AT&T Byron Nelson Preview – 2016

ATT Byron Nelson2016 AT&T Byron Nelson Media Notes
Dates: May 16-22, 2016
Where: TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas; Irving, Texas
Par/Yards: 35-35—70/7,166
Format: 72-hole stroke play; Field: 156
FedExCup: 500 points to winner; Purse: $7.3 million ($1,314,000 to the winner)
Defending Champion: Steven Bowditch
Twitter: @attbyronnelson
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A look back at the 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson

  • Australian Steven Bowditch jumped out to the opening-round lead at the 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson with an 8-under 62 and never looked back, holding at least a share of the lead after each round en route to his second PGA TOUR victory (2014 Valero Texas Open).
  • With a tournament record 18-under 259, won by four over Charley Hoffman, Jimmy Walker and Scott Pinckney. Making the victory sweeter for the Flower Mound, Texas resident was the fact it came at the TPC Four Seasons Resort – the site of his 2011 wedding to Amanda Yarussi, a former local television producer in Dallas.
  • Bowditch made the most of a week that featured numerous weather challenges and delays. Due to heavy rains and an unplayable fairway, PGA TOUR Rules Officials made the decision to play the par-4 14th hole (scorecard yardage of 406 yards) as a par-3 hole the final three rounds of the 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson. Here’s a look at its yardage each round in 2015: round one (388 yards), round two (104 yards), round three (108 yards), round four (124 yards).

More on Bowditch and the AT&T Byron Nelson

  • Bowditch will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the AT&T Byron Nelson since Tom Watson won three in a row from 1978-80.
  • Won in 2015 in his 146th PGA TOUR start at the age of 31 years, 11 months, 23 days.
  • Held at least a share of the lead after each round in 2015. The event has had just two wire-to-wire winners (no ties) – Mark Hayes/1976 and Tom Watson/1980. (Note: Complete first-round scores are not available for the inaugural event in 1944, won by Byron Nelson).
  • Opened with 8-under 62, tying his career-low round on TOUR (2011 Sanderson Farms Championship/R4).
  • Became just the seventh player (eight total wins) to carry the opening-day lead on to victory at this event, joining Jason Day (2010), Scott Simpson (1993), Tom Watson (1979, 1980), Mark Hayes (1976), Chi Chi Rodriguez (1972) and Earl Stewart (1961).
  • Dating back to 2000, Bowditch became the ninth international-born winner of the championship, joining 2000-Jesper Parnevik, 2002-Shigeki Maruyama, 2003-Vijay Singh, 2004-Sergio Garcia, 2008-Adam Scott, 2009-Rory Sabbatini, 2010-Jason Day and 2013-Sang-Moon Bae.
  • Won in fifth AT&T Byron Nelson start, snapping streak of three missed cuts. Finished T60 in debut in 2011.
  • Notched the fourth win by the 54-hole leader/co-leader in the last eight years at the AT&T Byron Nelson, joining Adam Scott/2008, Jason Dufner/2012 and Brendon Todd/2014.
  • Became the 15th (out of the last 21) AT&T Byron Nelson champion to record all four rounds in the 60s.

Reigning FedExCup champion Jordan Spieth

  • Dallas native and reigning FedExCup champion returns to the event where he made his PGA TOUR debut at the age of 16 in 2010, finishing T16.
  • The 22-year-old will be playing the AT&T Byron Nelson for the sixth time (T16-2010, T32-2011, T68-2013, T37-2014, T30-2015)
  • Here’s a look at a few of his career highlights:
    • Youngest winner of the FedExCup and of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola (22 years, 2 months).
    • Owns seven PGA TOUR wins: 2013 John Deere Classic, 2015 Valspar Championship, 2015 Masters Tournament, 2015 U.S. Open, 2015 John Deere Classic, 2015 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, 2016 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
    • Most wins on TOUR by a player 22 and younger: Horton Smith (14), Tiger Woods (7), Jordan Spieth (7).
    • With his win at the 2013 John Deere Classic, became youngest PGA TOUR winner since 1931, winning less than two weeks before his 20th birthday.
    • In 2013, earned a Captain’s Pick for the U.S. Presidents Cup Team and was voted Rookie of the Year.

Close calls for Dustin Johnson at the AT&T Byron Nelson

  • Owns four top 10s in six AT&T Byron Nelson starts (T63/2008, T4/2009, T7/2010, T20/2011, T7-2014, T8-2015).
  • With his win at the 2015 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, won for the eighth consecutive season on TOUR (the TOUR’s current-best streak). He is still seeking to move that streak to nine seasons, however, with a third-place finish at the Shell Houston Open his best outing during the 2015-16 campaign.
  • Enters the week with top-5 finishes in four of his last six starts: 4-Northern Trust Open, T5-World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play, 3-Shell Houston Open, T4-Masters Tournament. Johnson finished T28 last week at THE PLAYERS Championship.

