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Bob Weeks Picks Six – CJ Cup Byron Nelson Classic

Jason Day Jason Day - The Canadian Press

Last Week: A double cash-in week for us here as we had winners Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry on our list. Unfortunately, it was only for a top 10 and at -110 but we’ll take it. We also had Brice Garnett/Sepp Straka for a top 20 at +130. That duo ended up tied for 11th and we were able to gain there.

This Week: The CJ Cup Byron Nelson Classic is another stop in Texas. The course is TPC Craig Ranch which is relatively new in the rotation of what is an old tournament, first played back in 1944. It’s not a jaw-dropper in terms of scenery and it hasn’t played all that tough, ranking among the easiest of layouts on the PGA Tour. A year ago, Jason Day won with a score of 23-under par. Players who can hit fairways and greens should do well here. The field is also lacking in depth in big-name star power although there are enough notables to raise an eyebrow or two.

To Win

Jason Day +2000

The defending champion has enjoyed a pretty solid season of golf so far (as long as you’re not counting his wardrobe from the Masters). His game hasn’t shined quite as much lately as it did earlier in the year when he posted back-to-back top 10s at Pebble and Genesis. Still, he has a very solid putter and sits 23rd in Strokes Gained: Putting. He’s also eighth in Total Driving (distance plus accuracy) which will be helpful around this course.

Si Woo Kim +1600

Another local, Kim tied for second at Craig Ranch last year, which is not surprising as he has played lots of rounds at this course. This year, he’s been solid with 11 cuts made in 11 tournaments. He’s also been in the top 20 in three of the last four starts including a tie for sixth at the Players. He sits 10th in Strokes Gained: Total and fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green.

Top 10

Tom Hoge +320

Has played well at this course in the past with a tie for 17th two years ago the highlight. Seven top-20 finishes on his season in no small part to his accuracy into the greens; he’s second on tour in Strokes Gained: Approach. Also a very respectable 30th in Strokes Gained: Putting.

Alex Noren +280

Nine for nine in cuts made so far in 2024 with his last five producing finishes inside the top 25. Didn’t play here last year but ended up tied for 12th in 2022. Sits second in Greens in Regulation percentage on the PGA Tour and is first in scrambling, which sounds like a pretty good combo.

Top 20

Mackenzie Hughes +200

Hughes is enjoying a pretty solid season, especially for a guy who is usually up and down over the course of the campaign. He’s missed just one cut so far and two of his last three starts have produced finishes inside the top 14. Speaking of which, he tied for 14th at this tournament a year ago. Currently ranked fourth in Strokes Gained: Around the Green and he’s 10th in putts per round.

Aaron Rai +250

Was in the hunt at the Zurich last week before slipping on Sunday for a T23 finish. The two-gloved Rai has had a solid albeit inconsistent campaign so far but had a good finish in Houston a few weeks back with a tie for seventh. He’s 23rd on tour in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green and 13th in greens in regulation, which are two reasons we like him this week.