The AT&T Byron Nelson has a new host course: TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. Craig Ranch, which has hosted Korn Ferry Tour events as well as the season-ending KFT tournament, plays to over 7,400 yards and has characteristics eerily similar to those of last week’s PGA Tour venue, Quail Hollow Club.
As at Quail Hollow, distance will trump accuracy off the tee at TPC Craig Ranch, and players will have an abundance of approach shots from over 150 yards. The course also has long par 3s, reachable par 5s, and six par 4s over 450 yards.
Here are a few players who should thrive at the AT&T Byron Nelson’s new home:
Doug Ghim $7,500
Ghim is the most underpriced player this week, and it’s not close. He should be $8,500 in this field. While he has made only 12 of his past 17 cuts, he missed those five cuts by fewer than two shots on average. In all 12 cuts he made, Ghim finished 46th or better. He is 10th overall in my model at the Byron Nelson: first in proximity from 175-200 yards, third on approach, 10th in birdies, 24th around the green, and 30th off the tee. His only weakness is his putter. An Illinois native, Ghim struggles mightily on Bermudagrass greens—140th in the field on that surface. However, on bentgrass, which he grew up playing on and which he’ll see at TPC Craig Ranch, he is 40th in the field. That’s about as big of a split as you’ll ever see. Ghim should also be comfortable playing in Texas, having attended the University of Texas.
Sung Kang $6,500
To put it bluntly, Kang has played awful in 2021. He hasn’t finished better than 59th in any of his 12 starts. But this week, he has a significant edge: he is a member at TPC Craig Ranch. Whereas this course is new to most players, Kang is deeply familiar with it. That local knowledge should be a massive advantage, and one that has me considering rostering him in spite of his poor form.
Scheffler is a Texan with a lot of upside at the AT&T Byron Nelson. He is sixth in birdies, eighth off the tee, 21st in driving distance, and 21st around the green; and he has gained strokes ball-striking in each of his past six events. The WGC Match Play runner-up is due for a win.
Another Texan who has been playing well this year, Palmer hasn’t missed a cut in 13 events and has compiled seven top-17 finishes over that span. He is first in proximity from 200+ yards, 12th in birdies, 17th off the tee, and 18th on approach.