FedExCup and the AT&T Byron Nelson

  • Eight of the top 30 in the FedExCup, including #4 Brandt Snedeker, #10 Jordan Spieth, #16 Dustin Johnson, #17 Jason Dufner, #18 Charley Hoffman, #24 Charl Schwartzel, #25 James Hahn, #27 Charles Howell III.
  • Past FedExCup champions: Jordan Spieth (2015), Brandt Snedeker (2012).
  • Six of the nine winners of the AT&T Byron Nelson in the FedExCup era since 2007 have qualified for the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

A glance at the field

  • Nine of top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking: #2 Jordan Spieth, #8 Dustin Johnson, #13 Louis Oosthuizen, #15 Sergio Garcia, #16 Brandt Snedeker, #18 Zach Johnson, #19 Brooks Koepka, #21 Charl Schwartzel, #23 Matt Kuchar.
  • Four players that finished among the top 10 at THE PLAYERS Championship: Matt Kuchar (T3), Colt Knost (T3), Ken Duke (T3) and Alex Cejka (T9).
  • Eight TOUR winners this season: Peter Malnati (Sanderson Farms Championship), Jordan Spieth (Hyundai Tournament of Champions), Jason Dufner (CareerBuilder Challenge), Brandt Snedeker (Farmers Insurance Open), Charl Schwartzel (Valspar Championship), Tony Finau (Puerto Rico Open), Charley Hoffman (Valero Texas Open), James Hahn (Wells Fargo Championship).
  • Six past AT&T Byron Nelson winners: Steven Bowditch (2015), Brendon Todd (2014), Jason Dufner (2012), Keegan Bradley (2011), Sergio Garcia (2004), Ernie Els (1995).

Additional Player Notes

  • Ernie Els returns to the AT&T Byron Nelson for the first time since 2012. A victory in his inaugural start at the event in 1995 represents one of five top-15 finishes (1-1995, T4-2002, T7-2004, T10-2005, T13-2006).
  • Keegan Bradley returns for his sixth AT&T Byron Nelson start, highlighted by a win in 2011 and runner-up finish in 2013 (which included an opening-round 60). Other finishes: T24 in 2012, T29 in 2014, T22 in 2015.
  • Matt Kuchar has yet to miss a cut in eight starts at the AT&T Byron Nelson (T39-2007, T42-2008, T39-2009, T6-2011, T15-2012, T33-2013, T7-2014, T39-2015). Kuchar finished T3 last week at THE PLAYERS Championship, his best finish since a T2 at the 2015 CareerBuilder Challenge.
  • Dallas resident Ryan Palmer is scheduled to make his 13th consecutive start at the AT&T Byron Nelson, dating to 2004. He missed the cut in six of his first seven starts (T73-2006) and has since finished runner-up (2011), T9 (2012), T33 (2013), T22 (2014) and T10 (2015).
  • Dallas native and former SMU star Colt Knost tied the The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass course record last week with a second-round 63, and finished tied for third, matching his career-best finish. On the week, Knost led the field in Greens in Regulation at 80.56 percent (58 of 72) after coming into the week 114th on TOUR in GIR (65.08 percent). Knost made his PGA TOUR debut at the AT&T Byron Nelson as an amateur in 2007, finishing T67.
  • Five-time PGA TOUR winner and Texan Jimmy Walker had experienced little success at the AT&T Byron Nelson until finishing T2 in 2015, his lone top-10 finish in 10 starts at the event. He has eight made cuts in 10 starts here.
  • 12-time PGA TOUR winner Zach Johnson returned to the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2015 for the first time since 2005, finishing an impressive solo-fifth. It marked just his third start at the event (T41/2004, MC/2005).
  • Bryson DeChambeau will make his sixth start of the season, including amateur starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (T27) and Masters Tournament (T21).
    • He made his professional debut with an impressive T4 finish at the RBC Heritage, but has missed his last two cuts at the Valero Texas Open and Wells Fargo Championship.
    • While competing for nearby Southern Methodist University in 2015, DeChambeau became just the fifth golfer in history to win both the U.S. Amateur Championship and NCAA Division I golf championship in the same season.
  • Sponsor exemption Will Zalatoris, a sophomore at Wake Forest, is a Plano native and was recently named All-ACC for the second consecutive season. Zalatoris attended Trinity Christian High School and was the Texas individual state high school champion in 2012 and 2013.

