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Fantasy Golf Picks — 2023 AT&T Byron Nelson Picks, Preview, Predictions

Pat Mayo makes his 2023 AT&T Byron Nelson picks while previewing the course, key stats and trends for this week’s PGA TOUR event.

Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2023 AT&T Byron Nelson Picks.

2023 AT&T Byron Nelson — Picks & Preview | Course & Research | Stats/Tools

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2023 AT&T Byron Nelson: Field

156 Players | Top 65 & Ties Make the Cut
First Tee: Thursday, May 11
Defending Champion: KH Lee

With the plethora of elevated events, it was assumed some of the lesser events would see a massive drop off in terms of quality and field strength. We thought this because it’s what we saw early in the year, especially at Pebble Beach and the Honda Classic. Maybe in this world of faux-WGCs the best spot for one of the events on the outside looking in is the week before a Major.

The golf world will descend on Rochester in a week (Maybe Jim THE HAMMER Shapiro can get involved in some of these court cases?), but a solid collection of top players are getting their games ready in Dallas in preparation. This can’t be a glorified Korn Ferry event if Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, Tyrrell Hatton, Tom Kim, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott and two-time defending champ KH Lee are lurking the grounds. We also get the return of Hideki Matsuyama and Aaron Wise from extended breaks to fine-tune their game before Oak Hill.

2023 AT&T Byron Nelson: Key Stats

SG: Approach
Proximity 175+ Yards
Par 4s Gained 450-500 Yards
SG: Off The Tee

Mayo’s Key Stats powered by

2023 AT&T Byron Nelson: Course

  • Course: TPC Craig Ranch
  • Par: 71
  • Yardage 7,468
  • Greens: Bentgrass

Par 3s (4): Average distance (204 yards)

  • Three of the six holes on this course that play over par are Par 3s (all over 215 yards) and all four rank above average in terms of scoring difficulty relative to this course.
  • Six of the top-seven finishers a year ago gained strokes on the field in the Par 3s.

Par 4s (10): Average distance (442 yards)

  • The top three holes in terms of bogey rate were all Par 4s (holes 1, 13 and 16), but the two shortest Par 4s (holes 6 and 14) carry a birdie-or-better rate of 40%+.
  • Speaking of #16 … the bogey rate was more than 3x the birdie rate: you have 17 other holes to try to make up ground, take your medicine here.

Par 5s (3): Average distance (558 yards)

  • The easiest three holes on the course all carried a birdie rate that was higher than the par rate (three had a sub-5% bogey rate).

2023 AT&T Byron Nelson: Past Winners

2022: KH Lee -26
2021: KH Lee-25

2022: K.H. Lee (-26, one clear of Jordan Spieth)

  • Lee was T2 after Thursday after firing a 64 and then was one better as he came from behind on Sunday
  • #TeamNoPutt? There were seven golfers that gained 5+ strokes with the flat stick … only one finished better than 12th and their average finish was 22nd.

2021: K.H. Lee (-25, three clear of Sam Burns)

  • Lee shot 67 or better in all four rounds, allowing him to withstand some haymakers like a Friday 62 from Sam Burns and a 63 from Patton Kizzire on Sunday.
  • Only three of the top eight finishers gained fairways on the field.

The KH Lee Profile … Lee has won this thing in consecutive seasons, so why not take a look at exactly what he has done at a high level during those two seasons. Taking into account all rounds in 2021 and 2022, here are a few of the areas Lee gained strokes on the field in the majority of his rounds (not just at Byron Nelson, but overall):

  • Ball Striking (61%)
  • 3-putt avoidance (59.8%)
  • Par 4 scoring, 450-500 yards (57.3%)
  • Fairways gained (56.9%)

2023 AT&T Byron Nelson: Notes

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We’ve now seen TPC Craig Ranch for two years on TOUR and a verdict has already been reached: It’s easy. Not the easiest, but almost. Just birdies and eagles everywhere. In its debut as a TOUR course in 2021, TPC Craig Ranch gave up the most birdies of any course that year along with the fourth-most eagles. It was also the track with the four highest average scrambling rate as well; even if you miss greens par will be saved 66% of the time. It all makes sense statistically. Players hit more fairways here than average, hit more GIRs, drive the ball farther, and three-putt less.

Rowlett Creek runs throughout the course and will test the field to either lay up or try and clear the hazards on about half the holes, but since it doesn’t provide too much difficulty from the fairway “lay up” should be stricken from the record for a week.

With the way the holes are laid out, expect a larger-than-normal amount of approach shots from 175 yards and beyond. All four par 5s measure between 547 and 569 yards, and three of the par 3s are at least 216 yards. There are seven holes immediately where you’ll encounter approaches in that range. In two years, over 50% of approach shots have come from 175+ yards.

Beyond that, there are six par 4s over 450 yards, with another two under 360 yards. No. 14 is drivable by most of the field but with some risk, which we want from short par 4s. It’s a slight right-to-left drive guarded by bunkers to the right and a massive water hazard to the left. Expect a lot of the field to bail out into the right greenside bunkers and be forced to get it up and down for birdie. The field is making eagle at only a 1.5% clip while the birdie rate is a staggering 43%.

No. 6 plays 361 yards, but with no hazard area, some of the bigger hitters have given it a go from the box but it’s just a tad too long to get to. It’s 341 yards to the front of the green with bunkers situated on each side of the putting surface. Like No. 14, it’s slightly right-to-left from the tee box and a favorable bounce could sneak a drive between the front and right side bunker and squirt onto the putting surface.

Per Fantasy National, the best players in the field on par 4s under 350 yards over the past 50 rounds are Alex Smalley, Brandon Wu, Justin Lower, Jordan Spieth and Davis Riley.


2022: Familiar with the RB dead zone? We had the golfer dead zone at this event a year ago. Of the top 11 on the final DraftKings leaderboard, six cost no more than $7,600 and five cost at least $9,700.

2021: Stars and scrubs. Sam Burns, Daniel Berger and Jordan Spieth all came through with price tags north of $9,000 while KH Lee (winner at $6,900) was one of six $6K golfers to reach 100 DKFP.


For showdown, you’re starting on the front. In part, because No. 1 is the second toughest on the course, so that’s going to kill any hope of a streak going back-to-front. The other part of the equation is that Holes 8-12 all play on the easier side, highlighted by a pair of Par 5s (holes 9 and 12) that have a birdie-or-better rate north of 49%. Holes 8, 10 and 12 aren’t gimmes, but all of them give you a shot and that’s more than you get if elect to go back-to-front.

2023 AT&T Byron Nelson Pick

Hideki Matsuyama

It’s tricky attempting to gauge Hideki’s health having not played since Augusta. However, the injury concern is baked into the price. If he’s close to 100%, that unknown is getting us some great value. Before his extended layoff, Matsuyama’s picked up T16 finishes in his past three starts, gaining over +6 strokes between OTT and APP in each. Hopefully, there’s no rust and he can pick up at TPC Craig Ranch where he left off a year ago, leading the field in approach.

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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. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2023 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Podcast of the Year and was 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.

Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Sports Betting, Daily Fantasy, and Traditional Season Long Fantasy).

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.