Starts: 12th May 2022
Course: TPC Craig Ranch
Length: 7,438 yards
2021 Champion: K H Lee
Designer: Tom Weiskopf.
Used Since: 2021.
Fairways: Zoysia, wide
Greens: Large, Bentgrass.
Water Hazards: In-play on 13 holes.
Par 5's: 5th,8th,12th,18th.
Premium on: Approach Play and Putting.
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
This event was also 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.
The weather looks set to be slightly warmer this year, with temperatures in the mid 80's. The wind usually blows in texas but it doesn't look too bad at the time of writing.
Sunny, max winds 13mph.
Partly cloudy, max winds 11mph
Partly cloudy, max winds 8mph.
Mostly sunny, max winds 10mph.
Previous winners on the Nationwide Tour, Justin Bolli and Matt Bettencourt, won with -16 and -17. K H Lee won with -25 last year and we should expect something in the low 20's at least.
The Top 5 were all debutants last year.
K H Lee had made his last four cuts but nothing inside the top 25. 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.
K H Lee was ranked 137th, with the rest of the top 5 ranked 44th, 17th, 157th and 269th.
Lee was a Korean winner but both Nationwide leaderboards were American dominated.
K H Lee was 2nd at the Phoenix Open before his win which is hosted at a Tom Weiskopf re-design, TPC Scottsdale.
We only have one year of Strokes Gained data to assess from the 2021 Byron Nelson. We will look at the stats of the winner and Runner Up.
SG: Off The Tee
K H Lee was ranked 23rd, Burns 9th. The focus will be on iron play mostly this week.
K H Lee was ranked 41st, Burns 102nd. Accuracy off the tee isn't very important.
K H Lee was ranked 35th, Burns 55th . Distance is not essential despite the length of the course.
K H Lee was ranked 2nd, Burns 6th. Looks likely to be a key stat again this year.
Greens in Regulation
K H Lee was ranked 5th, Burns 5th. Accuracy tee to green is essential this week.
SG: Around The Green
K H Lee was ranked 24th, Burns 8th. Not a key stat this week.
K H Lee was ranked 9th, Burns 45th. With low scoring needed, a hot putter will likely be required.
Player Quotes 2021
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 defence 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
Lee and Burns both got off to hot starts and were with two shots of the lead after round one. Both were in the top 3 at the halfway stage and in the top 2 with one round to go. From the limited evidence we have, this isn't a catch up course.
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."