PGA Tour
PGA - HP Byron Nelson Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, May 20th through Sunday, May 23rd
SITE: TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas, Irving, Texas
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jay Morrish (1985), Ben Crenshaw/Byron Nelson
         (consultants), D.A. Weibring/Steve Wolfard (2008), J.J.
         Henry and Harrison Frazar (consultants)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 7,166
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 458 yds10 - Par 4 435 yds
2 - Par 3 221 yds11 - Par 4 323 yds
3 - Par 4 528 yds12 - Par 4 455 yds
4 - Par 4 431 yds13 - Par 3 180 yds
5 - Par 3 174 yds14 - Par 4 406 yds
6 - Par 4 448 yds15 - Par 4 504 yds
7 - Par 5 542 yds16 - Par 5 546 yds
8 - Par 4 461 yds17 - Par 3 198 yds
9 - Par 4 427 yds18 - Par 4 429 yds
--------------------------
35 3,690 yds35 3,476 yds
 
Annual:  57th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
  - Thursday/Friday -- 8:30-11 p.m. (et) - replay,
  CBS - Saturday/Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Rory Sabbatini
Runner-Up:  Brian Davis
Tournament Record:  261 (Rory Sabbatini, 2009)
54-Hole Record:  194 (Loren Roberts, 1999)
36-Hole Record:  128 (Lee Rinker, Tiger Woods, 1997;
  Steve Pate, Tiger Woods, 1999)
Course Record:  61 (Billy Mayfair, 1993; Charlie Rymer, 1996;
  Justin Leonard, 2001)
18-Hole Record:  60 (Sam Snead, 1957 - Glen Lakes Country Club;
  Arron Oberholser, 2006 - Cottonwood Valley)
Total Purse:  $6,500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,170,000; 2nd Place - $702,000; 3rd Place - $442,000
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Rory Sabbatini261John Mallinger267
Brian Davis263John Senden268
D.A. Points264Briny Baird269
Dustin Johnson265Fred Couples269
Scott McCarron265Marc Leishman269
Jeff Maggert269
 
Past HP Byron Nelson Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Rory Sabbatini (261) -- Brian Davis
2008*Adam Scott (273) -- Ryan Moore
2007Scott Verplank (267) -- Luke Donald
2006Brett Wetterich (268) -- Trevor Immelman
2005Ted Purdy (265) -- Sean O'Hair
2004*Sergio Garcia (270) -- Robert Damron, Dudley Hart
2003Vijay Singh (265) -- Nick Price
2002Shigeki Maruyama (266) -- Ben Crane
2001*Robert Damron (263) -- Scott Verplank
2000*Jesper Parnevik (269) -- Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III
1999*Loren Roberts (262) -- Steve Pate
1998John Cook (265) -- Fred Couples, Hal Sutton, Harrison Frazar
1997Tiger Woods (263) -- Lee Rinker
1996Phil Mickelson (265) -- Craig Parry
1995Ernie Els (263) -- Mike Heinen, D.A. Weibring, Robin Freeman
1994*#Neal Lancaster (132) -- David Ogrin, David Edwards, Mark Carnevale,
Tom Byrum, Yoshinori Mizumaki
1993Scott Simpson (270) -- Corey Pavin, D.A. Weibring
1992*#Billy Ray Brown (199) -- Ray Floyd, Ben Crenshaw, Bruce Lietzke
1991Nick Price (270) -- Craig Stadler
1990#Payne Stewart (202) -- Lanny Wadkins
1989*Jodie Mudd (265) -- Larry Nelson
1988*Bruce Lietzke (271) -- Clarence Rose
1987*Fred Couples (266) -- Mark Calcavecchia
1986Andy Bean (269) -- Mark Wiebe
1985*Bob Eastwood (272) -- Payne Stewart
1984Craig Stadler (276) -- David Edwards
1983Ben Crenshaw (273) -- Hal Sutton, Brad Bryant
1982Bob Gilder (266) -- Curtis Strange
1981*Bruce Lietzke (281) -- Tom Watson
1980Tom Watson (274) -- Bill Rogers
1979*Tom Watson (275) -- Bill Rogers
1978Tom Watson (272) -- Lee Trevino
1977Ray Floyd (276) -- Ben Crenshaw
1976Mark Hayes (273) -- Don Bies
1975Tom Watson (269) -- Bob E. Smith
1974Buddy Allin (269) -- Charles Coody, Homero Blancas, Lee Trevino,
Tom Watson
1973*Lanny Wadkins (277) -- Dan Sikes
1972*Chi Chi Rodriguez (273) -- Billy Casper
1971Jack Nicklaus (274) -- Jerry McGee, Frank Beard
1970*Jack Nicklaus (274) -- Arnold Palmer
1969Bruce Devlin (277) -- Frank Beard, Bruce Crampton
1968Miller Barber (270) -- Kermit Zarley
1967Bert Yancey (274) -- Roberto de Vicenzo
1966Roberto de Vicenzo (276) -- Ray Floyd, Joe Campbell, Harold Henning
1965Not Held
1964Charles Coody (271) -- Jerry Edwards
1963Not Held
1962Billy Maxwell (277) -- Johnny Pott
1961Earl Stewart, Jr. (278) -- Gay Brewer, Doug Sanders, Arnold Palmer
1960*Johnny Pott (275) -- Bo Winninger, Ted Kroll
1959Julius Boros (274) -- Earl Stewart Jr, Dow Finsterwald, Bo Winninger
1958*Sam Snead (272) -- Gary Player, Julius Boros, John McMullin
1957Sam Snead (264) -- Billy Maxwell, Cary Middlecoff, Bob Inman
1956*Peter Thomson (267) -- Gene Littler, Cary Middlecoff
1956Don January (268) -- Dow Finsterwald, Doug Ford
1955Not Held
1954Not Held
1953Not Held
1952Not Held
1951Not Held
1950Not Held
1949Not Held
1948Not Held
1947Not Held
1946Ben Hogan (284) -- Herman Keiser, Paul Runyan
1945Sam Snead (276) -- Harold McSpaden
1944Byron Nelson (276) -- Harold McSpaden

