The First Look: AT&T Byron Nelson
May 09, 2021
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Sung Kang's Round 4 highlights from AT&T Byron Nelson
The PGA TOUR heads back to Texas as a strong field is set for the AT&T Byron Nelson, which moves to TPC Craig Ranch for the first time.
Sung Kang defends his maiden PGA TOUR title from 2019 after the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FIELD NOTES: After a four-week break to celebrate becoming the first men’s golfer from Japan to win a major, Hideki Matsuyama is back in action. The Masters winner returned home for his green jacket celebration, which included being honored by the Prime Minister. … Brooks Koepka also returns to action for the first time since the Masters. Koepka struggled at Augusta National after dislocating his right kneecap in early March and undergoing surgery… Dallas native Jordan Spieth is back after a four-week break, as well. Spieth broke through for his first TOUR win since 2017 at the Valero Texas Open in April… Three of the top 10 golfers in the world are in the field (Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm)… Sponsor Exemptions include Thomas Pieters, Tyler Strafaci (the 2020 U.S. Amateur champion), and University of Texas standouts Cole Hammer and Pierceson Coody.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.
STORYLINES: Dallas native and Special Temporary Member Will Zalatoris, runner-up at the Masters, will be aiming for his first PGA TOUR win. He first played Byron Nelson as a pro in 2018; he played in 2016 as a teenage amateur. Zalatoris missed the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship, his first early exit since November… While TPC Craig Ranch is new for the tournament, it’s not for the defending champion. Sung Kang is a member of the club and looks to become the first since Tom Watson to defend his Byron Nelson title. Watson won three years in a row.
COURSE: TPC Craig Ranch, par 72, 7,468 yards. Designed by Tom Weiskopf and completed in 2004, the course has hosted events on the Korn Ferry Tour along with Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School. This is the first time TPC Craig Ranch has hosted a PGA TOUR event. The move to TPC Craig Ranch, which is located in McKinney, Texas, comes after two years at Trinity Forest – an ambitious design by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. TPC Craig Ranch will host the Bryon Nelson for the next five years. It features Zoysia fairways and bentgrass greens, and Rowlett Creek crosses the course 14 times.
72-HOLE RECORD: 259, Steven Bowditch, 2015 at TPC Four Seasons. Aaron Wise and Sung Kang’s 23-under 261 in 2018 and 2019, respectively, are the lowest against par; Bowditch was 18 under after heavy rain turned TPC Four Seasons into a par 69 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).
LAST TIME: With the 2020 AT&T Byron Nelson cancelled due to the pandemic, this year sees Sung Kang defend his 2019 title – his maiden TOUR victory. After a 61 in the second round, Kang converted the 54-hole lead and won by two over Matt Every and Scott Piercy despite bogeying the 72nd hole. Every got close but bogeyed the par-4 15th and couldn’t birdie any of the final three holes. Piercy’s 64 on Sunday was tied for the round of the day, but he started the final round too far back. Brooks Koepka finished solo fourth, while five golfers finished T5 including Peter Uihlein and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who tied Piercy’s 64 in the final round.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel), Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS)
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 7:45 a.m.-6:30 p.m. ET (Featured Groups). Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. ET (Featured Groups), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Holes)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).
TOUR Pulse: Get the PGA TOUR app to utilize TOUR Pulse, which provides users the ability to experience a mix of content, such as video highlights, written hole summaries and stat graphics on every player after every hole they complete.