AT&T Byron Nelson picks 2023: Can our experts make it FOUR in a row?
If you've ever had the fortunate pleasure of going on a nice gambling streak, you know the feeling of being terrified to ask yourself the question that's impossible to ignore. "Am I ... hot?" The moment that phrase is uttered, chances are your little run is about to come to a screeching halt. Just how the gambling gods work.
But, with great trepidation, we have to come out and say it anyway. We're HOT. Thanks to Brandon Gdula, who gave out Wyndham Clark at 75-1 to win last week's Wells Fargo Championship, the panel has now picked three consecutive winners on the PGA Tour, and four out of the last five. No promises, but we're going to do everything in our power to make it four straight and five out of the last six, and a few of us are looking to a fiery Englishman to keep our positive momentum rolling.
Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2023 AT&T Byron Nelson.
AT&T Byron Nelson picks 2023: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Tom Kim (17-1, FanDuel) — Tom Kim showed some signs of form last week at Quail with a top 25. He has been working hard on getting longer off the tee lately and this week isn't too tight, so he can swing away with the driver. He has only missed one cut since the start of January and that was at a tight golf course. Craig Ranch is the opposite. This kid has a lot of swagger and is playing in a relatively weak field from what he is used to playing in so it will be a big fish in a small pond mentality. I see some serious value at 17-1 and expect him to be in contention this weekend.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Adam Scott (30-1, DraftKings) — Scott gained with his irons for the first time since January at the Wells Fargo, so here’s to hoping he can roll over that form from Quail Hollow. The rest of his game is in fantastic shape, but he’ll need to keep those approaches dialed in order to breach the 20-under score required to win at Craig Ranch.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Jason Day (17-1, FanDuel) — Day enters ranked top-three in both tee-to-green and putting stats over the past 50 rounds, via datagolf, and that’s a nice combination in any field and any setup. That’s especially nice when Scottie Scheffler is the only top-15 golfer in the field. Day’s number is a bit too long due to a missed cut last week and a cooldown period after a hot streak. The long-term data is great for him still.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Tyrrell Hatton (13-1, Bet365) — You might not realize it based on his demeanor on the course, but Hatton is playing splendid golf right now. He’s coming off a T-3 in Charlotte where he gained 11.36 strokes from tee-to-green, his most in nearly two years, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. He’s been piling up top finishes at designated events (runner-up at the Players, T-4 at Bay Hill, T-6 in Phoenix) and now he’ll battle a significantly weaker field in Texas.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Tyrrell Hatton (13-1, Bet365) — I love Hatton’s long-iron play and birdie-making ability for TPC Craig Ranch. There are no true quirks to make him lose his cool—it could be the ideal spot for PGA Tour victory No. 2.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest staff writer: Tom Hoge (50-1, FanDuel) — A look at Hoge’s results since his Pebble Beach victory in 2022 would suggest he’s become a bit more of a big-game hunter than a guy who feasts on weak fields. But that only makes this 50-1 number in a comically-bad field even more attractive. Let’s say Hoge’s last two solo outings didn’t have the big “MC” letters next to them. He’d probably be in the 20-to-30-1 range and you could even argue in the teens. This discount, plus the fact he showed some form alongside Harris English at the Zurich Classic, has me all in on the TCU grad.
Andy Lack, RickRunGood.com and Inside Golf podcast: Tyrrell Hatton (13-1, Bet365) — Tyrrell Hatton appears to be on the precipice of something special, as he is coming off another contending performance at the Wells Fargo where he gained 1.6 strokes off-the-tee and 5.5 strokes on approach. His T-3 at Quail Hollow is the fiery Englishman’s third top-five finish in his last six starts, and the other two came at the elevated Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship. Hatton now enters an event where he is arguably the second-best player in the field, and although he is more known for his performance in difficult conditions, he still ranks sixth in this field in opportunities gained, eighth in birdies-or-better gained, and 19th in easy scoring conditions. While he has never played TPC Craig Ranch before, he finished sixth this year at the Tom Weiskopf-designed TPC Scottsdale, and fourth at Detroit Golf Club, another wide open, driver-heavy birdie fest.
