AT&T Byron Nelson: Club member Spieth the strong favourite

AT&T Byron Nelson: Club member Spieth the strong favourite

The PGA Tour visits a new venue this week as the AT&T Byron Nelson heads to Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas for the first time, Phil Casey writes.

Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, who were behind the popular renovation of Pinehurst ahead of the 2014 US Open, Trinity Forest is a 7,380-yard par-71 with no trees, no rough and no water hazards.

Club member Jordan Spieth describes it as an “American links” and believes he has a significant advantage over the vast majority of the field as he seeks a first victory of the season.

“You’ve kind of got to play it from the air,” Spieth said in his press conference ahead of the Players Championship. “It’s not really a bounce-the-ball-up kind of links, but it is still a links-looking golf course. So it’s weird, it’s unique.

“Birkdale was kind of the closest comparison I’ve found to a links course that you kind of have to attack from the air.”

Royal Birkdale of course was where Spieth won the Open Championship last year and with Trinity Forest also looking to have some similarities to Chambers Bay, where he claimed the 2015 US Open, it is no surprise that Spieth is the strong favourite.

The world number three could only finish 41st at Sawgrass after an ugly eight on the final hole, but was third in his previous two starts and sometimes short prices just have to be taken. Spieth can be backed outright at 11/2.

Our second selection is available in the each-way market at a somewhat more generous 25/1, former Masters champion Adam Scott showing signs of rediscovering his form with a tie for 11th at Sawgrass.

The former world number one has slipped to 65th in the rankings and needs to get back inside the top 60 to qualify for the US Open, where he was fourth behind Spieth at Chambers Bay.

To balance having Spieth and Scott on board, we’ll take a chance on some much bigger prices with fellow Trinity Forest member Hunter Mahan worth chancing in the each-way market at 125/1.

Mahan’s form in recent weeks has not been startling, but three straight top-45 finishes represents a move in the right direction and local knowledge can hopefully be the missing piece in the jigsaw.

And finally, Germany’s Stephan Jaeger can also be backed each-way at 125/1 after his fourth Web.com Tour victory in Knoxville on Sunday.

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