Miscellaneous Tournament Notes

  • 15 out of the last 21 champions at the AT&T Byron Nelson have recorded all four rounds in the 60s. The exceptions were (Keegan Bradley-2011, Jason Day-2010, Adam Scott-2008, Brett Wetterich-2006, Sergio Garcia-2004 and Jesper Parnevik-2000).
  • There have been 11 players that have claimed their first TOUR win at the AT&T Byron Nelson, including four of the last six champions: Johnny Pott (1960), Charles Coody (1964), Mark Hayes (1976), Neal Lancaster (1994), Robert Damron (2001), Ted Purdy (2005), Brett Wetterich (2006), Jason Day (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Sangmoon Bae (2013), Brendon Todd (2014).
  • The current course record of 60 was set by Keegan Bradley in 2013. Arron Oberholser also shot 60 when the tournament was contested at Cottonwood Valley in 2006.
  • The tournament scoring record of 259 was set in 2015 by Steven Bowditch (when inclement weather forced the par-70 layout to play as a par-69 during the final three rounds), topping the 261 by Rory Sabbatini in 2009.
  • Only two players have won the event in wire-to-wire fashion (no ties) – Mark Hayes/1976 and Tom Watson/1980. (Note: Complete first-round scores are not available for the inaugural event in 1944, won by Byron Nelson). Steven Bowditch, in 2015, is the most recent champion to hold at least a share of the lead each round.
  • Dating to 2000, there have been nine international-born winners of the championship (2000-Jesper Parnevik, 2002-Shigeki Maruyama, 2003-Vijay Singh, 2004-Sergio Garcia, 2008-Adam Scott, 2009-Rory Sabbatini, 2010-Jason Day, 2013-Sangmoon Bae, 2015-Steven Bowditch).
  • Seven players (eight wins) carried the opening-day lead on to victory: Bowditch (2015), Jason Day (2010), Scott Simpson (1993), Tom Watson (1979, 1980), Mark Hayes (1976), Chi Chi Rodriguez (1972), Earl Stewart (1961).
  • The 54-hole leader/co-leader has won four times in the last eight years at the AT&T Byron Nelson (Adam Scott/2008, Jason Dufner/2012, Brendon Todd/2014, Steven Bowditch/2015).

“DFW Double”

  • Ben Hogan, in 1946, is the only player to win the AT&T Byron Nelson and DEAN & DELUCA Invitational in the same year. No player has performed the feat in back-to-back weeks.
  • Fifteen players have won the “DFW Double” during their careers: Ben Crenshaw, Roberto De Vicenzo, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Bruce Devlin, Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, Tom Watson, Bruce Lietzke, Nick Price, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Rory Sabbatini, Julius Boros and Adam Scott.

Third Event of Four-Leg Texas Swing

  • The AT&T Byron Nelson is the third of four legs of the Texas Swing on the PGA TOUR, with Jim Herman winning the Shell Houston Open and Charley Hoffman winning the Valero Texas Open.
  • Adam Scott is the only player to win the Texas Grand Slam (2007 Shell Houston Open, 2008 AT&T Byron Nelson, 2009 Valero Texas Open, 2014 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational).
  • A number of other players, many of them Hall of Famers, have won three titles.
    • Here are the players who have won three of the four events along with the missing link:

tezas swing
Remembering Byron Nelson

  • The AT&T Byron Nelson celebrates the life and legacy of Byron Nelson. Above and beyond his accomplishments on the golf course, Nelson (who passed away in 2006) is universally regarded as one of the game’s most respected and revered individuals.
  • Nelson reached the pinnacle of his golfing career in 1945, winning 18 tournaments, including a record 11-tournament winning streak that will likely stand the test of time.
  • Throughout his relatively brief career, he won 54 times, including the 1939 U.S. Open, 1937 and 1942 Masters Tournaments, and the 1940 and 1945 PGA Championships.
  • The tournament has had several ways of honoring Nelson throughout the years:
    • The Byron Nelson Prize was awarded from 2007-2012 to a person in the golf world who exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship, integrity and philanthropy. Winners included Tom Lehman (2007), Ken Venturi (2008), Arnold Palmer (2009), Tom Watson (2010), Deane Beman (2011), Nancy Lopez (2012).
    • The Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award recognizes the achievements of junior golfers around the world who excel at a high level of tournament play, as well as academics, outstanding character and dedication to community service. Past recipients include Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Cody Gribble, Emiliano Grillo and Austin Connelly, with the 2016 recipients as follows: Philip Barbaree, Cooper Dossey, Ryan Grider and Davis Shore.

Charity

  • With the PGA TOUR having well surpassed the $2 billion mark in charitable giving, the AT&T Byron Nelson has been a leader in that effort of giving back to communities. Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf of Dallas, host organization of the AT&T Byron Nelson, announced last August that the 2015 event raised over $5.6 million, with the proceeds benefiting the Momentous Institute, the nonprofit owned and operated by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. Since its start in 1969, the tournament has raised $143 million and transformed 100,000 lives.

 

SOURCE: PGA TOUR

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