Past results: Not to brag, but we’re absolutely cooking. With his tout of Wyndham Clark at 75-1 (!!) to win the Wells Fargo, Brandon Gdula now has FOUR outright hits on the season. He’s carrying us, though our newest panelist Andy Lack is close behind with two winners on the season. As a group, we’ve now hit three straight and four of the last five. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
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AT&T Byron Nelson picks 2023: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win
Caddie: Brandon Wu (55-1, BetMGM) — Brandon is a resident of Dallas, so this is a home game for him, meaning he’s sleeping in his own bed. Coming off a near win in his last start in Mexico. Fully rested from his off week, 55-1 is worth a flier for someone who will be in the top 50 in the world before the end of the year. Brandon is one of the better players around the greens, and this week with multiple reachable par fives and driveable par fours, this setup should be a good fit for him.
Mayo: Christiaan Bezuidenhout (55-1, DraftKings) — A lot of time we talk about how if a player can just putt to field average, they have a chance to win. Bez is in the unique situation where he needs to do that with driving. He’s bad off the tee. However, his career putting stats on bentgrass are immaculate, and his recent approach play has him up near the top of the field. In his current run of three straight top-30 finishes, he’s averaging 4.3 SG/approach per start.
Gdula: Tom Hoge (50-1, FanDuel) — Hoge can get himself into tons of birdie looks due to how good his irons are (second in the field over the past 50 rounds), and he can heat up with the putter. That’s a perfect recipe for going low, which golfers should need this week if the weather isn’t horrid.
Gehman: Michael Kim (55-1, DraftKings) — Kim’s seventh-place finish in Charlotte marked his seventh straight cut and second top-10 finish during that run. He’s gained strokes on approach in five of his last six measured events and has been putting the lights out. If he can continue that combination of skill sets at TPC Craig Ranch, he’ll be able to make some noise.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Austin Smotherman (250-1, PointsBet) — This feels like an egregious number for Smotherman, who contended at the Mexico Open, which I know had a terrrrible strength of field, but gaining 7.50 strokes in the ball-striking categories is nothing to scoff at. It should be a similar skillset demanded at TPC Craig Ranch: bomb it far and hit a lot of middle and long irons. Plus, Smotherman has the Dallas connection as a former SMU Mustang. It’s tough to not bet this number.
Powers, Golf Digest: Doc Redman (400-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — You may think this is crazy but these are quite literally the only types of events we ever see this man’s name pop up in. Easy golf course, weak field, chances are Doc will be in 20 under territory at some point Sunday. That’s all you can ask for on a 400-1 shot. Plus, the recent form isn’t nearly as terrible as you’d assume. The former U.S. Amateur winner top-20’d at the Valspar and has gained both on approach and off-the-tee in three of his four starts since. And that’s not counting the Zurich, where he and Sam Ryder were randomly in contention after 36 holes before fading to T-26 on the weekend. Why not us, why not Doc.
Lack: Nate Lashley (100-1, BetMGM) — Nate Lashley certainly has my attention this week as a sleeper after he gained 6.2 strokes on approach at Quail Hollow. The former Rocket Mortgage Classic winner is actually in the midst of an incredibly strong season, making eight of 12 cuts with a seventh-place finish at the Sony Open, a 20th at Riviera, and a third-place finish at the Puerto Rico Open. Lashley has now gained strokes on approach in five straight starts, and he travels to a golf course that should fit his game to a tee. He’s a top-35 long iron player in the field, and he also ranks fifth in this field in par-5 scoring. His lone PGA Tour win came at Detroit Golf Club, a similarly wide open Bent-grass birdie-fest, and he always appears to elevate his game in easy scoring conditions. Ultimately, Lashley is playing some of the best golf of his career, and I trust his ability to keep pace in a birdie-making contest.
AT&T Byron Nelson picks 2023: Players We’re Fading
Caddie: K.H. Lee (22-1, DraftKings) — I know it's hard to fade the ultimate horse for the course in Lee. But three-peating is something that just doesn't happen. Only been done nine times since WWII and not in the last decade. I was honestly surprised to see his odds as big as they are with the success he has shown here, but even Vegas knows that three-peating is not in the cards. You will be kicking yourself this week if you bet him to win.
