The course for the AT&T Byron Nelson this week is one that we’ve only seen one other time on tour. It’s Trinity Forest Golf Club and it’s a par 71 that plays right around 7,400 yards. We’ve only seen this course played on Tour on one other occasion. If you’re interested in a detailed look at how the course played last year, check out the previews and trends article.
I usually talk about positive value in this section. But as soon as I sorted and formatted my spreadsheet, one thing jumped out at me. Kiradech Aphibarnrat ($38), he of vaping in a Bugatti fame, has the 10th-highest salary in the field this week. Most books have Aphibarnrat around 80/1 and he’s surrounded by guys in the 30/1 – 40/1 range. It’s a pretty big misprice relative to those around him.
Now for some good values. Aaron Wise ($35) and Branden Grace ($35) are values relative to their outright odds as we start our look at pricing this week. They are sitting at 25/1 and 30/1, respectively, but are sandwiched in between a bunch of guys in the 65/1 and up range. Wise is the defending champion and is coming in with solid form. He’s posted a couple of top 20 finishes in his last two starts. Grace would be more of a talent/pedigree type of play. He’s coming in with some bad results, but if you look a bit deeper it’s really just his putting that’s done him in. Over his past five events, Grace is losing over 2 strokes putting. Since 2014, his average has been about 0.17 strokes. He hasn’t lit the world on fire with his putter, but you can usually count on him to at least be neutral.
Two deeper dives that stuck out to me are the other Matt Jones ($24) and Kyoung-Hoon Lee ($23). In a sea of 110/1-plus golfers, Jones and Lee are priced shorter than their colleagues in this range. Over his past two starts, Jones has played quite well tee to green relative to what we’re used to. He has been on the wrong side of putting variance over that span, but we know that can change quickly.
Lee hasn’t had the exact same story as he’s been reasonably steady with the putter but he could be on the upswing with his game. With less than 20 starts in our database, he’s still a relative unknown. Lee is seeing positive splits in all of the major SG categories right now though, so he’s definitely in form.
All the way up at the top of the pricing range, we have Brooks Koepka ($47). The highest sim score in the field to the two-time major winner is Wise, whom we’ve mentioned already. But another name that pops in our app is Shawn Stefani ($20) who is min-price over on Yahoo. The strokes gained numbers don’t take the Masters into account but they do count his runner-up finish at the Honda. Either way, Stefani is playing well and should be considered a GPP flier this week.
The next most expensive golfer is Hideki Matsuyama ($46) who is cementing his place on the Mount Rushmore of the most tilting golfers to roster. The pivot app unearthed a RotoViz favorite at min-price in Hank Lebioda ($20) for this week. We’re looking at the same ball-striking and worse putting numbers for Lebioda, which could mean we’re in for a treat this week if he can bring his flat stick.