Before the PGA Tour heads to the northeast for the season’s second major – the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black – there’s one more item of business on the agenda…
…The AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest in Dallas. Aaron Wise returns as the defending champion after defeating Marc Leishman by three strokes in 2018.
Which players should you be keeping an eye on in the Lone Star State?
Three of our caddies on the ground have the answers.
To protect their identity, each caddie made three picks anonymously.
Here’s a look at the players they like (well, not all of them… you’ll see) and why…
EDITOR’S NOTE: Our caddie submit their picks on Wednesdays. Marc Leishman withdrew from the tournament on Thursday morning citing a lower back injury.
- Marc Leishman. “It’s the timing. I feel like for a long time Mark has been chomping to win a major. Since 2013, he’s had a top-10 in a major in all but one season. Next week, we get the season’s second major (the PGA now instead of the U.S. Open), one month earlier than usual. His game is peaking. He’s already well-prepared with a major next week and he comes to Dallas this week after having been runner-up a year ago.”
- Justin Harding. “The South African, ranked No. 45 in the world, has been sensational on the European Tour and the PGA Tour so far this season. Along with a win in Qatar, he also finished T2 in Kenya, and T12 at the Masters. I like him this week because of the course. It’s not a traditional U.S.-style course and could be the kind of place where you see a European Tour regular win on U.S. soil.”
- Wyndham Clark. “I’m putting in a rookie because I think there is not that big of an experience factor here yet – this is just the second time the tournament is held at Trinity Forest. Wyndham has been a solid rookie most of the season and has a couple of top 10s. This could be another first-time winner like Aaron Wise was last year.”
- Jordan Speith. “He needs some home cooking and could complete his sponsorship agreement of winning AT&T events… AT&T Byron Nelson to go along with the win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2017. He’d love a nice, solid week at home to get some confidence before heading to Bethpage.”
- Ryan Palmer. “Ryan returns to action for the first time since winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with Jon Rahm. He’s hungry and wants more. Plus, he’s due to win in his home state of Texas. He lost in a playoff in this very tournament to Keegan Bradley in 2011.”
- Tony Romo. “If you turn the scoreboard upside down after Friday… he’ll be leading the field!”
- Brooks Koepka. “He plays well just about any time he tees it up. I expect him to prove a point after the latest media shun. Oh, and don’t forget, he’s the defending champion in each of the next two majors to be played.”
- Marc Leishman. “He’s as steady as they come. Plays well here and has been on a good streak of solid play.”
- Scottie Scheffler. “This will be just his third start of the season on the PGA Tour having spent most of his time on the Web.com, where he’s been a runner up twice, including this past Sunday in Nashville. He’s my dark horse pick. A great young talent who has been playing well. Maybe this will be a breakthrough week!”