Mayo: Scottie Scheffler (+360, DraftKings) — I’m just praying his crappy putting continues. I just can’t do that number.
Gdula: Adam Scott (36-1, FanDuel) — Scott’s irons are a bit iffy for a pretty high pricetag, and he’s also been elevated a bit recently with unsustainable around-the-green play.
Gehman: Hideki Matsuyama (18-1, DraftKings) — There’s so much unknown in Matsuyama’s game (and health) right now that makes it difficult to back him with any level of confidence. He skipped the Wells Fargo and went back to Japan to continue treatment on his lingering neck injury – something that has ailed him for the better part of a year. He’s always a WD risk, especially the week before a major championship. He’s certainly not going to do anything that would risk his chances of teeing it up next week at Oak Hill.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Hideki Matsuyama (18-1, DraftKings) — This just really feels like a dart throw (shout out our guy CP and his Wednesday night, first-round leader dart throws). The injury concerns are strong, and you could absolutely see him using this week simply as a time to get some competitive swings in before Oak Hill.
Powers, Golf Digest: K.H. Lee (22-1, DraftKings) — Our anonymous caddie really sold me with the WWII line. That hit hard.
Lack: Jason Day (16-1, BetMGM) — Jason Day’s resurgence has been fun to watch this season, but his game is currently trending in the wrong direction. The former PGA Championship winner is coming off a missed cut at the Wells Fargo where he lost strokes ball-striking, his second poor tee-to-green performance in a row. Now he travels to a golf course that requires players to be incredibly aggressive, and Day has always done his best work in moderate-to-difficult scoring conditions. His string of top-25 finishes without doing much contending is not indicative of the ceiling performance that is required to tame TPC Craig Ranch this week.
AT&T Byron Nelson picks 2023: Matchups
Caddie: Tyrrell Hatton (+190) over Scottie Scheffler (DraftKings) — This is strictly a value play here. I know it's hard to be against Scottie, especially in his hometown when he has a chance to get back to No. 1 in the world, but this is the time to do that. Tyrrell Hatton is one of the most underrated golfers on earth, having reached the top five in the world at one point. He has three top-five finishes in his last five designated events including a T-3 last week. So getting him at +190 against only one guy is the best value you will find all week.
Mayo: Stephan Jaeger (-110) over Taylor Montgomery (DraftKings) — Montgomery has dropped strokes to the field on approach in four straight and off-the-tee in three straight. The moment he stopped gaining more than five strokes on the green every week he stopped playing the weekend.
Gdula: Brandon Wu (-102) over Ben An (FanDuel) — I’ll take the underdog in this matchup despite a weaker tee-to-green game. Wu’s still good there (33rd in the field, versus An at 7th), but An’s putter puts him in bad enough position often enough that Wu rates out as the right pick.
Gehman: Christiaan Bezuidenhout (-110) over Scott Stallings (Bet365) — Bezuidenhout possesses the type of game that should lend itself well to TPC Craig Ranch this week. He’s always been one of the best putters in the world and now he’s starting to make improvements in his approach play. He gained over three strokes on approach at the Players, over five strokes at the Texas Open and over four strokes at the RBC Heritage. That’s a solid combination for this week around TPC Craig Ranch.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Tom Kim (-110) over Jason Day (DraftKings) — Two players headed in opposite directions if you look at their recent ball-striking stats. Despite a perceived lack of distance for Quail Hollow, Kim picked up nearly seven strokes in the ball-striking categories in the elevated event, while Day missed the cut. It was his second consecutive event losing strokes on approach, which is the path to success at TPC Craig Ranch.
Powers, Golf Digest: Matt Kuchar (+100) over K.H. Lee (DraftKings) — Rather than just fade him for the column, I’ll put my money where my mouth is and attack K.H. Lee this week. Kuchar, believe it or not, seems like an ideal guy to do just that with, having thrived in Texas over the years and finishing inside the top 20 in consecutive appearances at TPC Craig Ranch. He’s also quietly enjoying quite the resurgence this season, making 9 of 13 cuts with five finishes of 20th or better.
