2019 AT&T Byron Nelson Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
The door is open for players such as Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Aaron Wise, and Hideki Matsuyama to add to their resumes. The AT&T Byron Nelson is the last event before the PGA Championship and the field has been set. Some star power will be lacking as the event shares the weekend with the British Masters which will draw some of the stars that play on the PGA and European Tour away.
And, several names such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and others are taking a week of rest prior to the Championship. That’s what makes the Byron Nelson an opportunity for multiple players such as the ones listed above. Koepka comes in as the favored player at +650 with Matsuyama at +1400 and Spieth at +1600. From there the field is loaded with possible winners. Here’s the top-five favored players to win outright according to intertops.
Brooks Koepka +650
Hideki Matsuyama +1400
Jordan Spieth +1600
Aaron Wise +2200
Henrik Stenson +2200
Aaron Wise Set to Defend
Aaron Wise blistered the field in 2018 as he marched to his first Byron Nelson win by carding a 261 overall while going 21 under. Marc Leishman was the only player close to Wise on Sunday finishing three strokes behind. Of past winners, there’s only three of the last ten entered in the field. Wise being the defending champion followed by Brendon Todd who won the Nelson in 2014 and Rory Sabbatini who took the win in 2009.
2018 Aaron Wise +2200
2017 Billy Horschel Not in field
2016 Sergio García Not in field
2015 Steven Bowditch Not in field
2014 Brendon Todd +20000
2013 Bae Sang-moon Not in field
2012 Jason Dufner Not in field
2011 Keegan Bradley Not in field
2010 Jason Day Not in field
2009 Rory Sabbatini +4000
Open Spaces, Distance, Bunkers in Texas
The Byron Nelson is played on the Trinity Forest Golf Club outside of Dallas Texas and the course is known for targeted play, distance, and a lack of trees… despite the word “forest” in the name. It’s Jordan Speith’s home course and he could put everything together for the win this weekend. The event moved to Trinity Forest last season where Wise dominated. That could happen again due to his familiarity to the venue but his numbers don’t show that he’ll get past Speith this weekend.
Wise has not won on the Tour since the Byron Nelson last season and he’s missed four cuts with a driving percentage that’s taken a hit. A weak driver is not something a player wants to deal with at Trinity Forest.
On the other hand, Koepka is coming into the Byron Nelson with strong play and a driver that has been finding fairways. Koepka could add to an impressive 2019 where he’s nailed down one win at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges and carded two T2 finishes one of which was at the Masters. His unfavorable is that he’s had a few tournaments where he’s been buried deep in the field and has missed one cut this season. He’s not been able to string together consistent play through several tournaments.
Players to watch at the end could include Rafael Cabrera Bello, +4500, and Hideki Matsuyama as mentioned above. Bello has been playing strong golf as of late and he has a powerful driver that’s been hitting fairways backed by his solid use of irons. He has finished T2 twice this year and has come in at T25 or below in six of his nine PGA Tour events this season. He’s also jumped to No. 31 on the Official World Golf Rankings list. The Spanish player could score his first professional stateside win this weekend.
Hideki Matsuyama has five PGA Tour wins in his career and has been close to getting his sixth this year. He has a T3 and several tournaments coming in under T15. His outing at the Masters was a bit iffy during the final rounds but he has ranged on the OWGR list in the mid 30’s to mid 40’s all season long. Matsuyama driver and great play around the greens – which are massive at Trinity Forest – may put him into the mix on Sunday.
Complete odds to win the 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson Outright