The First Look: AT&T Byron Nelson
May 03, 2019
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- May 03, 2019
- Aaron Wise is the defending champion at the AT&T Byron Nelson. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Trinity Forest Golf Club is back to host its second edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson, the PGA TOUR’s longtime Dallas stop, after Aaron Wise’s record-breaking performance last year.
Jordan Spieth makes his ninth appearance in his hometown event, still seeking to top his share of 16th he achieved in his debut as a teenager. Fellow Texan Ryan Palmer also tees it up for the first time since winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans alongside Jon Rahm.
FIELD NOTES: Patrick Reed takes his first spin around Trinity Forest, hoping for better fortune than his three previous Nelson appearances. His best finish at TPC Four Seasons was a share of 20th. … In all, Trinity Forest welcomes eight of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings. … European Tour standouts Thomas Pieters and Thorbjorn Olesen were given sponsor exemptions as they prepare for next week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. … Tony Romo, CBS’s top NFL analyst, takes a sponsor invite for the first time in the city where he spent 14 NFL seasons. He’s previously made two starts in the Corales Puntacana Championship, missing the cut each time. … Former U.S. Amateur runner-up Doug Ghim, a University of Texas alum, also tees it up on an exemption.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
STORYLINES: Brooks Koepka tees it up a week before defending his title at the PGA Championship after teaming with younger brother Chase for a share of 22nd at the Zurich Classic. Koepka, who is 7th in the FedExCup standings, won THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES and finished second at The Honda Classic in March. … Spieth hopes a little home flavor will help turn around a scuffling season that has yet to produce a top-20 finish. A share of 21st at the Masters has been his best finish since last year’s FedExCup Playoffs. … Spieth or Boo Weekley can become the 16th man to complete the “DFW Double” by winning both Dallas-Fort Worth events in their career. Spieth captured the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in 2016; Weekley did it three years earlier. … Wise carded all four rounds in the 60s at Trinity Forest, making him the 13th winner in the past 19 Nelsons to accomplish that feat. In all, 14 entrants last year broke 70 in every round.
COURSE: Trinity Forest Golf Club, 7,371 yards, par 71. Surrounded by the Great Trinity Forest, but without a tree on the property itself, the 2016 Ben Crenshaw/Bill Coore design was built over 160 acres of sand-capped landfill. The layout more resembles a windswept rolling meadow that offers fans numerous spots to watch the action on multiple holes. Most striking is a double green serving Nos. 3 and 11, one of the largest in North America at roughly 35,000 square feet. Last year’s Nelson debut was a birdie fest, as only one course on TOUR surrendered more birdies and eagles than Trinity Forest’s 1,970.
For those visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth area, must-play courses include The Tribute at The Colony (The Colony, Texas), Cowboys GC (Grapevine, Texas) and Bear Creek GC (Dallas). Book your reservations via TeeOff.com.
72-HOLE RECORD: 259, Steven Bowditch (2015 at TPC Four Seasons). Note: Aaron Wise’s 23-under-par 261 in 2018 is the lowest against par; Bowditch was 18-under after heavy rain turned TPC Four Seasons into a par-69 layout for the final three rounds.
18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Arron Oberholser (2nd round, 2006 at Cottonwood Valley GC), Keegan Bradley (1st round, 2013 at TPC Four Seasons). Trinity Forest record: 61, Marc Leishman (1st round, 2018).
LAST YEAR: Wise withstood a four-hour rain delay to make Trinity Forest’s inaugural hosting of the AT&T Byron Nelson his own first PGA TOUR win, closing with a 6-under-par 65 in dying light for a three-shot triumph. Wise fired three rounds of 65 or better at the new venue, sharing the 54-hole lead with Marc Leishman and pulling away with a string of four birdies around the turn. That gave the former Oregon standout a four-shot advantage with eight holes to play, each of which he parred down the stretch to set a tournament record at 23 under for the week. Wise also became the second-youngest winner of the event (21 years, 10 months), just six months older than when Tiger Woods captured the 1997 edition at TPC Four Seasons. Leishman stood alone in second after a 68; Branden Grace was another shot back after a Sunday 62.
HOW TO FOLLOW
TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (featured groups). Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (featured groups). International subscribers (via GOLF.tv): Thursday-Friday, 12:00 to 22:30 GMT. Saturday-Sunday, 14:30 to 22:00.