Jason Day, 5 More Golfers Who Will Be in Hunt at Byron Nelson
The HP Byron Nelson Championship at the TPC Four Seasons Resort outside of Dallas, Texas, is the second straight stop for the PGA Tour in the Lone Star State, following last week's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
I was concerned about the condition of the golf course after the brutal storms that swept through Texas last night, but a call to the media center at TPC Four Seasons confirmed the track is in good condition, (although scattered debris is still being collected and hail divots are being repaired) and no rain is expected in the weekend forecast.
World Golf Hall of Famer Byron Nelson is this championship's namesake. He won this event's debut back in 1944 and was the first PGA player to have a pro tournament named in his honor.
Nelson was as good a person as he was a golfer.
On the golf course, he had 54 career wins, including two Masters Tournament titles, two PGA Championships and a victory at the 1939 U.S. Open. In 1945, Nelson won an unfathomable 18 tournaments, including 11 straight at one point.
In the community, he gave his time and money to make the world a better place for underprivileged children and families.
Now, let's take a look at defending champion Jason Day and five other players to watch this weekend at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Jason Day disappointed with a T-31 finish at his home course last week at Colonial. I'm going to consider that an aberration more than anything else, though.
Overall, Day is playing well. He produced top-25 results in over half the events he entered so far this year. He's fourth in all-around ranking, but he just hasn't won—not since last year's HP Byron Nelson Championship, that is.
What are the chances of a repeat performance?
I'd say better than average.
Last week's disappointment didn't make me want to give up on the momentum Brian Gay has been building this year.
Like Day, he finished T-31 at Colonial, but I don't see it happening again this week.
After all, Gay finished tied for second here last year. His last competitive round at TPC Four Seasons was as hot as the weather in Dallas will be this weekend.
I feel pretty good about his chances to be in the hunt come Sunday.
While K.J. Choi doesn't have much of a history at the Byron Nelson, I have a lot of confidence in his game right now.
Choi, of course, won the The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass a couple weeks ago, then bolted to his native South Korea to announce an upcoming self-named Asian Tour event.
Back in the U.S., this will be a hometown event for Choi since he moved from Houston to Dallas.
After a couple whirlwind weeks, this could be the perfect scenario for another win.
What has happened to Dustin Johnson this year?
Well, it's up for debate whether anything is really wrong with his game.
Johnson entered 2011 with perhaps the highest expectations on the PGA Tour—and they were deserved. He won a couple tournaments and had top-10 finishes at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in 2010.
This year has been a letdown, however—at least in terms of matching those lofty expectations.
While 2011 hasn't been a total disaster—with three top-10 finishes to his credit—DJ could really kickstart his season with a win here. He finished T-4 and T-7 the past two years, respectively, at the Byron Nelson, so I expect him to play well and at least add another top 10 to his résumé.
I'm an Anthony Kim fan, and I believe in his ability to become a staple on PGA Tour leaderboards. After five-plus years of mediocrity and a lot of hype about his potential though, my confidence in his game is beginning to waver.
Kim is hot and cold.
His best finish this year was a T-6 at the Farmers Insurance Open. So far, it was his only top 10 in 2011. He's also missed five cuts.
So, why would I think he'll do well at TPC Four Seasons?
I guess I just have a feeling it's time for him to get hot and be in contention Sunday—either that or he'll miss another cut.
The saga continues. The bottom line is AK still has a world of talent. He just needs to play with more consistency.
I have a hard time ignoring statistics.
Nick Watney is boasting top-10 numbers in scoring average, birdie average and total driving, not to mention a second-place hold in all-around ranking. Plus, he's fifth in money earned in 2011.
Watney is fresh (well, semi-fresh) off a rollercoaster T-4 at The Players Championship, so I expect him to continue his solid play. If he can put four good rounds together without blowing up on a few holes, he could run away with this one.