Winning a designated event by four shots is no small task, but that's what Wyndham Clark did last week at Quail Hollow for the Wells Fargo Championship.
This week, the field is not as strong in the final tune-up before the PGA Championship at Oak Hill next week.
How does that impact our daily fantasy golf and betting strategy for this week?
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TPC Craig Ranch Info & Key Stats
Distance: 7,414 (around 110 yards longer than the average par 71)
Fairway Width: 38.5 yards (wide; 69th of 80)
Average Green Size: 6,778 (larger; around 110% the PGA average)
Green Type: Bentgrass
Recent Winning Scores: -26, -25
Recent Cut Lines: -5, -6
Key Stats (in Order of Importance): Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Putting, Total Strokes Gained, Birdie or Better Rate, Strokes Gained: Around the Green
This will be the third iteration of the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, so we have some data -- but not an overabundance -- on the course and how it plays.
The main characteristic of TPC Craig Ranch so far is that it's a second-shot golf course in the sense that driving distance and driving accuracy aren't as predictive of success as other stats are.
Putting itself has done a good deal of explaining scoring, and that means some volatility for our predictions.
Simply put, we're not seeing a huge emphasis on distance or accuracy, and we need golfers to shoot in the 25-under range to win. That keeps virtually the entire field in play, and we need to keep that in mind when looking to pivot away from chalky DFS picks.
Golfers With Great Course/Event History
Here are the best strokes gained averages among golfers who have played here at all in the past two years.
Past winners in the field include just Kyoung-Hoon Lee, who has won both events at this course.
Win Simulations for the AT&T Byron Nelson
Here are the most likely winners this week, according to my win simulation model, as well as their golf betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets for the AT&T Byron Nelson
After the Spieth withdrawal, things got pretty shaken up. Scottie Scheffler is now +350. My model thinks his odds should be +361, so while he's not a value, he's not an egregious play, and that really impacts the rest of the board.
There's minimal value throughout the rest of the board, resulting from Scheffler being a mostly fair value at +350.
The name that does jump out is Jason Day (+1700) who has had a bit of a cooldown period since a string of top-15s. He's top-three in both strokes gained: tee to green and putting over the past 50 rounds.
The model also sees value on some longer shots with Taylor Montgomery (+4600) and Tom Hoge (+5000), but with so much win equity tied up in Scheffler at a reasonable price point, it's not a week full of standout value.
Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the AT&T Byron Nelson
All stats cited below originate at datagolf and reference ranks relative to the field over the past 50 rounds. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.
Best of the Best
Scottie Scheffler (FanDuel Salary: $12,400 | Golf betting odds: +350) - The odds and salary are clearly pointing to Scheffler as a heavy favorite, and everything else does, too. Scheffler leads the field in both strokes gained: off the tee and approach over the past 50 rounds, and he's seventh around the green. If the putter is lukewarm, he'll be a great play. If the putter is on, he'll be unfadeable.
Jason Day ($11,500 | +2100) - Day is third in both strokes gained: tee to green and strokes gained: putting over the past 50 rounds, a welcomed trend for anyone in any tournament. The reason his salary and win odds are in the second tier are just that he has not played a ton lately, finishing T39 at the Masters and missing the cut at the Wells Fargo. It's possible his resurgence has ended. If not, then he's a standout Plan B play behind Scheffler.
Adam Hadwin ($9,800 | +5500) - A short hitter (118th), Hadwin is accurate (11th) and a lights-out putter (6th). Despite a lack of distance, he's actually 29th in the field in strokes gained: ball-striking over the past 50 rounds. He's also 15th in combined short game. Only one other golfer in this tier (J.J. Spaun is top-30 in both).
Aaron Rai ($9,200 | +9000) - If this was just a tee-to-green contest, Rai would be an elite play. He's 7th in tee-to-green play, including top-30 ranks in all three tee-to-green stats. But he's 122nd in strokes gained: putting in the field while. Rai played here last year, finishing T46 despite struggling with the wedges.
Ben Griffin ($9,000 | +7500) - Griffin has the only win odds over 1.0% in my model among guys with a salary this low, and he's up at 1.4%, which is really a standout rate for the salary. Griffin is only 89th in strokes gained: approach, which I never like, yet he is top-10 in both strokes gained: around the green and putting, which gives him the fifth-best combined short game in the field. He's missed his share of cuts lately, but this field is not daunting.
Dylan Wu ($8,700 | +13000) - Wu has had two straight top-25 finishes (T15 at the Mexico Open and T21 at the Wells Fargo) while ranking 19th and 26th in approach, respectively, as well as 33rd and 6th in putting. Those two stats are the high-variance once, and Wu ranks top-35 in both of them over the past 50 rounds.