Preview: The CJ Cup Byron Nelson

By Chris Havlicek

Updated 5/1/24 5:36am ET

Saddle up. The PGA Tour returns to the Lone Star State again. For the fourth time in the longstanding history of the Byron Nelson, we head to TPC Craig Ranch, which is located in McKinney TX. 

Jordan Spieth, a Dallas resident, is the favorite at +1400, followed closely by Si Woo Kim at +1600 and Jason Day at +2000.

TPC Craig Ranch is about as easy as it comes on the PGA TOUR. It has wide-open fairways, receptive greens, and very few penalty hazards. If the weather holds, we should expect another winner about 25 under par, rewarding birdie-makers who get hot with the putter.

Dates/Location:

What: The CJ Cup Byron Nelson
Where: TPC Craig Ranch, McKinney, TX.
When: Thursday-Sunday, May 2 – May 5
Purse: $9.5 Million
Defending Champion: Jason Day

The Course:

TPC Craig Ranch is one of the most predictable and average courses on the PGA TOUR. It has many of the same hole layouts we’ve grown familiar with across other TPC venues. As a 7,468-yard par-72, TPC Craig Ranch will be attractive to the longest drivers in the tournament. The wide fairways offer an abundance of forgiveness, so driving accuracy is less important here than most weeks on the PGA TOUR.

The Field:

A week after an expected break from the game’s best at the Zurich Classic team event, the same top players have opted out of a trip to Texas for the CJ Cup Byron Nelson. In the middle of a six-week stretch that includes four Signature Events or Majors, it’s expected to see a weaker field in this week’s tournament.

As is expected though, the PGA Tour Texas residents have shown up. Each of the expected favorites – Jordan Spieth, Will Zalatoris, and Tom Kim – have direct ties to the greater Dallas area. Jason Day, Min Woo Lee, Byeong Hun An, Sungjae Im, and Adam Scott round out the list of favorites in the field this week.

Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns have each loved playing in the Texas Swing but are both out this week with their wives expecting their first child.

The Odds/Top Ten (Courtesy of FanDuel):

Jordan Spieth +1400

Si Woo Kim +1600

Jason Day +2000

Alex Noren +2200

Min Woo Lee +2200

Adam Scott +2200

Byeong Hun-An +2500

Stephan Jaegar +2500

Tom Hoge +2500

Tom Kim +2800

Keys To Victory:

The first three years of action at TPC Craig Ranch was a typical TPC birdie-fest and putting contest. Elite ball-striking is at less of a premium on this layout, with the course offering little residence from tee to green.  Players who can bomb it off the tee, and get hot with the putter should find themselves in contention on Sunday.

Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock

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