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CJ Cup Byron Nelson DFS picks 2024: I love these bombers and birdie-makers in Texas

April 30, 2024
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - APRIL 05: Keith Mitchell of the United States plays his tee shot on the 4th hole during the second round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio on April 05, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Raj Mehta/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour returns to Texas this week for the CJ Cup honoring Byron Nelson. This event will be held at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas for the fourth straight year. The Tom Weiskopf design has ranked as one of the five easiest courses on tour each of the past three years, and it features generous fairways and large, receptive greens that should yield aggressive play and plenty of scoring.

Though many of the PGA Tour’s best will be resting up before the PGA Championship, Dallas residents such as Jordan Spieth, Tom Kim and Will Zalatoris headline the field. Jason Day will return to defend his title, and K.H. Lee will be looking for his third victory at TPC Craig Ranch in four years. With season’s second major just a fortnight away, there will still be plenty to learn this week in Dallas. Let’s dive into the slate.

$9,000 to $10,000 range

(Only three players in the $10,000 range, and not really a fan of any of them)

Play: Byeong Hun An, $9,300:


Mike Ehrmann

Byeong Hun An is one of the best drivers of the ball in this field, ranking top-10 in driving distance and recent off-the-tee play. His ability to bomb away and gain a leg up with his power cannot be understated at this golf course. It should not come as a surprise that he finished 14th at TPC Craig Ranch last year, gaining strokes in all three tee-to-green categories. The putter is always a question with An, but even with a faulty flat-stick, An still ranks first in this field in birdies or better gained over his past 50 rounds.

Fade: Jason Day, $10,400:

While Jason Day is the defending champion, he is simply not the same golfer right now that he was when he won this event last year. The iron play has gone completely south for Day in 2024, as he ranks 125th in this field in strokes gained/approach this year, and there have been no recent signs that it’s getting any better. This is a hefty price to pay for a player with large questions surrounding the most important aspect of his game.

$8,000 range

Play: Keith Mitchell, $8,800:

Keith Mitchell has always been one of the best drivers on the PGA Tour, but his development this year into an elite long iron player appears the missing piece in his ascent. Mitchell has now gained strokes on approach in seven straight starts, and he also has a strong track record of success on bentgrass. With six top-25 finishes in 11 starts this year, I expect Mitchell to keep the momentum going in Dallas.

Fade: Mackenzie Hughes, $8,600:


Keyur Khamar

While Mackenzie Hughes has been playing better golf of late, the Canadian is getting it done in a highly unsustainable way. Hughes still ranks 157th out of 160 players in this field in proximity from 200-plus yards on a golf course that features one of the largest pluralities of long irons on tour. Hughes’ greatest asset is his short game, a skill that is largely de-valued at TPC Craig Ranch, and I would much rather go to battle with better ball-strikers this week.

For our other bets and our selections for the worst value options for the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson, make sure you watch our weekly “Odds Drop” video:

$7,000 range

Play: Peter Kuest, $7,500:


Brennan Asplen

Many golf fans might not yet be familiar with Peter Kuest, but that will change soon. After starting the season on the Korn Ferry Tour, Kuest has now finished top 10 in his past two starts at the Valero Texas Open and Corales. The 25-year-old is one of the longest drivers in this entire field, a rock-solid long iron player and he finished 14th at this golf course last year.

Fade: Beau Hossler, $7,800:

While Beau Hossler can always catch fire on the greens, his long iron play remains a massive concern. Hossler ranks bottom-five in this entire field in proximity from 175-plus yards, and on a golf course where over 50 percent of all approach shots come from that range, I worry he will be far too behind the eight ball to compete. A play on Hossler this week is a hope that his putter can overcome his irons, and that’s not a chance I’m willing to take.

Flier: Garrick Higgo, $7,300:


Jonathan Bachman

Garrick Higgo impressed last week with a fourth-place finish alongside Ryan Fox at the Zurich Classic, and now he travels to another golf course that will accentuate his power off the tee and putting upside. Along with Byeong Hun An, Higgo is one of only two players in this field to rank top-five in driving distance and birdies or better gained, and TPC Craig Ranch is the perfect track to highlight his skill-set.

$6,000 range

Play: Jhonattan Vegas, $6,900:


Raj Mehta

Jhonattan Vegas has a lengthy track record of success on wide open, driver-heavy golf courses where scoring is the name of the game. His off-the-tee and long-iron play remains top-notch, and Vegas has already recorded a ninth-place finish at TPC Craig Ranch. In a $6,000 range that gets dark quickly, Vegas remains the most reliable ball-striker.

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 Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports