Niall Lyons thinks Dustin Johnson can lead the way at the Four Seasons resort in Irving.
The Four Seasons resort in Irving, Texas is once again the venue for the 2016 renewal of the Byron Nelson. An event which is steeped in history and a course which is not easily overpowered. Certainly, many have scored very well around here, not least Steven Bowditch who romped to victory with an -18 under par total. The weather usually plays a factor and in more recent years scoring has been excellent with soft conditions. Those same conditions await once again this year and I fully expect high teen scores to win the day once again. Tricky greens await all competitors this week and there's no doubting the flat stick will need to be hot to keep pace towards the top of the leaderboard.
At a top price of 15/2 I must admit I've been very tempted to invest some of my hard earned dosh on Jordan Spieth. Spieth has been ever under the spotlight since his 'implosion' at Augusta. I for one don't put too much importance upon that episode. I don't want to say he was lucky to be in such a position making his way to the 12th tee, because after all he had earned it. But he had earned it with the putter alone. Sooner or later he was going to be heavily punished for some really poor ball striking, it just happened to be on the back 9 on Sunday when it eventually caught up with him. It wasn't a choke. It was simply a week of average long game shots finally catching up with him. His ruthlessness will see him win tournaments sooner rather than later. His price this week is a shade risky by the bookmakers and I can easily see him going well. Truth be told, which conditions to suit, I prefer Dustin Johnson
With four top 5s in his last six outings Dustin arrives here in much better nick than the tournament jolly. More importantly, Dustin loves a rain soaked event. He can bomb the ball close to the greens and take huge advantage of his length. It all depends on the putter of course, as it will with most of my selections for this event as they are all bombers. Dusty has four top ten finishes here in Irving in his six visits to the course. He has notched a win every year since 2008 bar one barren spell in 2014. He usually lands a tournament at some stage and this represents one of his best opportunities of the year. If the rain continues to come it will play into DJ's hands even more and he can be expected to shoot some really low scores should the putter be in any way lukewarm. I wanted a bigger price, and to be fair I thought I would've seen double figures, but the bookies seem lively enough to his chances.
BET BRIGHT - Up to £30 refund on first bet if it loses
D.Johnson - 3pts e/w @ 9/1Lost -6pts
is another who has an imperious record around this track and he may have just matured enough in the last twelve months to take advantage of these opportunities. He is another who with his power off the tee should be able to make hay this week. A win at last years Nedbank was landmark victory for the Aussie after going mighty close in the Open Championship that Summer. He boasts another top 5 at the Open as well as a 4th placed finish at the Masters. Two seconds at the Farmers, a win at the Travelers, 5th at Riviera, 3rd around Arnold Palmer are all positives that he takes to these courses where long and accurate driving get you ahead of the rest. Two top three finishes around this track really is a sign that this holds one of Marc's better chances of success this year. 33/1 is more than acceptable.
M.Leishman - 1.5pts e/w @ 33/1Lost -3pts
Next up is another powerhouse in the shape of Brooks Koepka
. He showed a real likeness for this course last year finishing 16th and while I was watching last year I noted it down how much the course suited his power game. He also likes to move the ball left to right which is favourable on a fair few holes around the Four Seasons resort. His form lately is a bit erratic although a 2 under par total at a lightning fast Sawgrass last week is no failure. He has disappointed somewhat of late hence why my staking will be lower but I do feel this course really suits his game and the price of 33/1 is better than fair.
B.Koepka - 1pt e/w @ 33/1Lost -2pts
Finally we'll finish with an improving sort who no doubt has the game to overpower this course also. This may be a bit early for the lad but with a win on tour, allbeit in lower grade at Puerto Rico, Tony Finau
will be growing in confidence and I see his strengths lying on courses like these. Whistling Straits was a venue for long and straight driving as was the Memorial where he notched top tens. A top ten finish here on debut at this venue last year is enough to suggest to me that Finau may be worth siding with this week. A top price of 80/1 is certainly worth the risk.
T.Finau - 0.75pts e/w @ 80/1Lost -1.5pts