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

DATES: Thursday, May 17th through Sunday, May 20th
SITE: TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas, Irving, Texas
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jay Morrish (1983), 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:  59th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
  NBC - Saturday/Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Keegan Bradley
Runner-Up:  Ryan Palmer
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; Cameron Beckman, 2010)
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
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Keegan Bradley *277Matt Kuchar280
Ryan Palmer277John Rollins280
Ryuji Imada278Six players at281
Joe Ogilvie278
Jason Day279

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past HP Byron Nelson Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011*Keegan Bradley (277) -- Ryan Palmer
2010Jason Day (270) -- Brian Gay, Blake Adams, Jeff Overton
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
Player2002200320042005200620072008200920102011
Keegan Bradley---------------------------Won
Ryan Palmer------mcmcT-73mcmcmcmc2nd
Jason Day------------------------Won5th
Matt Kuchar---------------T-39T-42T-39---T-6
Jeff Overton------------T-73---T-35mcT-2T-8
Arjun Atwal------------mc---------T-7T-8
James Driscoll---------T-35T-79---mcT-35T-59T-8
Jason Dufner------mc------mc---------T-8
Brian GayT-62mcmcmcT-19mcT-7mcT-2T-14
Vijay SinghmcWonT-59T-3T-48T-13---T-16mcT-27
Brett WetterichT-47------T-18WonT-10mc---T-32T-32
D.A. Points---------mcmc------3rdT-7T-40
Carl Pettersson---mcT-34mcT-21T-19T-4mcmcT-40
Rory Sabbatinimc74thT-21T-14T-61T-3mcWonT-43mc
Adam Scott------------T-3---Wonmc------
Phil MickelsonT-17T-44mcT-14---T-3------------
Ernie ElsT-4---T-7T-10T-13---------------
Louis Oosthuizen------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Adam Scott
Darkhorse - Jonas Blixt
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Lee Westwood) - Finished tied for 61st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Louis Oosthuizen) - Missed the cut
 
NOTES:
The PGA Tour travels to the Lone Star State 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. Seven of the top-22 players in the world and the last four winners of this tournament are expected to compete. The highest-ranked player in the field is Matt Kuchar at No. 5 in the world. He is joined by Phil Mickelson (10), 2008 champion Adam Scott (13), Louis Oosthuizen (14), 2010 champion Jason Day (16), Jason Dufner (21) and defending champion Keegan Bradley (22).

Kuchar is coming off the biggest win of his career last week at The Players Championship. He has made 17 cuts in a row dating back to July of last year, the longest current streak on the PGA Tour. Kuchar's five top-10 finishes in 2012 leads the PGA Tour and his current world ranking of five is the highest of his career. Mickelson, the 1996 champion, is playing here for the first time since 2007, when he finished tied for third.

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 tournament since 1968. This will be the sixth staging of the event since Nelson passed away at the age of 94 in September of 2006.

This week, Bradley 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.

Last year, Bradley parred the first playoff hole to defeat Ryan Palmer and earn his first PGA Tour title. He became the first rookie to win this tournament. Bradley shot rounds of 66-71-72-68 to get in at three-under-par 277. Palmer rolled in a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to force the playoff. Palmer's birdie on the 18th at the TPC-Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas was one of just two on that hole in the final round. Bradley would go on to win the PGA Championship last year in his first appearance in a major and was named the 2011 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.

Bradley's three-under-par total was the highest winning score in relation to par since Bruce Lietzke's one-over-par total in 1981. It was the highest in a non-major since David Duval's three-under winning score at the 1999 Players Championship.

In 2010, Jason Day got up and down for bogey on the 18th hole after hitting his ball in the water, and that was good enough to give him the win by two shots over Brian Gay, Blake Adams and Jeff Overton. Day fired rounds of 66-65-67-72 and ended at 10-under-par 270 to earn his first victory on the PGA Tour.

In 2009, 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. 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. 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.

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 $2,535,988.

Verplank became the sixth player over the age of 40 to win here, joining Sam Snead (1957-58), Roberto de Vicenzo (1966), John Cook (1998), Roberts (1999) and Vijay Singh (2003).

Previous winners of this prestigious event include: Snead, Nicklaus, Watson, Ben Crenshaw, Payne Stewart, Nick Price, Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Singh and Sergio Garcia. International players have had great success the past several years, winning six times in the last 10 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 tournament, 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 and has finished in the top ten 14 times and made the cut in 23 of 28 Nelsons.

Nine 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), Brett Wetterich (2006), Day (2010) and Bradley (2011).

The PGA Tour remains in Texas next week for Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, where David Toms will defend his title.

05/15 14:55:48 ET

As of May 15, 2012, at 02:56 PM ET

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