Lack: Tom Kim (-110) over Jason Day (DraftKings) — This is an easy one for me, as I have been looking to find ways to gain exposure to Tom Kim, whereas I am far more bearish on Jason Day. Kim is a recent Dallas resident who should be extremely comfortable at TPC Craig Ranch, a golf course he finished 17th at last year while gaining 5.7 strokes on approach. The young Korean has won twice since then, both in moderate-to-easy scoring conditions, and has shown evidence that he is a great long-iron player and capable of catching an extremely-hot putter. I’m fairly surprised he’s not a bigger favorite over Jason Day, who is coming off back-to-back concerning ball-striking performances.
Matchup Results from the Wells Fargo: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Cam Young (-110) over Morikawa); Caddie: 1 for 1 (Scott (+100) over Rodgers); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Theegala (-126) over Lowry); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Homa (+105) over Day); Gehman: 0 for 1; Lack: 0 for 1; Powers: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Gehman: 17-8-2 (up 7.75 units); Hennessey: 17-9-1 (up 6.71 units); Lack: 11-6-0 (up 3.82 units); Caddie: 14-12-1 (up 1.27 units); Powers: 13-13-1 (down 0.42 units); Gdula: 12-14-1 (down 3.87 units); Mayo: 9-15-0 (down 6.46 units)
AT&T Byron Nelson picks 2023: Top 10s
Caddie: Taylor Montgomery (+400, DraftKings) — I know Taylor has not continued his torrent start to his rookie year, but that's not because of his play as much as the golf courses. He is built for birdie fests, and that's exactly what the Byron Nelson is. Look for Taylor to get back on track this week as he is the best putter in the world. Taylor struggles on tight, hard courses, and TPC Craig Ranch is not one of those. This will allow his strength with the flatstick to flourish and at 4-1, I believe the value is very good.
Mayo: Hideki Matsuyama (+200, DraftKings) — Before his extended layoff, Matsuyama was on a streak of three straight top-16 finishes, gaining over six strokes between off-the-tee and approach in each. Hopefully there’s no rust (or lingering injury) and he can pick up at TPC Craig Ranch where he left off a year ago, leading the field in approach.
Gdula: Adam Hadwin (+500, FanDuel) — Hadwin benefits this week from a lack of distance required for TPC Craig Ranch. He’s a great putter and actually still a good ball-striker despite being short off the tee.
Gehman: Eric Cole (+500, DraftKings) — TPC Craig Ranch will reward golfers with two skill sets: 1) solid approach play and 2) great putting. That blueprint fits Cole’s game perfectly. He’s gained strokes on approach in 11 of his past 13 starts and has shown the ability to get hot with the putter. He ran a scorching flatstick to a runner-up finish at the Honda Classic and a T-5 in Mexico. If he puts it all together this week, he’ll offer legitimate top-10 upside.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Vincent Norrman (+1100, DraftKings) — The big-hitting Swede’s current form is very strong, boasting a T-18, T-9 and T-16 in three of his past four starts. Those were not great fields, but this isn’t exactly loaded—and these odds are worth the gamble if he’s truly this talented.
Powers, Golf Digest: Matthew NeSmith (+900, DraftKings) — A really nice fall stretch hasn’t quite led to a breakout 2023 for NeSmith. But the ball-striking numbers from Wells Fargo are encouraging enough for me to grab a little top-10 taste on him here. If not for some horrific putting a week ago (-4.8 SG/putting) he likely finishes a lot higher than 35th. Let’s pray he can keep the ball-striking momentum rolling and regresses to the mean on the greens.
Lack: Stephan Jaeger (+360, DraftKings) — Stephan Jaeger has been a player that has been on my radar for quite some time now and I expect him to put together another strong performance this week at TPC Craig Ranch. The 33-year-old is coming off a 27th-place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship where he gained four strokes off the tee and 2.9 strokes on approach. He gained 8.3 strokes on approach in his prior start, so the irons are really starting to percolate right now. With strong performances at Vidanta Vallarta and Detroit Golf Club, I have zero concerns about Jaeger’s ability to keep up in a birdie fest.
