2019 AT&T Byron Nelson Primer: History, TV, Stream, Field, Odds

Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka looks on from the 18th hole during round two of the AT&T Byron Nelson on May 20, 2016 in Irving, TX. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Historically, the PGA Tour stop which precedes a major championship is at a deep disadvantage when it comes to drawing the big names to its tournament. And that appears to be the case with this year’s edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson, as the PGA Championship’s lead-in event will present one of its weakest fields in recent memory.

Contested for the second year at Trinity Forest Golf Club, the Byron Nelson field will include just one player ranked in the world top-10 (No. 3 Brooks Koepka), and just seven more who appear among the world top-40, including former “golden child” Jordan Spieth, who is in the midst of a two-season long slump.

On the plus side for the Byron Nelson’s marketing team, with Spieth and Koepka teeing it up, the field includes the world’s only three-time major winners under the age of 30.

Here are more details about what’s coming up this week.


The Skinny

Tournament: AT&T Byron Nelson
Dates: May 9-12, 2019
Where: Dallas, Texas
Course: Trinity Forest Golf Club
Distance: Par 71, 7,380 yards
Architect: Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Purse: $7,900,000
Winning Share: $1,422,000
Defending Champion: Aaron Wise
Betting Favorites: Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Henrik Stenson, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Aaron Wise, Patrick Reed, Keith Mitchell


TV, Stream & Radio

Round 1/Thursday:
08:00 am-6:30 pm (PGA TOUR LIVE)
01:00 pm-6:30 pm (PGA TOUR RADIO)
03:30 pm-6:30 pm (GOLF)
Round 2/Friday:
08:00 am-6:30 pm (PGA TOUR LIVE)
01:00 pm-6:30 pm (PGA TOUR RADIO)
03:30 pm-6:30 pm (GOLF)
Round 3/Saturday:
10:30 am-6:00 pm (PGA TOUR LIVE)
01:00 pm-2:45 pm (GOLF)
03:00 pm-6:00 pm (CBS)
03:00 pm-6:00 pm (DIRECT TV)
Round 4/Sunday:
10:30 am-6:00 pm (PGA TOUR LIVE)
01:00 pm-2:45 pm (GOLF)
03:00 pm-6:00 pm (CBS)
03:00 pm-6:00 pm (DIRECT TV)

Links: Web | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Wikipedia


History

Up until last year, located in Irving, Texas – a suburb of Dallas, the Byron Nelson has been played in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1944.

Credit: Getty Images/Bettmann

Called the “Texas Victory Open,” the $2,000 grand prize in that first 1944 tournament was awarded to Dallas native Byron Nelson, when he won the inaugural event by an unbelievable 10 strokes over 17-time PGA Tour winner Jug McSpaden. At 8-under par, Nelson was the only player in the field who broke par.

Sam Snead and Ben Hogan won the next two editions before it was halted for the second world war.

After a 10-year absence, the tournament returned in 1956, and due to infighting over the tournament name, it held two iterations just a month apart – in May (Dallas Centennial Open) and June (Texas International Open), both at Preston Hollow Country Club.

Along with Nelson, Hogan, and Snead, who won twice more (1957-58), the tournament produced an impressive list of winners in its infancy, with Peter Thomson (his only victory in the U.S.), Julius Boros, and Roberto De Vicenzo all taking home a trophy in the tournament’s first 10 editions following its sabbatical.

Byron Nelson presents the winner’s trophy to Payne Stewart at the conclusion of the GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic on May 6, 1990 at TPC at Las Colinas in Dallas, TX. Credit: PGA TOUR Archive via Getty Images

Since then, winners have included golfing greats such as Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, Raymond Floyd, Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, Ben Crenshaw, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

Watson holds the tournament record for most victories with four, followed by three from Snead, and two apiece by Nicklaus, Bruce Lietzke and Sergio Garcia.

In 1968, the tournament officially incorporated Nelson into its name, the first time a tournament was named after a player.

