Texas Longhorns Top Golfers Command The Field At 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson

Written By Fairway Jay on May 10, 2022Last Updated on May 12, 2022
PGA Tour AT&T Byron Nelson

The PGA pros return to the Lone Star State for the AT&T Byron Nelson May 12-15. The 7,468-yard, par-72 course at TPC Craig Ranch 30 miles north of Dallas is a staple event on Tour, and plays host for the second straight year.

Two of the leading favorites to win the tournament are Texas’ own Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth. Fans that enjoy watching golfers make birdies and shoot low scores should tune in, as South Korea’s K.H. Lee won his first PGA Tour title at last year’s event with a 25-under-par score of 263.

Follow other Texas sports betting news, and fourth-generation Texan and former congressman Beto O’Rourke‘s support for legalized casino gambling and sports betting, at PlayTexas.

Top golfers in 2022 Byron Nelson

If there were legalized sports betting in Texas, both No. 1-ranked Scottie Scheffler and No. 9 Jordan Spieth would get the most attention from golf bettors in the Lone Star State. Scheffler is already a four-time winner on Tour this year, and that includes a Green Jacket victory at the Masters. Spieth won the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town last month the week after the Masters.

Jordan Spieth is twice a winner in his native Texas, but never at the Byron Nelson. Spieth did tie for ninth in last year’s event at TPC Craig Ranch. A purse of $9.1 million and a first-place prize of more than $1.5 million await the winner, which favors the leading players below according to sports betting odds at leading online sportsbooks.

Top players in the field include: World Golf Ranking (OWGR)

Scottie Scheffler (1) Hideki Matsuyama (13)
Justin Thomas (8) Brooks Koepka (16)
Jordan Spieth (9) Joaquin Niemann (17)
Sam Burns (10) Will Zalatoris (28)
Dustin Johnson (11) Kevin Kisner (30)
Xander Schauffele (12)

Other stars and top 50 ranked players playing this week include:

  • Jason Kokrak
  • Talor Gooch
  • Adam Scott
  • Tom Hoge
  • Seamus Power
  • Tommy Fleetwood
  • Bubba Watson

Dustin Johnson is in action for the first time since his wedding to Paulina Gretzky last month in Tennessee. Paulina is the daughter of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky.

Texas golfers playing in AT&T Byron Nelson

Along with top-ranked golfers Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth, other golfers with Texas ties playing this week include former Highland Park resident and Texas Longhorn golfer Justin Leonard, 49. He’ll come out of the broadcast booth and tee it up in competition for his first PGA Tour start since the 2017 Valero Texas Open.

  • Cameron Champ: Houston, Texas A&M
  • Ryan Palmer: Colleyville, Texas A&M
  • Harry Higgs: Dallas, SMU
  • Will Zalatoris: Plano
  • Kelly Kraft: Denton, SMU
  • Austin Smotherman: Dallas, SMU
  • Sebastian Munoz: University of North Texas
  • Carlos Ortiz: University of North Texas

Also, J.J. Killeen, who lives in Lubbock and played golf at Texas Christian University (TCU), earned a spot in this week’s PGA Tour event. He won last fall’s 36-hole Joyce Crane-Veritex Bank Section Championship at Midland Country Club to secure a spot in this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson tournament. Killeen was the 2011 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year.

A stronger field of golfers come to Texas and shoot for low scores in preparation for the second Major of the year. Next week it’s the PGA Championship, 225 miles North in Tulsa, OK at Southern Hills Country Club.

Top finishers at TPC Craig Ranch returning this year:

K.H. Lee (-25) Won Joe Bramlett (T7)
Sam Burns (-22, 2nd) Seamus Power (T9)
Patton Kizzire (T3) Jordan Spieth (T9)
Charl Schwartzel (T3) Doc Redman (T9)
Scott Stallings (T3) Jhonatten Vegas (T9)

Who will contend or win this week at TPC Craig Ranch? Golf outcomes continue to be difficult to predict, despite Scottie Scheffler making it look easier this year with four PGA Tour wins, including a Major at The Masters. Scheffler is well on his way to becoming PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Last year, AT&T Byron Nelson champion K.H. Lee won for the first time on Tour, and he had one of his best-ever putting weeks. Lee entered the tournament on a streak of six consecutive events in which he lost strokes putting. His putting stats this year according to strokes gained data over his last 50 rounds rank outside the top 125 players in this year’s Byron Nelson field.

Strong approach play and a hot putter will send the best golfers to the first page of the leaderboard, and making tons of birdies is required to contend. Last year, there were 14 rounds of 8-under par or better during the tournament at TPC Craig Ranch.

The top-15 players in Birdies-or-Better Gained over their last 50 rounds playing this week are:

Scheffler Vegas Watson
Thomas McNealy Zalatoris
Johnson List Power
Burns Swafford Mitchell
Riley Griffin Niemann

TPC at Craig Ranch

Designed by Tom Weiskopf with consultation from D.A. Weibring, TPC Craig Ranch opened for play in 2004. The course hosts the AT&T Byron Nelson for the second-straight year of a six-year agreement, and the course has also hosted events for the PGA’s Korn Ferry Tour.

TPC Craig Ranch features wide open Zoysia fairways and large, receptive bentgrass greens. The rough is Bermuda grass and Rowlett Creek runs through the property and crosses 14 of the 18 holes.

The course is easy by PGA Tour standards, and another shootout is expected after 60 golfers finished last year’s tournament 10-under par or better. As you watch the event, the toughest scoring holes are the two par 4s at holes No. 16 (492 yards) and No. 13 (512 yards) and the two par 3s longer than 210 yards at No. 4 and No. 15.

Last year, the easiest holes that yielded birdies at a 50% rate or better were the par 5’s at No. 5, 12 and 18 with the finishing hole playing as the easiest hole on the golf course.

Also, stadium-style seating and grandstands surround No. 17, a short par 3. This creates another party-style atmosphere for this year’s PGA Tour event.

Record interest and added festivities

The tournament has drawn a record number of ticket sales, and concerts and live music will be incorporated into the golf event. Seven-time Academy of Country Music award winner and Grammy-nominated artist Lee Brice will be performing as part of the sold-out festivities.

Clay Duvall, the 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson tournament chair, said:

“We’ve already sold more general public tickets than we ever sold in 2018 and 2019. We’ve added a number of venues with more than 100 sponsors on hole 17 alone.”

You can find more tournament news on Twitter and PGATour.com.

Rain-free weather with low 90’s temperatures and the usual Texas winds are in the forecast for this year’s tournament. Last year’s tournament was pelted with rain showers, and a two-hour delay had players scrambling during the final round at TPC Craig Ranch.

Photo by Ray Carlin/Associated Press
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Fairway Jay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst. He reports, researches and writes on industry news and events providing insight and information you can bet on to engage and assist the avid fan. FairwayJay’s tee-to-green coverage and contributions are provided throughout the PlayUSA network. Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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