Top-10 results from the Wells Fargo: Lack: 1 for 1 (Xander Schauffele +180); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Gdula: 9 for 27 (up 15.2 units); Gehman: 8 for 27 (up 9.6 units); Hennessey: 6 for 27 (up 3.95 units); Mayo: 6 for 24 (up 4.1 units); Lack: 6 for 17 (up 4.9 units); Caddie: 7 for 27 (up 2.4 units); Powers: 2 for 27 (down 18.9 units)
AT&T Byron Nelson picks 2023: One and Done
Gehman: K.H. Lee — The 2022 and 2021 Byron Nelson champion is peaking at the right time to try and win his third consecutive title. He’s made four straight cuts including a T-8 last week in Charlotte. In the two editions of this event since moving to TPC Craig Ranch, Lee has gained nearly 30 strokes to the field and has added both trophies to his mantle.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo. Sanderson Farms Championship: Sam Burns. Shriners: Taylor Montgomery. Zozo: Sungjae Im. CJ Cup: Matt Fitzpatrick. Bermuda: Denny McCarthy. Mayakoba: Viktor Hovland. Houston Open: Aaron Wise. RSM Classic: Brian Harman. Sentry TOC: Cameron Young. Sony Open: Hideki Matsuyama. American Express: Brian Harman. Farmers: Jason Day. AT&T Pebble Beach: Maverick McNealy. WMPO: Scottie Scheffler. Genesis: Justin Thomas. Honda: Sungjae Im. API: Rory McIlroy. Players: Jon Rahm. Valspar: Justin Rose. WGC-Match Play: Cameron Young. Valero: Rickie Fowler. Masters: Jordan Spieth. RBC Heritage: Collin Morikawa. Zurich: Kurt Kitayama. Mexico Open: Ben Martin. Wells Fargo: Viktor Hovland.
Hennessey: Tyrrell Hatton — Feels like the perfect event to use him.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Cam Davis. Sanderson Farms Championship: Denny McCarthy. Shriners: Emiliano Grillo. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. CJ Cup: Sungjae Im. Bermuda: Mark Hubbard. Mayakoba: Viktor Hovland. Houston Open: Jason Day. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Patrick Cantlay. Sony Open: Matt Kuchar. American Express: Brian Harman. Farmers: Will Zalatoris. AT&T Pebble Beach: Seamus Power. WMPO: Collin Morikawa. Genesis: Justin Thomas. Honda: Chris Kirk. API: Keith Mitchell. Players: Rory McIlroy. Valspar: Adam Hadwin. WGC-Match Play: Tyrrell Hatton. Valero: Nick Taylor. Masters: Scottie Scheffler. RBC Heritage: Jordan Spieth. Zurich: Sahith Theegala. Mexico Open: Gary Woodland. Wells Fargo: Xander Schauffele.
Powers: Tom Hoge — Like him to win this week and haven’t used him in OAD yet. Pretty simple.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Sahith Theegala. Sanderson Farms Championship: J.T. Poston. Shriners: Sungjae Im. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. CJ Cup: Tyrrell Hatton. Bermuda: Russell Knox. Mayakoba: Thomas Detry. Houston Open: Sepp Straka. RSM Classic: Davis Riley. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Gary Woodland. American Express: Cameron Young. Farmers: Taylor Montgomery. AT&T Pebble Beach: Maverick McNealy. WMPO: Sungjae Im. Genesis: Collin Morikawa. Honda: Chris Kirk. API: Will Zalatoris. Players: Patrick Cantlay. Valspar: Justin Suh. WGC-Match Play: Tom Kim. Valero: Matt Kuchar. Masters: Tony Finau. RBC Heritage: Rickie Fowler. Zurich: Robby Shelton. Mexico Open: Luke List. Wells Fargo: Viktor Hovland.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME.
Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13.
Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.
Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also a data analyst and writer for RickRunGood.com, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for Golf.com, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports