TPC Four Seasons Resort’s Las Colinas Golf Course in Irving, Texas, site of the AT&T Byron Nelson, might have been voted the worst course on the PGA Tour in an anonymous player poll last March. But the truth is, the Nelson pulled in a good field this year, one that includes World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, as well as Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia, who is the defending champion.
Las Colinas, which was redesigned in 2007, is a par-70 layout, so that means two fewer par 5s for the longer hitters to do damage on. Finding the fairway will be key and some areas around these greens are mighty tricky.
Also, a key fact to remember is just one player has successfully defended in this tournament’s history (Tom Watson, 1978-80). (Sorry, Sergio.) And there have been a handful of guys in recent years who have won their first Tour title at the Nelson.
Anyway, here is a look at my top 25 fantasy golf power rankings for this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson:
1. Dustin Johnson: T-12 finish at The Players was his worst finish in his last six Tour starts. He’s the best player in the world, and though he’ll only have two par 5s to work with this week, he’s been good here. His last six Nelson starts: T-12, T-8, T-7, T-20, T-7, T-4.
2. Jason Day: Won this event in 2010 but has played it just three times since, going fifth, T-9, T-27. Hasn’t pegged it at the Nelson since 2013. Still has yet to catch fire since T-5 at Pebble Beach.
3. Jordan Spieth: Best finish here was still T-16 in 2011 as a 16-year-old, but he’s yet to miss a cut at the Nelson and was T-18 last year. Sixth in par-4 scoring on Tour. Coming off a missed cut at The Players.
4. Sergio Garcia: Poor final round at The Players, but Garcia is still the defending Nelson champ and playing some stellar golf overall. In his last 14 events, he has two wins and just two finishes worse than T-30.
5. Brooks Koepka: Last year’s runner-up has turned a corner this season, finishing T-16, second, T-11 and T-9 in his last four Tour starts. That doesn’t even include his T-5 at Zurich alongside his brother, Chase. T-16 at Nelson in 2015 followed an MC in his debut.
6. Jimmy Walker: Final-round 63 here last year helped him finish T-24, and he’s been T-37 or better every year since his MC at the 2011 Nelson. Also was T-2 in 2015. Hasn’t missed a cut since the Farmers.
7. Charley Hoffman: T-30 at The Players and now heads to an event he loves. His last four Nelson starts: T-12, T-2, T-8, T-41.
8. Jason Dufner: Three top 10s, including a win (2012), and no MCs since 2011 here. T-7 in par-4 scoring on Tour. Hasn’t missed a cut since Sony and has five top 25s in his last eight Tour starts. Intriguing one-and-done option.
9. Matt Kuchar: Since 2007, hasn’t missed a cut or finished worse than T-42 at the Nelson. He also has three top 10s during that span, including a third last year. Failed to make the final round at The Players, though, after a third-round 81. Since a MC at Pebble, he has just one top 10 in nine starts.
10. Tony Finau: T-12, T-10 in his first two trips to TPC Four Seasons. T-7 in par-4 scoring on Tour. MC at The Players, but had been playing nicely before that with two top 5s and nothing worse than T-34 in his previous four Tour starts. High on him in one-and-done leagues.
11. Charl Schwartzel: Was third here in 2013 and hasn’t missed a cut at the Nelson since. Was T-11 in 2014. MC at The Players snapped a nice roll, which included a sixth at Valspar and third at Augusta.
12. Ryan Palmer: Since runner-up finish at 2011 Nelson, he has two top 10s and one MC (last year) in five starts here. MC at The Players, but T-6 and T-11 in two Tour starts before that.
13. Louis Oosthuizen: T-11 here in 2014, but that’s lone bright spot at Nelson. T-2 at The Players, though, means he’s in great current form.
14. Bud Cauley: High on the former Alabama standout. Was T-4 here last year and is playing some great golf right now – T-10, T-9 in last two Tour stroke-play starts, and cracked top 10 with Justin Thomas at Zurich.
15. Russell Henley: T-22 in Nelson debut, in 2015, before MC last year. T-13 in par-4 scoring on Tour. Cooling off slightly, but his T-35 at The Players was his worst finish in his last four Tour starts.
16. Brandt Snedeker: He’s nursing an injured hand and had to WD from The Players. But before that, he had racked up seven finished of T-28 or better, including four top 11s, in his last eight Tour starts. Weird Nelson record as he’s gone MC, T-6, MC in his last three trips.
17. Gary Woodland: Seven straight made cuts at Nelson, a span that includes two finishes of T-12 or better. However, he was T-75 at The Players and since T-2 at Honda hasn’t finished better than T-38 as he’s dealt with personal losses.
18. Patrick Reed: Gaining a little momentum after T-12 at Wells Fargo and T-22 at The Players. Small sample size, but hasn’t played a final round yet in two Nelson trips.
19. Ben An: Didn’t play The Players but was T-8 in his last start, at Wells Fargo. Making Nelson debut.
20. J.B. Holmes: Hasn’t played here since T-43 finish in 2010. No top 10s on Tour this season and reeling after going from 54-hole leader to T-41 at The Players.
21. Marc Leishman: T-3, T-12, T-3 before two straight MCs at Nelson. MC at The Players followed T-44, T-43 finishes.
22. Ryan Moore: Was runner-up in 2008, but has played this event just two times since, missing the cut both times. Could do worse, though, as he’s made seven straight Tour cuts.
23. Billy Hurley III: Has made last three cuts here, including T-14 in 2014. Has also made four straight cuts on Tour, including a T-8 at Wells Fargo and T-41 at The Players.
24. Ollie Schniederjans: First-timer at the Nelson, but he’s gone T-18 and T-3 in his last two Tour starts.
25. Keegan Bradley: Missed cut here last year snapped a streak that included five straight finishes of T-29 or better, including a win and a third. Has made five of last six Tour cuts.
(Note: The Players Championship winner Si Woo Kim withdrew Monday, citing a back injury. He was originally ranked 22nd.)