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called EDS Byron Nelson Championship (2003-08),
Verizon Byron Nelson Classic (2001-02), GTE Byron Nelson Classic (1988-2000), Byron Nelson Golf Classic (1968-87), Dallas Open (1944-67). The event was held twice in 1956 (May and June).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Rory SabbatiniwdT-65mc74thT-21T-14T-61T-3mcWon
Brian Davis------------------T-8mcmc2nd
D.A. Points---------------mcmc------3rd
Dustin Johnson------------------------T-63T-4
Jeff MaggertmcmcT-39mcmc---mc---mcT-8
Justin LeonardmcT-6T-15T-9T-34T-58T-26T-51T-19T-16
Vijay SinghT-41T-11mcWonT-59T-3T-48T-13---T-16
Ted Purdy------------T-27WonT-45mcT-35T-23
Ken Duke------------77th------T-7T-35T-23
James Driscoll---------------T-35T-79---mcT-35
Hunter Mahan------------mc70thT-67mcT-42T-45
Ben Crane------2nd---mcT-48T-26T-25mcT-45
Chris DiMarcoT-49T-37T-27T-30T-14---T-57---mcT-45
Y.E. Yang------------------------T-50T-60
Billy MayfairT-81T-73T-50T-40mcT-27T-34T-39T-42mc
Scott VerplankT-252ndT-504thT-14T-6wdWonT-61mc
Chad Campbell------T-39T-40T-48T-565thT-13mcmc
Kenny Perry---T-8T-67mcT-59T-48T-34mcT-50---
Michael Sim------------------mcmcT-57---
Brett Wetterich------T-47------T-18WonT-10mc---
Sean O'Hair---------------2ndT-19T-25mc---
J.B. Holmes------------------mcmc------
Stewart Cinkmc------------T-40------------
Rickie Fowler------------------------------
Yuta Ikeda------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Hunter Mahan
Darkhorse - Tom Gillis
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (J.B. Holmes) - Finished tied for 13th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Matt Jones) - Finished tied for 22nd
 
NOTES:
The PGA Tour remains in the Lone Star State for the second consecutive week for one of the most storied events on the PGA Tour, as players begin gearing up for the U.S. Open Championship in four weeks. Six of the top-30 players in the world and five of the last seven HP Byron Nelson Championship winners are expected to compete this week. The highest-ranked player in the field is Hunter Mahan at No. 17 in the world.

