2021 AT&T Byron Nelson Picks: Our Favorite Props & Matchups at TPC Craig Ranch
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Palmer
With the second major of the season just around the corner, the PGA TOUR heads to a new venue this week for the 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson. One of the great things about betting on golf is that every week is different. No two fields, courses or tournaments are the same week to week. It’s like you get to be a bite-sized sports season every seven days. It’s truly beautiful.
Here are our favorite matchups and prop bets for the 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson:
Ryan Palmer (+105) over Brooks Koepka
I’m admittedly lukewarm on Palmer as a title contender this week, but he’s a guy I like targeting in H2H matchups, because he gives us a chance to win on both Friday and Sunday. That’s because he’s made the cut in 13 straight starts and 19 of his last 20, dating back to last summer. This one, though, is as much a Koepka fade as a play on Palmer. Making his first start since the Masters, Koepka is competing here after a five-week absence. Over the past two years, he’s had six breaks of at least five weeks, for injuries or other reasons. His results in the first event back: MC-MC-28th-32nd-34th-MC.
For a guy who very possibly just wants a few competitive reps before getting motivated for next week’s major, don’t fool yourself into thinking he’ll come back full-throttle this week.
Kristoffer Ventura Top-30 Finish (+650)
As I’ve covered extensively this week, I am targeting the bombers at this track, and one player that stuck out to me was Kris Ventura. He is the lesser known Oklahoma State teammate of Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff, but he too has quite a bit of talent.
He was a player I took a flyer on last week and while he fell short of the cut, he fought hard from the more difficult wave and actually had nine birdies in his two rounds.
Ventura is a player that’s long off the tee, but he also ranks 6th in putting this season, which is the combo in player time I am looking for this week. His odds are too long across the board this week, but the conservative approach is the top-30 at a strong price +650.
Charl Schwartzel Top-10 Finish (+550)
I wrote up Charl as a sleeper last week at +12500, and he didn’t disappoint with his performance. He finished in 14th-place while gaining an eye-opening 6.8 strokes on approach and 10.2 strokes tee to green.
His putter held him back at Quail Hollow (-3.5), but throughout his career, he has been an above-average putter, so I think a bounce back with the flat stick is in order.
The Johannesburg, South Africa, native has had somewhat of a resurgence of late with four consecutive finishes in the top 26, including a narrow playoff loss at the Zurich Classic with Louis Oosthuizen as his partner.
I am going to ride Schwartzel’s excellent form for one more week and hope it leads to Charl getting in contention at TPC Craig Ranch
Doug Ghim Top-10 finish (+550)
Ghim is one of the most frustrating players on TOUR right now, because he has the ball-striking chops of the game’s elites, but putts like I do when playing mini golf. Ghim ranks No. 10 on the PGA TOUR in SG: Approach on the season. That is not just in this field, that’s out of all the players on the PGA circuit. He’s been a better approach player this year than Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau and Daniel Berger, just to name a few.
This 25-year old is no joke, and if he could just improve his putting even a little bit, he’s going to be hoisting some trophies in his future. Ghim has some local connections to TPC Craig Ranch as well, as he played his college golf at the University of Texas and also finished in solo fourth place at this very course at the Korn Ferry Tour Q-School tournament back in 2019.
We’ve seen this season that when he gets a few putts to drop he boasts elite upside, so I’m willing to wager he makes enough to post a top-10 for us.
Marc Leishman (+138) over Will Zalatoris
Such love for Zalatoris, who is (-164) to beat Leishman. Zalatoris could bike to work from home this week and he’s antsy to turn the page on the missed cut at Quail Hollow, but I stopped in my tracks when I saw this line in favor of the Aussie, who is my outright above.
Luke List Top-20 finish (+220)
Luke List is no longer in the pool of golfers that I consider when taking outright bets. I’ve learned the hard way that his putting is just too inconsistent to rely on for the entirety of a golf tournament.
However, his bomb-and-gouge style of play should set up nicely this week. He averages 313 yards off the tee which ranks sixth on TOUR, and ranks 20th in this field over the last 50 rounds in birdie or better percentage.
Coming off a sixth-place finish last week where he gained strokes in every tracked category, I think he follows it up with another solid week and cracks the top 20 at +250.