After a frustrating weekend, when Blue Horseshoe’s main pick Rory McIlroy was right there at the top of the leader board for the first three days at the Wells Fargo Championship, only to fail to get the job done on the final day we move onto the Byron Nelson Classic, the last stop on the PGA Tour before the next major in this seasons experimental major’s calendar – The PGA Championship.
With the PGA Championship being moved up to May the field for the Byron Nelson Classic is not as strong as it usually would be. It’s also only in its second year at its new home; Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas Texas. This is an interesting venue. Despite its name this is a links style course with not a single tree planted on the entire eighteen holes.
So you’d think that it will be a typical links type track that would suit a links style exponent with a strong bump and run game around the greens right? Not so fast. Have a look at what Jordan Spieth had to say about the course, a course he is a member at and has played many times: “It’s like an American links. You’ve kind of got to play it from the air, not really a bounce the ball up kind of links, but it is still a links-looking golf course. So it’s weird, it’s unique. Birkdale was kind of the closest comparison I’ve found to a links course that you kind of have to attack from the air. You get maybe four or five, six holes where you can bounce the ball up, but the way to get balls close is to come in with a higher shot. That’s not necessarily true links.”
Ok, so it’s a links kind of course that doesn’t play like a links course. That’s not confusing at all.
With the field weakened somewhat by the PGA Championship next week and a staggering SEVEN first time winners on the PGA Tour this season, it is tempting to go wide and look for value from another maiden winner, which I have done, But I am also going to put a couple of proven second shot hitters in the mix, as this course seems to be all about rewarding a deft touch with the irons.
So here’s who Blue Horseshoe loves this week at the Byron Nelson Classic
Patrick Reed – Currently 30-1 with starsports.bet
The 2018 Masters Champion has been busy redesigning his swing over the last few months and last week at the very challenging Quail Hollow course it looked like all his hard work was beginning to pay off. Reed was hanging around the top of the leader board for the first three days and only a sloppy final round saw him tumble down it. Reed has always had an exceptional short iron game and with no tress to worry about for his somewhat erratic driving game this tournament might just be the perfect venue for Reed to take another title.
Jordan Spieth – Currently 18-1 with starsports.bet
As we all know Jordan is enduring his worst season ever on the PGA Tour. But as the old saying goes; Form is temporary, class is permanent. There have been signs of life in the Spieth’s game recently and as I alluded to earlier the Texas native is a member here. I doubt there will be anyone in the field with more local knowledge of where and where not to put the ball than him. Jordan’s struggles have been with the driver and the putter this year, but his iron game has remained superb.
Spieth finished in a tie for twenty first here last year and I get the feeling that if he has exercised the demons from his game he could finish a lot higher this week.
Abraham Ancer – Currently 70-1 with starsports.bet
Ancer won the Australian Open winner in late 2018 at the lakes course in Sydney, another links style layout that rewards driving accuracy and second shot precision. Ancer is currently ranked eighteenth on tour this year in driving accuracy getting the ball into the right spots shouldn’t be a problem for him at this venue. His excellent opening round sixty five put him squarely at the top of the leader board here last year. But an untidy third round seventy three put paid to his chances of victory. On that day the wind kicked up and this is the only factor that remains a note of caution with Ancer. The only thing the little Mexican lacks is length and if it blows hard he runs the danger of being too far back to hit the sort of second shots he wants to hit in order to put him into position for birdies. But at seventy to one he still represents good each way value here to get the job done this year.
Ollie Schniederjans – Currently 100-1 with starsports.bet
I am going to give this guy one more chance this week. Every week Schniederjans finishes there or there about’s, but every week he is undone by one poor round out of his four that serves to derail his chances of victory. I remain convinced that the capless one has a top five finish within him and with the fact that A) he is one of the longest hitters on tour. B) He can’t get into any tree trouble. C) His putting ranking for the season remains high. And D) The field is not overly strong I will give Schniederjans one more go for each way value. No doubt the week I leave him alone he’ll win 🙁
Good luck to you all and roll on the PGA Championship next week where I will have an in-depth look at the form and the field.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK PATRICK REED 1 pt ew at 30/1 with starsports.bet
BACK JORDAN SPIETH 1 pt ew at 18/1 with starsports.bet
BACK ABRAHAM ANCER 1 pt ew at 70/1 with starsports.bet
BACK OLLIE SCHNIEDERJANS 1 pt ew at 100/1 with starsports.bet
EW Terms 1/5 6 Places
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 250.17 points
(excluding Premier League ante-post)