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Sunday, May 12, 2013

HP Byron Nelson Championship - Preview

The HP Byron Nelson Championship returns to the TPC Four Seasons Resort, as it has every year since 1995, with Jason Dufner set to defend his second PGA TOUR title. From '95 through 2007, TPC Four Seasons split the venue with Cottonwood Valley GC but has stood alone from 2008 to current. That means course history is relevant dating back to 1995, but it's the most relevant since 2008.

TPC Four Seasons is a par 70 of 7,166. As with most par 70 courses, there are two par 5s, four par 3s and 12 par 4s.

Standing out, is the strength of the winner in relation to the field of late. Because of it's place on the schedule, the Byron Nelson has not drawn the strongest field but it does produce a high-profile winner. Since 2008, we have Adam Scott, Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner. When trying to pick this year's winner, keep a close eye on the top 50 in the world rankings.

In Jason Dufner's win last season, he led the field in GIR, was second in driving accuracy and was 56th in strokes gained-putting. Ironic was that he drained a lengthy birdie putt on the 72nd hole to bump Dicky Pride out of a playoff. Pride was inside the top 13 in the three stats mentioned above. Also of note, Dufner was first in proximity to the hole and Pride was second.

What is clear, is that TPC Four Seasons does a nice job of rewarding solid play tee-to-green, and if you aren't putting very well you better be at the top of the field in proximity.

When doing your research, take a strong look at those in the top 50 in the world with a history of solid tee-to-green play and who are in good form.

We'll be back tomorrow with a power ranking. Best of luck with your research!

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