tee to green and putting stats of the week.
More importantly, the weather looks set to cause havoc today with tee times brought forward and thunderstorms expected. The leaders will set off around 3pm UK time. Whether that works in Burns' favour we don’t know yet but it’s a variable we must consider. How often do you see someone shoot an extraordinary round in adverse conditions and if one of the chasers were to do so Burns will need to score well to keep pace.
In-between Burns and Spieth is Kyoung Hoon lee, who is one off the pace. He is without a doubt a danger and showed just why he should be taken seriously at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February. The Korean was only beaten by a Brooks Koepka chip in on 17 and outplayed Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth in the final groups. He has four wins in Asia but the most recent was back in 2016 so that will be his biggest hurdle to get over today.
With the weather due to throw a spanner in the works, it would be foolish to rule out those who are three shots back or even slightly further in arrears. Charl Schwartzel, Matt Kuchar and Alex Noren have significant winning experience and we should expect one or two of them to make run at Burns today.
Noren was Burns' closest challenger at the halfway point but his long game deserted him yesterday and although capable of a bounce back he’s not for us based on these tee to green stats. Matt Kuchar demands respect, especially given his credentials in bad weather. He was very close to being selected but it’s the South African who gets our vote.
Round 4 Bets
- 2pts Win Only Charl Schwartzel - 11/1 @ General
Charl is three off the pace and commented after his round that 66 was the worst score he could have shot. He was full of self-praise for his ball striking and the stats back it up too – he made up 3.95 shots on the field tee to green. The South African’s last win on tour was the 2016 Valspar Championship and his career is littered with wins all over the world. If his putter can heat up just a touch today, odds of 11/1 will look very flattering.
- 2pts Ryan Palmer Top 5 Finish - 8/1 @ Betway
Ryan is noted in our player profiles as a fast finisher from off the pace and although he may have too much to do from six back to win, he is only three shots off a top 5 finish. We know he can go low here as he holds the course record with a 61. He has only made one bogey all week, which was at the par 5 18th hole, and ranks 4th off the tee and 10th tee to green. Take odds of 8/1 of Palmer sneaking a top 5.
15th May 2021, 08.30am
One man leads after 36 holes at the AT & T Byron Nelson but it isn't the man we thought yesterday morning. A sensational 62 from Sam Burns, coupled with a disappointing 70 from Jordan Spieth, means that Burns now sits two clear of the field and Spieth trails by six.
Understandably, Burns is favourite to convert and is a general 13/8 to do so. Sam did us a favour two weeks ago when winning the Valspar Championship at 70/1 and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him win again this week. He's a player who can maintain a hot streak and with that first win under his belt, he'll be full of confidence. With that said, 13/8 doesn't make much appeal with 36 holes remaining on a course where scoring is so low.
None of the four players immediately below Burns have won on the PGA Tour, although it should be noted that Noren, Lee and Spaun have won on alternative tours. Noren has history of finishing fast over the weekend to win titles and he is a worthy second favourite in the betting at 6/1.
It can't be said that the group at 11 under lack experience. Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, Patton Kizzire and Charl Schwartzel have a combined 46 wins between them across all Tours. They'll need low scores over the weekend or a bit of help from Burns but we could well see one of these players emerge as the main threat.
The wind should make conditions slightly trickier today, we'll see winds of around 13mph in the afternoon. It's worth noting that scattered thunderstorms are forecast for Sunday and Monday morning so we may see some interruption for the final round.
Round 3 Bet
- 1.5pts Sung Kang to beat Si Woo Kim 2/1 @ Betway
Sung is a member of this club and it's showing this week. He's made only one bogey so far, which is pretty remarkable considering he ranks 210th in the bogey average stats this season! His comfort is reflected in the fact he ranks 28th SG: Tee To Green and he halved his three ball yesterday against Rahm and Matsuyama. A fine wind player, he'll enjoy a bit more breeze today and will be familiar with any changes the wind may bring. His opponent, Si Woo Kim, has been solid enough this week, ranking 45th SG: Tee to Green. However, odds of 2/1 are tempting enough for us to have a bet on Sung Kang. (Note - If you have a Unibet account you can get odds of 49/20 on this.)
14th May 2021, 10.30am
Jordan Spieth holed a 55ft eagle putt on his final hole to claim a share of the lead and is now strong favourite at 5/2 to win in Texas for the second time this season.
Spieth won the Valero Texas Open prior to The Masters and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him win here, the week before the PGA Championship. His round of 63 was bogey free and in truth it could have been better were it not for a couple of missed putts inside 10ft and a fluffed chip at the short par 4 14th hole.
Only 23 players failed to break par at TPC Craig Ranch and as such there are plenty of players in and around Spieth. Eighteen players shot -7 or better and although the course will firm up a little after pre-event rain, scoring should still remain low.
We'll see similar weather conditions to round one, with the wind forecast to be no stronger than 9mph and sunny intervals.
With Jordan Spieth the most likely winner from here, we are placing bets on three players at huge odds who have each way potential.
Round 2 Bets
- 0.5pts Each Way Kristoffer Ventura 300/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
It's been a disappointing year for Kris so far, eleven starts and eight missed cuts. However, he's a player who can turn his fortunes around quickly and we're hoping his fast finish yesterday (-7 for his final 6 holes) gives him some momentum for the rest of the tournament. His two wins on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019 both came after poor finishes the week before and he's a young player we rate. He's capable of an each way finish here.
- 0.5pts Each Way Ted Potter Jr 300/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
Ted is a player who is often overlooked and odds of 300/1 are attractive for a player who won as recently as 2018 on the PGA Tour. His approach play was solid yesterday, ranking 7th SG: Approach. Were it not for a cold day with the putter (he lost almost two strokes on the greens) he'd find himself much closer to the leaders. As with the other two bets, we are approaching this as an each way play given Jordan Spieth is the most likely winner from here.
- 0.25pts Each Way Jonas Blixt 400/1 @ Skybet (1/4 1-5)
Jonas missed almost the entire 2020 season with injury and has yet to better 65th place in his six starts this year. However, we're prepared to take a chance on him given the nature of this event and how it suits his game. He's never been the most accurate off the tee but minimal rough this week means he's able to still make plenty of birdies. A former runner up at the Masters and three time winner on the PGA Tour, he has pedigree. He ranked 5th for SG: Approach yesterday and at 400/1 we're happy to take him as a small each way play.