This week's AT&T Byron Nelson presents an interesting matchup of opposite trends. Both are consistently strong, just how the namesake of the tournament conducted himself on and off the golf course.
On one side, four of the last five champions at TPC Four Seasons Resort-Las Colinas were first-time winners on the PGA TOUR. This includes Brendon Todd who defends this week. On the other, none of the last 12 winners this season are first-timers. It's the longest drought since non-winners rode an 0-for-13 skid in July-October of 2012.
If we're going to witness a breakthrough this week, it's likely going to be authored by a hot putter. Brendon Todd added his name to a series of recent champs that filled the cup all week long. He ranked T55 in greens in regulation (43 of 72) but first in both scrambling and strokes gained: putting. It didn't hurt that he also led the field in fairways hit (44 of 56), but that's more fact than friction.
At +0.546 strokes to par, TPC Four Seasons was the second-hardest par 70 of 13 in non-majors last season. It can stretch to 7,166 yards. Overall, it ranked T15 in par-4 scoring but T42 and 30th in par-3 and par-5 scoring. Todd polished off his two-stroke win slotted second in both par-3 and par-4 scoring, while finishing a pedestrian T47 in par-5 scoring.
The inclement weather that saturated Colonial Country Club last week imparted greater damage at TPC Four Seasons, but the course will be ready for the tournament. Unfortunately, the weather pattern extends through the week. It's almost certain that rain and storms will roll through, so timing and location will once again be critical. Temperatures in the 80s will be accompanied by moderate breezes that are a staple of this event. Sunday's forecast calls for a secondary wind out of the north, so that may add a wrinkle to the proceedings.
POWER RANKINGS: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship
Rank Player Comment 1 Jason Day 2 Marc Leishman 3 Dustin Johnson 4 Gary Woodland 5 Jordan Spieth 6 Justin Thomas 7 Charley Hoffman 8 Ian Poulter 9 Brandt Snedeker 10 Matt Kuchar 11 Jerry Kelly 12 Zach Johnson 13 Keegan Bradley 14 Brendon Todd 15 John Huh