History: Tournament Names

2015-19: AT&T Byron Nelson
2009-14: HP Byron Nelson Championship
2003-08: EDS Byron Nelson Championship
2001-02: Verizon Byron Nelson Classic
1999-00: GTE Byron Nelson Classic
1988-98: GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic
1968-87: Byron Nelson Golf Classic
1957-67: Dallas Open Invitational
June 1956: Texas International Open
May 1956: Dallas Centennial Open
1946: Dallas Invitational
1945: Dallas Open
1944: Texas Victory Open

History: Records

WINS:
4 – Tom Watson (1975, 1978-80)
3 – Sam Snead (1945, 1957-58)
SCORING:
261 – Rory Sabbatini (2009), Aaron Wise (2018)
21-Under – Aaron Wise (2018)

History: Recent Winners

2018: Aaron Wise (-23)
2017: Billy Horschel (-12)
2016: Sergio Garcia (-15)
2015: Steven Bowditch (-18)
2014: Brendon Todd (-14)
2013: Bae Sang-Moon (-13)
2012: Jason Dufner (-11)


Defending Champion

Aaron Wise Wins AT&T Byron Nelson
Aaron Wise poses with the trophy after winning the AT&T Byron Nelson on May 20, 2018 at Trinity Forest GC in Dallas, TX. Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rookie Aaron Wise shot a bogey-free 6-under 65 on Sunday to capture his maiden PGA Tour title at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Wise’s final day was highlighted by a six-pack of gains over a seven-hole stretch (Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10) to finish at a record 23-under par, three strokes clear of 54-hole leader Marc Leishman, who posted a 68.

Final Top 5

1 Aaron Wise -23
2 Marc Leishman -20
3 Branden Grace -19
3 J.J. Spaun -19
3 Keith Mitchell -19


4 Storylines To Follow

1. Aaron Wise Defends: The former NCAA individual champion from Oregon had his breakthrough victory in Dallas a year ago, outdueling the far more experienced Marc Leishman on Sunday to win by three strokes. Wise then went onto win PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.

2. Spieth Seeks Hometown Reboot: Jordan Spieth’s 2019 season has been nothing short of an absolute disaster, but the Dallas native is hoping that home comfort will get his game back on track before he attempts to complete the career grand slam at next week’s PGA Championship.

3. Tony Romo Tees It Up: Spieth is undeniably a local sports hero, but he is not even the biggest one in this year’s field. That would instead be legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback and NFL commentator prodigy Tony Romo, who was given a sponsor’s exemption.

4. Koepka Gives It a Go: Brooks Koepka will be at Bethpage Black next week at the PGA Championship’s defending champion, but the man who has been the best big-game hunter on Tour the past several years will tune up his game at Trinity Forest this week.

Read this week’s storylines at The Starter.





Field Highlights

Jordan Spieth at AT&T Byron Nelson
Jordan Spieth stands on the 17th green during the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson on May 20, 2018 at Trinity Forest GC in Dallas, TX. Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The field in Dallas includes seven players ranked in the world top-40, led by the reigning PGA Championship and U.S. Open winner, Brooks Koepka, who, at No. 3, is (by far) the field’s top-ranked player.

Joining Koepka as a headliner in Texas is home hero Jordan Spieth (No. 39), who’s fallen on hard times lately, but still has the talent to throw up a good round here and there.

Other top-ranked names include No. 19 Patrick Reed, No. 22 Marc Leishman – last year’s runner-up, No. 29 Hideki Matsuyama, No. 31 Rafa Cabrera Bello, No. 32 Alex Noren, and No. 40 Henrik Stenson.

In addition to Koepka (CJ Cup) and Leishman (CIMB Classic), six additional winners of the 2019 PGA Tour season will be teeing it up this week, including Kevin Tway (Safeway Open), Charles Howell III (The RSM Classic), Martin Trainer (Puerto Rico Open), Keith Mitchell (The Honda Classic), C.T. Pan (RBC Heritage), and Ryan Palmer (Zurich Classic).


Full Field & Odds

Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth
Brooks Koepka shakes hands with Jordan Spieth on the first hole during the final round at AT&T Byron Nelson on May 22, 2016 in Irving, TX. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Brooks Koepka is the favorite to take home the prize in Texas. The world No. 3 is listed at 7-1 to capture his second title of the season.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is next with 16-1 odds, just ahead of Jordan Spieth at 20-1. Defending champion Aaron Wise (22-1) and Henrik Stenson (25-1) round out the top-5 betting favorites.

Top-5 Betting Favorites
1. Brooks Koepka (7-1)
2. Hideki Matsuyama (16-1)
3. Jordan Spieth (20-1)
3. Aaron Wise (22-1)
5. Henrik Stenson (25-1)

Read this week’s power rankings at The Starter.


Place your bets on the AT&T Byron Nelson at Bovada.



Up Next: PGA Championship

Wanamaker trophy PGA Championship
The Wanamaker trophy on the fourth hole at Bethpage State Park Black Course in Farmingdale, New York. Photo by Gary Kellner/PGA of America via Getty Images

The PGA Championship, the season’s second major, gets underway next week at Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale, New York where Brooks Koepka will defend his 2018 title.


Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images | Carey Hoffman contributed to this preview.


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