Byron Nelson attracts good field

BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship | Preview | 15 May 2012

The Byron Nelson Championship at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving near Dallas has attracted a great line-up this week, especially given the number of signficant events which have been played of late, with not only recent winners, Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner and Carl Petterson in the field but a number of players who have won this event previously also participating.

Matt Kuchar arrives in Dallas as the newly crowned Players Champion and will play the event for the fourth time in his career recording a best of 6th last year. It is hard to imagine him performing badly wherever he plays at present and despite the distractions of such a big win last week he is sure to go well.

It has been five years since Phil Mickelson last played the event, finishing third when he did. He did win the tournament back in the mid 1990’s and while perhaps a little disappointing in his last couple of starts of late it is only by his standards that is the case.

Adam Scott won in 2008 and finished third in 2006 and because of a revised schedule has not played since missing the cut in 2009. Scott began last week’s Players Championship well but could not finish it off. He is still working his way into peak form as a result of a limited schedule to date but he should be about right for a big showing .

Keegan Bradley is the defending champion, breaking through to win his first PGA Tour event here last year just a few months before his magnificent PGA Championship win. Following what was a good start to this season he has not been quite so good of late but perhaps a return to this venue might just help to get him headed back in the right direction.

Jason Day’s first and only PGA Tour victory to date came at this event in 2010 but his game is a little hard to predict at present. He returned after an injury break to do well at Quail Hollow but missed the cut last week.

In addition to his win in 2010, Day finished 5th last year in the event so clearly has a liking for a golf course in a region where he still spends some of his time. He has a place near Fort Worth and is perhaps a reason he has done so well here.

Jason Dufner is now considered to be one of the genuine contenders in the game every time he tees it up and is a now a lot better of a player than was the case twelve months ago when he finished a very meritorious 8th in the event. He has missed only one cut this season capping it off with a victory in New Orleans.

Ernie Els has played this event very well winning it the very first time he attempted in 2005. He would go on to record several other very good finishes and although a little hard to predict his game right now, his recent near miss in New Orleans gave an indication he might be not far from the mark.

Louis Oosthuizen was in rare form before a missed cut at the Players but he has shown this year, including when runner-up at Augusta National, that the win at St Andrews was no flash in the pan.

The Australian challenge beyond Scott and Day includes Steven Bowditch, Marc Leishman, Matt Jones, Mathew Goggin, Nathan Green, Greg Chalmers, Nick O’Hern, Rod Pampling, Gavin Coles and Monday qualifier, Stuart Deane, several of who live in the Dallas area.

Recently turned professional Bryden Macpherson received a late call invitation to the event and will play his first PGA Tour tournament as a professional having said goodbye to amateur golf after The Masters

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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