AT&T Byron Nelson Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter at TPC Craig Ranch?

AT&T Byron Nelson Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter at TPC Craig Ranch? article feature image
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Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Daniel Berger.

As anticipation mounts for the 2021 PGA Championship, we make one final pit stop at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, to play the 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson.

This is another event that was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be played at a new course in 2021. The previous two editions of the AT&T Byron Nelson were played at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas.

TPC Craig Ranch is a 7,468-yard par 72 and features bentgrass greens.  The event historically plays relatively easy, and while this is a new course, I don’t expect that to change for the 2021 edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson.

The course structure may provide some additional intrigue with the par-3 17th set up like the stadium hole at TPC Scottsdale. The course also has both long and difficult par-4s mixed with driveable par-4s, which should create some exciting moments.

There are 156 golfers in the field this week, and it’s actually a lot better than many would anticipate the week before a major. Some notable golfers in the field include Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth, Will Zalatoris, Brooks Koepka, Daniel Berger, Scottie Scheffler and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

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Past Winners at AT&T Byron Nelson

  • 2019: Sung Kang (-23)
  • 2018: Aaron Wise (-23)
  • 2017: Billy Horschel (-12)
  • 2016: Sergio Garcia (-15)
  • 2015: Steven Bowditch (-18)

5 Key Stats For TPC Craig Ranch

Let’s take a look at five metrics key for TPC San Antonio to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

1. Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Approach remains the best measure of current form.

Hot iron play will be at a premium this week, and being that this is the first time we are seeing this course on tour, Strokes Gained: Approach seems like the correct place to start in our modeling.

Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Jordan Spieth (+30.4) (+900)
  2. Tom Hoge (21.0) (+12500)
  3. Doug Ghim (+20.2) (+7000)
  4. Will Zalatoris (+18.6) (+2800)
  5. Talor Gooch (+17.1) (+6600)

2. Strokes Gained: Off the Tee

Fairways seem to be fairly wide at TPC Craig Ranch.

Distance will certainly be helpful, and there doesn’t appear to be too many difficult holes on the course. Golfers who put themselves in position off of the tee this week should have a sizable advantage.

Off the Tee Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Bryson DeChambeau (+25.1) (+900) 
  2. Sergio Garcia (+20.2) (+4500)
  3. Jhonattan Vegas (+18.8) (+10000)
  4. Keith Mitchell (+17.5) (+8000)
  5. Jon Rahm (+16.7) (+700)

3. Birdie or Better

While this is a new course, I think it’s safe to say this won’t be a very difficult event.

There doesn’t appear to be many hazards on the course, and all of the par-5s should be reachable in two for the majority of the players in the field. I am anticipating a birdie fest, and this statistic should be helpful in finding the birdie makers.

Birdie or Better Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Jordan Spieth (+27.4) (+900)
  2. Sam Burns (+17.7) (+3300)
  3. Bryson DeChambeau (+17.5) (+900)
  4. Daniel Berger (+22.3) (+1800)
  5. Brooks Koepka (+16.6)(+1600)
sobel-pebble-beach-betting-jordan-spieth-sunday-wait-and-see-approach
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Spieth.

4. Par 3: 200+

Three of the four par-3s at TPC Craig Ranch measure over 200 yards (Hole 4: 219, Hole 7: 232 and Hole 15: 216).

This week, I will be looking for golfers who can play these difficult par-3s effectively and who have good proximity statistics on similar length holes.

SG: BS Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Marc Leishman (+5.7) (+2800)
  2. Scott Stallings (+4.2) (+10000)
  3. Danny Lee (+4.1) (+20000)
  4. Michael Gligic (+3.8) (+45000)
  5. Tyler Duncan (+3.7) (+30000)

5. Strokes Gained: Putting (Bentgrass)

Many golfers on tour have some major putting surface variance in their statistics and prefer bentgrass to other surfaces.

Bentgrass is common in Texas, and we often see golfers who play well in Texas continue to do so, finding a great feel around the greens.

Strokes Gained: Putting (Bentgrass) Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Charles Howell III (+26.0) (+8000)
  2. Aaron Baddeley (+23.3) (+35000)
  3. Andrew Putnam (+22.3) (+20000)
  4. Bryson DeChambeau (+19.0) (+900)
  5. Brandt Snedeker (+18.9) (+9000)

The AT&T Byron Nelson Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Approach (27%), SG: OTT (25%), Birdie or Better (22%), Par-3: 200+ (12%), and SG: Putting Bentgrass (14%).

  1. Daniel Berger (+1800)
  2. Bryson DeChambeau(+900)
  3. Jon Rahm (+700)
  4. Scottie Scheffler (+2500)
  5. Jordan Spieth (+900)
  6. Brooks Koepka (+1600)
  7. Doug Ghim (+7000)
  8. Matt Fitzpatrick (+1600)
  9. Roger Sloan (+17500)
  10. Tom Hoge (+12500)
2021-genesis invitational-stats-strokes gained-odds-picks
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau

2021 AT&T Byron Nelson Open Best Bets

Daniel Berger (+1800): A former winner in Texas (2020 Charles Schwab), Daniel Berger is coming to TPC Craig Ranch in solid form.

In his most recent start, the four-time TOUR winner gained 5.5 strokes on approach en route to a 13th-place finish.

Berger ranks first in the overall model this week and is fourth in Birdie or Better Gained in his past 24 rounds, which is a great sign for what figures to be a low-scoring event.

Sergio Garcia (+4500): Against my better judgment, I’m going back to Sergio once again. Hear me out: Sergio was playing excellent golf prior to back-to-back missed cuts, and the pressure of Augusta National seemed to have gotten to him in the 2021 Masters.

However, before his most recent victory at the 2020 Sanderson Farms Championship, the Spaniard was also coming off back-to-back missed cuts. Relative to the guys around him on the odds board, I see a lot of value with Garcia here.

He still stripes it off of the tee and can take advantage of the four short par-5s and driveable par-4s.

Yes, he is a horrific putter, but bentgrass is his best surface and he has an excellent history in the state of Texas, having won the Byron Nelson twice. Just close your eyes and bet it.

Charl Schwartzel (+6600): 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 another TOUR veteran snagging a victory after a five-year winless period.

Cameron Champ (+10000): Cam Champ is a guy who will just show up and win a PGA TOUR event every few years.

A few years have passed since his 2019 win at the Safeway Open, and the time has come for him to hoist another trophy.

He is flashing some form recently with a 34th-place finish at the Valero Texas Open and a 26th-place finish at The Masters. He also made a run at the Zurich Classic with Tony Finau as a running mate.

This is low-risk, high-reward bet that presents excellent value this week.

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