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Dustin Johnson's the favourite


The weather forecast for this week's AT&T Byron Nelson which is set to be played for the last time at the Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas in Irving before moving to Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas in 2018, is not great.

As is so often the case in Texas, the wind is expected to blow on all four days, ranging from morning lows in the mid teens to afternoon highs in the mid-20s and there is also a good chance of thunderstorms and/or rain during each of the four rounds.

The wind might well favour the better stroke-makers as should the rain if it softens up the course, makes the greens more vulnerable to target golf and in addition puts the brakes on fairway runs and gives the bigger hitters a greater advantage.

Rain also softened up the course last year when that fine stroke-maker and sometimes ropey putter, Sergio Garcia, who was to defeat Brooks Koepke at the first extra hole of a play-off, closed with a 15-under 265 in an event that produced a lowest-ever scoring average of 69.115.

Indeed, it was only the second time in 15 editions that the field had bettered par on this par-70, 7.166-yard course at Las Colinas.

With this year's weather forecast being what it is, therefore, it is no surprise that the bookmakers have the in-form Garcia, now the World No 5, right up there in second place on their list of favourites with Jordan Spieth at 11/1 and just behind the World No 1 and tournament favourite, Dustin Johnson who was at 9/2.

Behind them, Jason Day, now the world No 4 and together with Garcia, one of the eight out of nine most recent winners playing this week, is at 16/1 followed by Koepke at 18/1 and last week's joint runner-up at The Players, Louis Oosthuizen at 28/1.

The 9th winner missing is Bae Sang-moon (2013), this because he is currently fulfilling a military obligation in homeland South Korea.

The strength of this week's field, coming as it does just seven days after the season's unofficial 5th major, The Players, is somewhat surprising, but with the season's second major, the US Open, just around the corner a month away, kingpins like Johnson are clearly using it as part of their buildup.

Mind you, there are so many top-notch players on the US PGA Tour this year, there are never any safe bets, and we shouldn't be too much of a shock if a seasoned veterans like Charlie Hoffman, one of the best of the Tour's wind specialists, or an up-and-coming 20-somethings like Tony Finau or Budy Cauley, who have both played some inspiring golf in Texas, don't come through to win on Sunday.

(Tuesday a.m. May 16, 2017)

Dustin Johnson 9/2
Jordan Spieth 11/1
Sergio Garcia 11/1
Jason Day 16/1
Brooks Koepka 18/1
Louis Oosthuizen 28/1
Patrick Reed 35/1
Charley Hoffman 35/1
Russell Henley 35/1
Matt Kuchar 35/1
Tony Finau 40/1
Jason Dufner 40/1
Brandt Snedeker 40/1
Ryan Moore 40/1
Bud Cauley 45/1
Charl Schwartzel 45/1
Ryan Palmer 50/1
Ollie Schniederjans 50/1
Marc Leishman 55/1
Ian Poulter 55/1
Byeong Hun An 60/1
Smylie Kaufman 60/1.

NOTE: For all the latest odds go to

Neville Leck

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