AT&T Byron Nelson Each-Way Tips: Kuchar can claim Texas title

American Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar looks a value bet

The PGA Tour heads back to Texas and Dave Tindall has three each-way selections for the AT&T Byron Nelson...

"Kuchar returned to form by finishing third in the recent WGC-Match Play and, despite playing seven rounds that week, still managed a tied 12th at the Texas Open seven days later."

Main Bet: Matt Kuchar each-way @ 56.055/1

The AT&T Byron Nelson takes a new road this year as it pitches up in McKinney for a five-year stay.

It means new venue, TPC Craig Ranch, will start to become familiar but, for now, only Korn Ferry Tour enthusiasts know it.

That's because the par 72 hosted the second tier's Tour Championship in both 2008 and 2012: those events were won with -16 and -17 so it seems to be on the easy end of the scale.

However, add in the fact that par was 71 for those two events and the notion that new venues play easy to attract better fields in the future and this should be something of a birdie-fest.

There are stats from those two Korn Ferry tournaments and the standout skill was putting. Matt Bettencourt ranked 1st for Putting Average when winning in 2008 while the top five finishers in 2012 were all in the top nine for PA.

A lot has changed in the last nine years but it's worth noting those numbers and also the GIR ones which were also a good pointer, especially in 2012.

The Zoysia fairways offer up another clue. They produce perfect lies and allow players to sweep.

That's good for the best iron players. Evidence? Check the leaderboard for the 2018 US PGA at Bellerive: Top 10 - Koepka, Woods, Scott, Cink, Rahm, Molinari, Pieters, Thomas, Woodland.

Obviously, strong Texas form is another welcome asset. While some of the tests are different, wind and bouncy conditions are usually a common theme and it could get gusty on the weekend here.

I'll look to very recent Texas form for my first tip - Matt Kuchar.

Kuchar returned to form by finishing third in the recent WGC-Match Play and, despite playing seven rounds that week, still managed a tied 12th at the Texas Open seven days later.

It probably caught up with him in the Masters where he opened with 78, but having the weekend off after a decent Friday 70 allowed him to refresh and Kuchar showed more good signs when tied 18th in the RBC Heritage.

At the Match Play he said: "Certainly I'm as pleased as I've been in a long time. I feel like I kind of can step up and know where the ball's going again.

"This year's been a struggle, but thankfully things have turned a corner, put in some good work with Chris O'Connell, really starting to feel good about my game."

A Texas event looks a good place for Kuchar to shine again as he has an excellent record in the Lone Star State.

That includes a run of 12-3-MC-7-2 in his last five starts there and numerous other top fives and top 10s.

That list doesn't include previous AT&T Byron Nelson host course, Trinity Forest, which he downright hated and missed the cut there in 2018. In other words, he'll be more than pleased to try out this new venue.

Take him at 55/1.

Next Best: Thomas Pieters each-way @ 67.066/1

Go back to that Zoysia list and you'll notice the name Thomas Pieters, who finished in a tie for sixth in the 2018 US PGA.

The Belgian can still be a curate's egg of a performer and often frustrates heavily when going off at short prices in weak events and failing to get in the money places.

But he's 66/1 here and that gets my interest.

If recent course form is non-existent this week, then current form comes into the crosshairs more than it might have done.

And if that's the case, Pieters is interesting as he's reeled off four straight top 15s. They came via T10 at the Saudi International, T15 in Puerto Rico, T13 at the Qatar Masters and T13 at Corales Puntacana.

True, they aren't the biggest events and those with an eye for dates will note that he hasn't played a solo event since late March.

However, only a few weeks ago he teamed up with Tom Lewis to finish tied eighth in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, finishing just four back from the play-off number.

The Belgian was also atop the leaderboard on day two of the 2020 US Open and his best golf can be better than most.

He's not been averse to snapping a putter but his recent Putting Average numbers have been strong. He's ranked 22nd, 4th, 34th, 7th and 12th for PA in his last five events.

Add in a top 25 on his most recent start in Texas and plenty of good form in windy conditions and the 66/1 looks worth a play.

Final Bet: Brandt Snedeker each-way @ 71.070/1

A quick mention of the top end of the market...

I'd pick Jordan Spieth if having a free bet. With the US PGA coming up it's worth noting that three of his PGA Tour wins have been landed the week before a major.

The latest of those was in Texas, seven days before he added a top three in the US Masters.

Fellow Texas resident Scottie Scheffler is definitely one for the shortlist but 16/1 is just too short for me.

There's a decent alternative though as he's 15/1 in the betting without Spieth, Daniel Berger, Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm.

The trade-off is that the W/O market is five places compared to eight on the outrights but it would be glorious if he finished fourth behind, say, Spieth, Rahm and DeChambeau and landed the full 15/1 win.

Also note that Will Zalatoris revealed in his Tuesday press conference that he and Scheffler have been playing this course since they were 12!

Masters hero Zalatoris is 25s but I'll look for a bigger price and the one who appeals is Brandt Snedeker at 70/1.

He's come back into focus in recent starts with tied sixth in the Texas Open and tied 11th in the Valspar Championship.

That's superior form to most of this field and - surprise, surprise - he did it with strong putting.

Snedeker won the 2012 Tour Championship on the Zoysia fairways of East Lake and has a couple of top sixes on similar grasses at TPC Southwind.

Take him at 70/1.

Dave's 2020/2021 P/L

Staked: £900.00
Returned: £1822.12
P/L: +£922.12

2019/2020 P/L: +£13.83
2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

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