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

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

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. But that appears not 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 a fairly stout field.

Contested for the first time at TPC Craig Ranch, the Byron Nelson field includes the two most recent Masters winners in Hideki Matsuyama and Dustin Johnson, along with marquee names such as Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, and Dallas native Jordan Spieth, among others.

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

Name: AT&T Byron Nelson
Title Sponsor: AT&T
Tour Debut: 1944
First Name: Texas Victory Open
Dates: May 13-16, 2021
Where: McKinney, Texas
Course: TPC Craig Ranch
Distance: Par 72, 7438 yards
Architect: Tom Weiskopf
Format: 72-holes, Stroke play
Field: 144 Players (36-hole cut)
Purse: $8,100,000
Winning Share: $1,458,000
FedExCup/OWGR Pts: 500/64
Defending Champion: Sung Kang

How to Follow the AT&T Byron Nelson

Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka watches a replay on the monitor after playing his shot on the seventh hole during the third round of the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest GC on May 11, 2019 in Dallas, TX. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 3:30-6:30 p.m. (GOLF); Sat-Sun: 1-3 p.m. (GOLF), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)

PGA TOUR LIVE: Thu-Fri: 7:45 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (Groups); Sat-Sun: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (Groups), 3-6 p.m. (Holes)
Watch on Prime Video

PGA TOUR RADIO: Thu-Fri: 1-6:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 1-6 p.m.
(PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and

LINKS: Web | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

AT&T Byron Nelson History

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

The Byron Nelson has traditionally been contested in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1944. It is one of two PGA Tour stops in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex – the only metropolitan area to host two events.

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.

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
  • AT&T Byron Nelson (2015-Present)
  • HP Byron Nelson Championship (2009-14)
  • EDS Byron Nelson Championship (2003-08)
  • Verizon Byron Nelson Classic (2001-02)
  • GTE Byron Nelson Classic (1999-2000)
  • GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic (1988-98)
  • Byron Nelson Golf Classic (1968-87)
  • Dallas Open Invitational (1957-67)
  • Texas International Open (June 1956)
  • Dallas Centennial Open (May 1956)
  • Dallas Invitational (1946)
  • Dallas Open (1945)
  • Texas Victory Open (1944)
History: Records

4 – Tom Watson (1975, 1978-80)
3 – Sam Snead (1945, 1957-58)
261 – Rory Sabbatini (2009), Aaron Wise (2018), Sung Kang (2019)
23-Under – Aaron Wise (2018), Sung Kang (2019)

History: Recent Winners

2019: Sung Kang (-23)
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)

AT&T Byron Nelson Defending Champion

Sung Kang Wins Byron Nelson
Sung Kang celebrates with his caddie, Jason Shortall, after winning the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest GC on May 12, 2019 in Dallas, TX. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Another week, another first-time winner on the PGA Tour by a player not even ranked in the world top-100.

This time, it was 31-year old Korean Sung Kang, who scored his maiden PGA Tour title with a 23-under-par week at the 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson, edging Matt Every and Scott Piercy by two strokes.

Kang signed for a 4-under 67 final round.

It was the third stroke-play PGA Tour event in a row where the winner was a first-time champion, who entered in suspect form and with little fanfare.

Top-5 Leaders

Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Sung Kang -16 (-10)
2. Matt Every -12 (-6)
2. Tyler Duncan -12 (-5)
4. Brooks Koepka -11 (-5)
5. Rory Sabbatini -10 (-6)

AT&T Byron Nelson Field

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

The field teeing it up this week at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas is headlined by three of the top-5 ranked players in the world, including No. 1 Dustin Johnson, No. 3 Jon Rahm, and No. 4 Bryson DeChambeau.

They will be joined by newly-minted Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, four-time major winner Brooks Koepka, and surging superstar Jordan Spieth, who will look to complete the career Grand Slam at next week’s PGA.

Top-5 Betting Favorites

1. Jon Rahm (+900)
2. Bryson DeChambeau (+1000)
3. Dustin Johnson (+1100)
4. Jordan Spieth (+1200)
5. Daniel Berger (+2000)
5. Brooks Koepka (+2000)
5. Hideki Matsuyama (+2000)

How The Field Qualified for the 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson

Winner: U.S. Open
Bryson DeChambeau (2020)
Dustin Johnson (2016)
Brooks Koepka (2017)
Jordan Spieth (2015)

Winner: PGA Championship
Jimmy Walker (2016)
Jason Day (2015)

Winner: Masters Tournament
Hideki Matsuyama (2021)
Sergio Garcia (2017)

Winner: THE PLAYERS Championship
Si Woo Kim (2017)
Rickie Fowler (2015)

Winner: Invitational Event
Jon Rahm (2020 Memorial)
Marc Leishman (2018 Arnold Palmer)
Invitationals: Genesis Arnold Palmer, Memorial

