Fantasy Aces: Byron Nelson Championship
WEEK 19, MATCH 1: Jim McCabe ($4,645,720; 7-10-1) vs. Lance Ringler ($3,788,698; 11-6-1)
HP Byron Nelson Championship
Site: Irving, Texas
Courses: TPC Four Seasons Resort (Las Colinas) (7,166 yards, par 70)
Purse: $6.5 million
Winner’s share: $1.17 million
Best bet: Hunter Mahan. When last we saw him, Mahan was running off 18 straight pars in his fourth-round Players Championship effort. Look for that ball-striking to continue, with more putts falling.
Ace up my sleeve: Charley Hoffman. Finished T-23 a year ago, but more importantly, he’s on a decent roll, with three of last four finishes inside the top 30. In 11 of his last 16 rounds he’s been 71 or better.
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Best bet: Hunter Mahan. Overall the field this week is weaker than most weeks on the PGA Tour. At No. 10, Mahan is the top-ranked player in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. He has been playing well as of late with three top 20s in his last three starts.
Ace up my sleeve: Spencer Levin. He is No. 102 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and I usually don’t dig that deep, however Levin has been playing much better than his ranking. Levin has made the cut in 11 of 13 events this year and is coming off his first top 10 of the season last week at the Texas Open.
WEEK 19, MATCH 2: Sean Martin ($5,731,313; 8-9-1) vs. Jeff Babineau ($3,567,148; 7-8-3)
Best bet: Y.E. Yang. Yang, who now lives in Dallas, won earlier this year at the Volvo China Open, played well at the Masters (T-8) and has finished 34th or better in each of his past four PGA Tour starts. He started last year’s Nelson with three consecutive rounds in the 60s until a final-round 73.
Ace up my sleeve: Jimmy Walker. Walker, the former Nationwide Tour player of the year, seems to be finding his footing on the big tour after finishing No. 125 on last year’s money list. He’s coming off back-to-back top-25s, including a third-place showing at the Valero Texas Open, and played well here last year, tying for 23rd.
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Best bet: Hunter Mahan. OK, he’s playing near home, so that’s a plus, and if he’s forgotten that he’s the best player in the field this week, let this serve as a reminder. I still think he can win a major this year, but he needs to start tightening his game a little. His last three results (T-8 at Augusta, T-17 at Quail Hollow, T-17 at Players) shows he’s not too far away from contending on Sunday again.
Ace up my sleeve: Charley Hoffman. The Man in the Green Glove gets my sleeper nod this week, hiding all the way down at No. 141 in the Sagarin rankings. But he played well last week in San Antonio (T-13) and has a nice record at the Nelson, with two top 10s in his last four starts at TPC Four Seasons.