There’s a new venue for the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship this year as it leaves the TPC Four Seasons Resort and switches to the newly-built Trinity Forest Golf Club to the southeast of downtown Dallas. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and opened in the autumn of 2016, the 7,450-yard Trinity Forest layout is a treeless links course built on a former landfill site. It features undulating fairways, dramatic bunkers and varied greens, in the style of a Scottish links course. While it’s above average in length, the course is designed to reward good strategic play. The defending champion is Billy Horschel, who succeeded Sergio Garcia by beating Jason Day in a play-off. In 2016 Garcia had become the first man in almost 30 years to win this title for the second time. Other recent winners include Steven Bowditch, Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley.
AT&T Byron Nelson Championship Favourites
Jordan Spieth had a disappointing week at Sawgrass, but he was third on his two previous appearances at the Houston Open and The Masters. He’s the clear favourite this week, leading the market at a best price of just 11/2* with Bet365. Matt Kuchar has the longest streak without a missed cut on the PGA Tour. He’s a 16/1* chance with Ladbrokes and Coral, alongside two-time champion Garcia. Hideki Matsuyama had a run of three top fives in five starts around the turn of the year. But the Japanese world number nine hasn’t been in the best form of late. He is at 20/1* with most bookies. Jimmy Walker, Branden Grace and Adam Scott are all priced at 25/1*. Defending champion Horschel is at 28/1* with Bet365.
Marc Leishman’s season has yet to really get going, but he has four top 10 finishes in 2018. This is including a share of ninth place at The Masters. The world number 16 tends to respond well to playing in elite company, but he has also done well on links courses in the past – three times he has finished sixth or better at the Open Championship. A big result can’t be too far away and he’s 28/1* with Bet365 to get it at this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson.
A lot of the players in this week’s field will have limited experience of playing links golf. Graeme McDowell is one of the exceptions, however, and that could give him a marginal advantage. The Northern Irishman learned the game playing on links courses in his hometown of Portrush and finished in the top 20 in four of his last five links tournaments. He should enjoy the surroundings this week and is at a generous best price of 66/1* with Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred.
If we’re going to back McDowell this week it might also be worth considering Padraig Harrington. He is among the outsiders at 175/1* with Bet365. The two-time Open champion and the three-time major winner won on the European Tour as recently as 18 months ago. He was fourth at last summer’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, proving he is still a threat on the links.
*All odds are subject to change.