Tournament Winners Exempted
Ryan Armour (2017 Sanderson)
Daniel Berger (2020 Chas Schwab)
Sam Burns (2021 Valspar)
Cameron Champ (2019 Safeway)
Austin Cook (2017 RSM)
Tyler Duncan (2019 RSM)
Harris English (2021 Sentry)
Brice Garnett (2018 Corales)
J.B. Holmes (2019 Genesis)
Charles Howell III (2018 RSM)
Sung Kang (2019 Byron Nelson)
Michael Kim (2018 John Deere)
Patton Kizzire (2018 Sony)
Russell Knox (2017 HSBC)
Satoshi Kodaira (2018 RBC)
Matt Kuchar (2018 Mayakoba)
Martin Laird (2020 Shriners)
Andrew Landry (2018 Valero)
Nate Lashley (2019 Rocket)
Troy Merritt (2018 Barbasol)
Keith Mitchell (2019 Honda)
Sebastian Munoz (2019 Sanderson)
Carlos Ortiz (2020 Houston)
Ryan Palmer (2019 Zurich)
Cheng Tsung Pan (2018 RBC Heritage)
Pat Perez (2019 CIMB)
Scott Piercy (2018 Zurich)
Ted Potter, Jr. (2018 Pebble)
Andrew Putnam (2018 Barracuda)
Brandt Snedeker (2018 Wyndham)
Robert Streb (2020 RSM)
Hudson Swafford (2020 Corales)
Martin Trainer (2019 Puerto Rico)
Kevin Tway (2018 Safeway)
Aaron Wise (2018 Byron Nelson)

Career Money Exemption
K.J. Choi
Luke Donald
Hunter Mahan
Bo Van Pelt

Sponsors Exemptions
John Catlin (1)
Lee Westwood (1)
J.J. Henry (2)
Will Zalatoris (2)
Pierceson Coody (3)
Cole Hammer (3)
Thomas Pieters (3)
Tyler Strafaci (3)
Antoine Rozner (4)
1. 2018-19 FEC / Korn Ferry Category
2. Not Otherwise Exempt Category
3. Unrestricted Category
4. Commissioner Exemption (2 Foreign Players)

PGA Section Champion
Shane Pearce

2019 Byron Nelson Collegiate Golf Award
Ryan Lumsden

Top 125 Prior Season FEC
Scottie Scheffler
Matt Fitzpatrick
Mark Hubbard
Danny Lee
Tom Hoge
Alex Noren
Harry Higgs
Talor Gooch
Doc Redman
Xinjun Zhang
Sepp Straka
Vaughn Taylor
Patrick Rodgers
Brian Stuard
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
Scott Harrington
Ryan Moore
Sam Ryder
Adam Schenk
Wyndham Clark
Scott Brown
Beau Hossler
Luke List
Scott Stallings
Rory Sabbatini
Tom Lewis
Bo Hoag
William Gordon*
Erik van Rooyen*
* Top 125 (Nonmember)

Major Medical Extension
James Hahn
Charl Schwartzel
Kevin Chappell
Kevin Stadler
Sean O’Hair
Jamie Lovemark
Wesley Bryan
John Huh
Seung-Yul Noh
Kelly Kraft
Jonas Blixt

Top 125 FEC (2018-19)/Top Korn Ferry Tour
Tyler McCumber
Brandon Hagy
Doug Ghim
Anirban Lahiri
Jhonattan Vegas
Cameron Percy
Rafael Campos
Michael Gligic
Kristoffer Ventura
Chesson Hadley
Kramer Hickok
Roger Sloan
Vincent Whaley
David Hearn
Joseph Bramlett
Rob Oppenheim
Hank Lebioda
Bronson Burgoon
Grayson Murray
D.J. Trahan
Ryan Brehm
Sebastian Cappelen
J.J. Spaun
Tim Wilkinson
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Nelson Ledesma
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Fabián Gómez
Rhein Gibson
Mark Anderson
Ben Taylor
Aaron Baddeley
Chris Baker
John Senden
Nick Watney
Michael Gellerman
Matt Every

Minor Medical Extension
Padraig Harrington

Top 150 (126-150) Prior Season FEC
Camilo Villegas
Ben Martin
Josh Teater
Peter Uihlein
Bill Haas
Wes Roach
Seamus Power
Roberto Castro
Ryan Blaum
Johnson Wagner
Zack Sucher
Dominic Bozzelli

Up Next: PGA Championship

The official PGA Championship pin flag, taken on November 16, 2019 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the site of the 103rd (2021) PGA Championship, Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Gary Kellner/The PGA of America via Getty Images)

The PGA Championship, the season’s second major, gets underway next week at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course in South Carolina where Collin Morikawa will defend his 2020 title.

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



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