Considering that the HP Byron Nelson Championship is the week after the Players Championship, there are some relatively big names in the field, but Johnny Manziel had other considerations. The Browns’ first-round pick had committed to play in the pro-am portion of the tournament in Irving, TX on Wednesday, but he was required to be in Cleveland this week and had to bow out.
Some of the names who will be present include Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, Angel Cabrera, Jason Dufner and even Players Championship winner Martin Kaymer. The earliest pairing of some interest will be at 8:30 a.m. (ET) where Dufner will join Dustin Johnson and Texas native Justin Leonard on the 10th tee box. Spieth, also a native Texas, is paired with defending champion Sang-Moon Bae and Harris English. John Daly is always entertaining, and he will join Briny Baird and Danny Lee to begin on the back nine at 9:20 a.m.
In the afternoon tee times, Kuchar is grouped with Gary Woodland and Keegan Bradley. Their group will begin the competition at 1:30 p.m. off of the first tee. Angel Cabrera will be teeing off at the same time on No. 10 tee with Alex Cejka and the effervescent Rory Sabbatini. Kaymer will be going off at 1:40 along with Jimmy Walker and Brandt Snedeker.
A Walk-off Hole-in-One – One of the names to follow this week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship is Case Cochran, who is playing in his first-ever PGA Tour event. Cochran was attempting to get into the field for the tournament through qualifying on Monday and won his way into the competition with a “walk-off” hole-in-one. The Dallas native had been tied for a qualifying spot after regulation play, and had to go to a sudden-death playoff. After missing a 5-foot birdie putt which would have given him the win on the hole before, Cochran punched a shot underneath the wind on the next hole, a par-3, to a pin that was tucked over a ridge in the back of the green. There was no one around the green watching, so the former Texas A&M golfer had no idea his shot went in until he walked up to the hole and saw only his pitch mark some five feet from the hole, but no ball. Cochran will begin his quest off the No. 1 tee at 2:30 along with Miguel Carbello and Bronson Lacassie.
Tiger to Drop Out of World No. 1 – According to the Official World Golf Ranking calculator, Adam Scott will replace Tiger Woods at No. 1 this week after the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Scott is not playing this week, but the only man close enough to him who is playing is No. 4 Matt Kuchar. According to OWGR experts, Kuchar would need 43 points this week to catch Scott, and last year’s winner of the HP Byron Nelson only received 40. Phil Mickelson has dropped out of the top ten in the rankings after missing another cut last week at The Players Championship. He is now No. 11.
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Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky