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May 10 2013

6:47 PM

First Look: HP Byron Nelson

Jason Dufner birdied the 18th hole en route to winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship last season.
(Graythen/Getty Images)

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

FULL FIELD: HP Byron Nelson Championship

• COURSE: TPC Four Seasons Resort, 7,166 yards, par 70. Originally laid out by Jay Morrish in 1983, the course underwent a major overhaul in 2007 by D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolfard. The new layout has large, undulating greens, encouraging players to use slopes to work their shots closer to the pin – but with runoffs and closely mown areas just off the putting surface that will penalize poor shots. Weibring/Wolfard also did extensive tree landscaping that brings creeks and ponds more into play. The 18th hole features a unique “water cascade” that extends from the landing area to the green.

• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

• CHARITY: Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers, which works with troubled and at-risk children and their families in the DFW Metroplex with a focus on behavioral therapy and academic excellence. The tournament has raised more than $127 million since its inception.

• FIELD WATCH: Defending champion Jason Dufner and former winners Keegan Bradley (2011) and Jason Day (2010) are among seven entrants among the top 25 in this week’s world rankings. No. 7 Louis Oosthuizen holds the highest ranking in the field. … 2007 champion Scott Verplank, back from a one-year hiatus caused by a wrist injury, is set for his 26th Nelson appearance. Last year’s absence ended a run of 19 consecutive starts in his hometown event. … Chinese teen Guan Tianlang, who at age 14 made the cut at both the Masters and Zurich Classic of New Orleans last month, is in the field on a sponsor exemption.

• 72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Rory Sabbatini (2009).

• 18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Arron Oberholser (2nd round, 2006 at Cottonwood Valley GC). TPC Four Seasons record: 61, Billy Mayfair (2nd round, 1993), Charlie Rymer (3rd round, 1996), Justin Leonard (3rd round, 2001), Cameron Beckman (2nd round, 2010).

• LAST YEAR: Three weeks after scoring his first PGA TOUR win, Jason Dufner collected his second with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to complete a 67 that left him one shot clear of Dicky Pride. J.J. Henry, buoyed by a hole-in-one, took a one-stroke lead to the 17th tee but flew the green on the way to a double bogey. Pride, whose only PGA TOUR win came in 1994, birdied No. 17 and ran home a 22-foot par save at No. 18 in hopes of a playoff. Dufner, though, followed with his own long-distance strike to add the Nelson trophy to the one he claimed in New Orleans. The four-week span also included Dufner’s wedding.

• STORYLINES: After finishing fourth in the FedExCup standings last year, Dufner has yet to find the same form in 2013. His best finish was 12th at Trump Doral, and his year is best known for the weary-looking “Dufnering” photo from an elementary classroom visit that went viral on the Internet. … Jordan Spieth, who made headlines when he tied for 16th as a Dallas Jesuit Prep junior three years ago, will play the event for the first time as a professional. He has special temporary status after two top-10 finishes in March … Dallas native Hank Kuehne, attempting a comeback after back woes forced him off the TOUR for five years, makes his fifth start of the year.

• SHORT CHIPS: Jason Day, the 2010 champion, has yet to finish outside the top 10 in three visits to the TPC Four Seasons. The Aussie, who once made Fort Worth his home, also placed fifth in 2011 and tied for ninth last year. … In the tournament’s previous 58 editions, only two men have won it wire-to-wire -- Mark Hayes in 1976 and Tom Watson four years later. … Guan is among five junior golfers who will be honored during the week for their success not only on the course, but in the classroom.

• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

• RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. ET (SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).

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