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Adon7x’s Favorite First-Round Leader Bets for Byron Nelson: Back to the Well with Keith Mitchell

Adon7x’s Favorite First-Round Leader Bets for Byron Nelson: Back to the Well with Keith Mitchell article feature image

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Keith Mitchell

  • Adon7x runs through his favorite First-Round Leader bets for the AT&T Byron Nelson, which gets underway on Thursday, May 9.
  • Windier conditions in the afternoon on Thursday suggests there could be in edge in focusing on golfers teeing off in the morning wave.

This week the PGA tour stops in Dallas for the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest Golf Club. This is storm season in Texas, and the Metroplex has had its fair share of severe weather in the past month. More rain and storms are in the forecast leading up to Thursday, so expect another year of relatively low scoring.

Lucky for us, we only care about what the forecast is like on Thursday, as this article will focus solely on the best First Round Leader value bets. (For more thoughts on my general strategy with FRL wagers, be sure to check out my intro piece here.) As of this writing, it looks like Round 1 will be one of the nicer days of the week.

But I do see the potential for a draw bias on Thursday with sustained winds picking up in the afternoon, so I will be backing the morning wave for my First Round Leader selections. (If you’re interested in keeping close tabs on the wind forecast, I use Windfinder Superforecast, my go-to source for monitoring wind wherever the PGA Tour takes us.)

Now let’s get to my seven favorite FRL bets of the week.

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Keith Mitchell

Odds: 40-1 (.25u)

Mitchell has been a FRL fan favorite since he arrived on tour,  cashing multiple tickets for us in the past. He is known for crushing driver off the tee, but he has been rolling the ball nicely on the greens since his win at Honda and seemed to enjoy Trinity Forest last year, finishing T-3.

Branden Grace

Odds: 45-1 (.23u)

When targeting the morning wave, I always like to make a FRL bet on someone from the very first group. Why? They’ll get the purest greens anybody will see all day. Grace is first off 10 tee on Thursday at 6:50 a.m. He’s has been one of the better links golfers throughout his career, and Trinity Forest seemed right up his alley last year when he finished T-3.

Grace always seems to have one really low round when he is going well; for our purposes, let’s hope that comes on Thursday this week.

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports. Captioned: Branden Grace

Jimmy Walker

Odds: 80-1 (.13u)

We all know about Walker’s success in Texas, but this is also a great course fit for him since Trinity Forest has some of the easiest fairways to hit on tour. Jimmy opened with a 64 here last year, which put him in second place after Round 1.

Kevin Tway

Odds: 80-1 (.13u)

Tway is from nearby in Oklahoma and went to college at Oklahoma State, so he is familiar with golf in the Great State and some of his best finishes as a pro have come in Texas. He bombs it off the tee and was the first FRL of the year at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

Matt Jones

Odds: 85-1 (.12u)

Australians love golf in Texas because of the similar climate, courses, and wind that they grew up playing back home. In fact many of the Aussies on tour call DFW home. Fellow Aussie Marc Leishman stormed the field with an opening-round 61 here in 2018. Matt Jones finished T-13 here for the tournament last year and was co-FRL earlier this season at the Corales Puntacana event (tied with Joel Dahmen).

Kelly Kraft

Odds: 150-1 (.07u)

Kraft is from nearby Denton and went to college at SMU, so this is a hometown event for him and quite a few others in the field. He was a heralded amateur golfer who has been inconsistent as a pro.

Kraft will pop on leaderboards every now and then but good luck figuring out when. While he missed the cut here last year, I’m fine throwing a dart on him this year because he’s in the first group off tee No. 1.

Cameron Davis

Odds: 150-1 (.07u)

Longtime Twitter followers know I am a big fan of amateur golf and keeping track of the best prospects, much like we see people do with college football recruiting. Davis, another Aussie, was a heralded amateur who won the Australian Open in 2017, beating a handful of PGA Tour winners down the stretch.

Cameron absolutely mashes off the tee, and this seems like a great course fit for him. (The Aussies-in-Texas correlation doesn’t hurt either.) Keep an eye on this kid going forward, I think he finishes the season strong as we enter the summer months.

Total risk: 1 unit, to win 10 units

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