AT&T Byron Nelson: Hoffman in the right state to make his mark in Texas

Russell Henley is a bet for Dave at the AT&T Byron Nelson
Will a fresh Henley go well at the TPC Four Seasons?

Dave Tindall brings us his each-way tips for this week's PGA Tour event at TPC Four Seasons Resort

"Some players like to keep the engine running; Henley doesn’t like the fumes that come with that. Having had the last two weeks off, a relaxed Russell H could be a big danger."

Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places

Favourites - best bet: Charley Hoffman @ 34.033/1

Jordan Spieth in his hometown event on a course that suits is an obvious recipe for success although 7/2 doesn't do anything for me.

On a par 70, you don't really want a player who carves out success by bludgeoning the par fives so that may count against Dustin Johnson even though he's done okay here.

Surprisingly, Jason Day tops both Par 3 and Par 4 scoring average this season so, as a former winner of this event (also 5th and 9th), he deserves respect too.

Brandt Snedeker did well last week but of the top six in the betting I'll settle on Hoffman at 33s. At 7th, he's higher on the FedEx Cup standings than Johnson, Day and Snedeker so is clearly having an excellent season.

His results sheet shows a T10 in Colonial last week, a T9 at The Masters and T11s in the Texas and Houston Opens. Three of those were in Texas and it's a part of the world where he's traditionally strong (nine top 20s in his last 11 starts there). Being a good wind player often helps him.

Speaking of last week, Hoffman said he was in a great place mentally, with his young kids travelling to tournaments with him. As for his game, he gave a tick to all parts even though he could do with a few more putts dropping.

In this event, he can boast three previous top 10s so it seems a good venue for the shaggy-haired American to have another big week and hopefully push for the win.

Mid-range - best bet: Russell Henley @ 51.050/1

Another player with a great recent record in Texas is Russell Henley.

The youngster was fourth in the recent Houston Open and 7th in the same event the previous year. Add in a 6th place in the 2012 Tour Championship and that's three top sevens from his last four starts in the Lone Star State.

This is his tournament debut at the Byron Nelson but the course should suit and first-timers tend to do well in this anyway.

Henley is striking it nicely at the moment and three of his last four strokeplay events show the previously-mentioned fourth in Houston (1st in greens in regulation), T21 at The Masters and T24 at The Players Championship (10th in driving accuracy, 6th in greens in reg).

His combination of 11th in total driving and 7th in strokes gained putting this year is a handy mix for any course and he's higher in Par 3 and Par 4 scoring than he is on the Par 5s so won't miss the lack of long holes.

One other little observation in Henley's form is that he goes well when fresh.

He won the Sony Open in Hawaii on his 2013 seasonal debut and captured the 2014 Honda Classic after a week and a half off. He alluded to that at Augusta, saying that mental freshness is extremely important to him as when he gets too structured and feels like he has to have a team around him all the time, it impacts on his game and he becomes an average player. "When I just show up like I got invited at the last minute, just to have fun, I play better."

Some players like to keep the engine running; Henley doesn't like the fumes that come with that. Having had the last two weeks off, a relaxed Russell H could be a big danger.

Long-shot - best bet: Martin Laird @ 151.0150/1

The Scotsman hasn't been on the radar much of late but he's not exactly struggling having made nine of 10 cuts this calendar year.

Last week he shot three rounds in the 60s when T43 at Colonial so he could be closer to a breakout week than his odds suggest.

There are several other plus points for Laird.

Firstly, he's a winner in Texas (2013 Texas Open) and also has three other top 10s to his name in the Lone Star State.

At this course, he's made all three cuts although he hasn't teed it up here since 2010.

On the stats, he's got the right numbers to go well on a par 70. Laird is 4th in Par 3 average and 22nd in Par 4 average so it will benefit him that there are only two par fives (he's 119th in Par 5 average).

He's also 24th in strokes gained: tee to green and 27th in scoring average so at some point it seems likely he could click.
Last week he dropped a few hints so let's roll the dice and back him here.

Danny Lee was my longshot at Colonial and he finished T10 so it's tempting to take him again here but Laird, a proven winner who is 50 points higher, gets the nod.

You can read my AT&T Byron Nelson tips for the 2016 tournament behind the link.

Other Golf Articles this week:

Other Golf Articles this week:

Irish Open 2015 Preview
Irish Open 2015 Each-Way Tips
AT&T Byron Nelson Preview
Find Me a 100/1 Winner - Irish Open

Dave's 2015 P/L (based on £5 e/w per selection)

Staked: £510
Returned: £202.50
P/L: -£307.50

(Includes last week’s Crowne Plaza)

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