The ninth oldest tournament on tour -- not including the majors -- the HP Byron Nelson Championship, is one of only two events named for a player. The other event is the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which was known as the Bay Hill Invitational until 2007. Nelson has had his name attached to this event since 1968. This will be the fourth staging of this event since Nelson passed away at the age of 94 in September of 2006.

Last year, Rory Sabbatini grabbed the lead for good with a birdie on the 11th hole in the final round, but needed four more birdies to secure his win at this event. Sabbatini closed with a six-under 64 to finish with a 72-hole scoring record of 19-under-par 261. He bested the old mark of 262, which Loren Roberts and Steve Pate set in 1999. The win was Sabbatini's fifth on the PGA Tour and he is now 4-4 in eight chances when holding a piece of the 54-hole lead. Brian Davis pushed Sabbatini to the end as he also closed with a 64 to take second at 17-under-par 263. After Davis jumped within one thanks to an eagle on 16, Sabbatini two-putted for birdie from the fringe on 16, then sank an eight-foot birdie try on 17 to move three clear of the field. He stumbled to a bogey at the last, but he still earned the title and the tournament scoring record. With the victory, Sabbatini became the 14th person to have won Nelson's and Ben Hogan's (Colonial) tournaments. His final-round, six-under 64 was the lowest final round by a winner at this event since Peter Thomson fired a 63 in 1956.

This week, Sabbatini will try to become the first player since Tom Watson in 1978-80 to successfully defend his title at this event. Only Watson, Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus have won consecutive titles, with Watson winning three in a row.

In 2008, Adam Scott birdied the third hole of a playoff from 48 feet to defeat Ryan Moore. The seven-under 273 winning score was the highest at this event since Craig Stadler won in 1984 with 276.

In one of the most emotional victories on tour, Scott Verplank captured the 2007 tournament, as he fashioned four sub-70 scores to clip Luke Donald by a shot. The Dallas resident, who had strong ties to the late tournament host, overcame a three-shot deficit during the final day to claim his fifth career win. The victory came in his 21st appearance at the tournament, the most starts by a winner claiming his first Byron Nelson Championship. Verplank is the all-time career earnings leader at this event with $2,288,988. Verplank and Donald were the only players in the field to post all four rounds in the 60s.

Verplank was the fourth player over the age of 40 to win this event in the past 42 years, and the first since Vijay Singh in 2003. Six players have captured this event in their 40s: Snead (1957-58), Roberto de Vicenzo (1966), John Cook (1998), Loren Roberts (1999), Singh (2003) and Verplank (2007).

Arron Oberholser established a new course record at Cottonwood Valley in 2006 with a second-round 60. That broke the previous mark of 61 set by Ernie Els in 1995 and Tiger Woods in 1999. He also matched the tournament record of 60 set by Sam Snead in 1957 at Glen Lakes Country Club.

Previous winners of this prestigious event include: Snead, Nicklaus, Watson, Ben Crenshaw, Payne Stewart, Nick Price, Fred Couples, Els, Phil Mickelson, Woods, Singh and Sergio Garcia. International players have had great success the past several years, winning five times in the last eight seasons.

Woods missed the cut at the 2005 event. It marked the first time he missed a cut on the PGA Tour since he withdrew from the 1998 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, ending his PGA Tour record of 142 consecutive events in the money. In nine appearances at this event, Woods has six top-five finishes, including a win in 1997.

Byron Nelson won the first Nelson Championship in 1944 and went on to win the season-long money title. There have been five other players to accomplish that feat: Hogan (1946), Nicklaus (1971), Watson (1978-80), Woods (1997) and Singh (2003). Watson is a four-time winner of this event and has finished in the top ten 14 times and made the cut in 23 of 28 Nelsons.

Seven players have captured their first PGA Tour victory at this event: Don January (1956), Charles Coody (1964), Mark Hayes (1976), Neal Lancaster (1994), Robert Damron (2000), Ted Purdy (2005) and Wetterich (2006).

Eleven of the last 25 Byron Nelson Championships have been decided in playoffs, with an overall total of 19 extra sessions. Since 1968, this event has had the most playoffs (16) on the PGA Tour.

The PGA Tour finishes its three-week stay in Texas next week with the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, where Steve Stricker won the 2009 tournament.

05/18 15:18:35 ET

As of May 18, 2010, at 03:18 PM ET