Steve Bamford's tips for the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship
For once the European Tour takes centre stage this week with the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Paul Williams' tips based around Golf’s Number 1 Predictor Model are an absolute must this week. We may even bump into you along the fairways and around the bars of Wentworth on Friday, you'll recognise me from YouTube no doubt!
Whilst we watch the golf I’ll be glued to the PGA Tour app on the iPhone as the Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons in Texas should be a super tournament. The field gathered in Irving is slightly deeper than last week at San Antonio and for that we can be thankful.
Conditions last year were relatively straight forward and the scoring was low. The course was re-designed and lengthened between the 2007 and 2008 tournaments. The greens were completely re-sculptured and re-laid with bent grass. Rough length depends on the late decision of the PGA Tour officials, but the wind is set to be a factor this week, with Sunday looking the toughest day.
Key fundamentals around this tournament are fairly simple. Experience of the course is essential. Those that win tend to have T10’d previously. Add to that the cream tends to rise to the very top here and snatch the victory. Key of all is selection of those that thrived recently at Augusta. Players who had a decent week at The Masters have their games in a decent state and will play well around this ball-strikers paradise. My tips:
Sean O’Hair 1pt EW Best priced 28/1 RESULT: T12
I Really like O’Hair this week. Finished in the Top 30 at Augusta in April, but his game is improving just at the right time for this tournament. A positive wind player who is comfortable on bent greens as his victory in 09 at Quail Hollow indicates. Proven winners prevail here so his 3 PGA Tour victories is a positive. 2nd here on debut in 2005 and played the new layout in 2008. Starting to find his form tee to green and if his putter gets a little warmer should contend this week. Unsurprisingly our Predictor Model No 3 this week.
Kenny Perry 1pt EW Best priced 40/1 RESULT: T16
King Kenny Perry has had by his very own standards a poor 2010. His game has gone backwards, but light is starting to appear at the end of the tunnel after a change of coach and a new training regime based around increasing muscle flexibility. The results are starting to become visible. Opening rounds of 66 and 67 at Quail Hollow and TPC Sawgrass were notable. He finished 22nd at The Players and that positive momentum is something to build upon. Always starts to hit real form in late May through June on bent grass green surfaces he plays best on. New layout should suit his tee-to-green game perfectly.
Y.E. Yang 1pt EW Exclusively best priced 33/1 RESULT: T32
After playing TPC Four Seasons in 2008 & 2009, Yang doesn’t jump off of the paper at you as the winner this week BUT the Dallas based Korean is playing GREAT golf right now. 8th at The Masters, winner of the China Open, 34th at The Players on a course that doesn’t suit his game. 19th in the current World Golf Rankings, his Total Driving, All Around Ranking and Birdie Average, which all sit within the Top 10 on the PGA Tour really attract on a course where scoring will need to be heavy this week to contend. On a course where the 2 Par 5s need to be ‘murdered’, Yang’s ability to realise Par 5 birdies will hold him in great stead.
Trevor Immelman 0.75pt EW Best priced 80/1 Please note: Trevor Immelman has withdrawn from this event
Kevin Streelman 0.75pt EW Best priced 100/1 RESULT: T50
My replacement pick for Trevor Immelman. 3 Top 10s in 2010 show that Streelman is ready for the winners circle and the HP Byron Nelson has thrown up a number of first time PGA winners like Ted Purdy. Streelman who is a Scottsdale Arizona based (a positive here) grabs the attention on a course where birdies are required to win. He currently sits 2nd in Birdie average on Tour. Best finishes tend to be on bent greens and Streelman is a positive wind player. Has the ability to shoot totals under -10 and a 12th place finish here last year offer reasons to be positive about Streelman this week.
Ricky Barnes 0.75pt EW Exclusively best priced 100/1 RESULT: Missed Cut
Did you know that Arizona based players have a great record at TPC Four Seasons? Sabbatini, Scott, Moore and Ted Purdy have all contended for victory and three of them came out as the winner. They all were Arizona residents or educated in the thin desert air. On top of that you can also translate Augusta form to the Byron Nelson. I’m sure its just me but Arizona ‘kid’ Ricky Barnes just seems too long at 100/1 exclusively with BetFred. 10th at The Masters and 6th at The Verizon Heritage stand out, but Barnes has had a great start to 2010. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in contention this week.
Yuta Ikeda 1pt T10 Exclusively best priced 15/1 RESULT: T50
Ikeda has a World Golf Rank of 41. The Japanese player finished in the Top 30 at Augusta and 22nd at the WGC event at Doral. He can play that’s for sure. Offers real value at 15/1 on a course where Japanese players have thrived in the past. Current form is improving and was 9th in his last outing at the Japanese PGA Championship. A great putter, with a sweet short game as highlighted recently on the National course. Check out our top 20 tips for more like this from Extrabet.
Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 16:15BST 18.5.10 but naturally subject to fluctuation.