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The PGA Tour heads to McKinney, Texas this week for the AT&T Byron Nelson, the final tune-up before the PGA Championship. World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler is the heavy betting favorite to win the tournament, but the real man to beat might be K.H. Lee, the back-to-back winner of this event in 2021 and 2022.

We thought we were in store for a Texas showdown between local products Scheffler and Jordan Spieth this week, but Spieth was forced to withdraw due to a wrist injury. Now, we’re staring down a lopsided field headlined by Scheffler and featuring no other player ranked inside the top 16 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Do either of our golf experts see Scheffler cruising to an easy victory in his home state? Let’s find out.

2023 AT&T Byron Nelson predictions

Expert predictions for the 2023 AT&T Byron Nelson.
2023 AT&T Byron Nelson predictions | Mike Calendrillo/Sportscasting

Here are a few predictions for the 2023 AT&T Byron Nelson from Sportscasting golf experts Jack Dougherty and Luke Norris.

Winners

Jack Dougherty: Tom Kim

I was expecting a huge 2023 out of Tom Kim, but that hasn’t transpired yet. In 12 starts this year, the talented 20-year-old has as many missed cuts (two) as he does top-six finishes. Kim has finished outside the top 30 in six of his last nine PGA Tour starts.

I think that turns around this week on a golf course that suits his game perfectly. Kim finished T17 in his debut at TPC Craig Ranch last year, and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.

Luke Norris: K.H. Lee

It’s not often that a player wins a PGA Tour event three years in a row, but it’s hard not to like K.H. Lee’s chances at the Byron Nelson this week.

For one, the world’s 44th-ranked player is coming off a solid finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, where he tied for eighth. And secondly, the two-time defending champ has owned TPC Craig Ranch. In 2021, Lee shot 64-68-67-63 to finish at 26-under. And a year ago, he shot 65-65-67-66 to shoot 25-under. Look, I know Scottie Scheffler is in the field, but how is K.H. Lee not the betting favorite here?

Sleepers

Jack Dougherty: K.H. Lee

I think it’s fair to say K.H. Lee absolutely loves TPC Craig Ranch. I mean, he’s made two starts at the AT&T Byron Nelson and won both times. Those are the only two wins on his PGA Tour resume to date.

It’s tough to picture Lee as a sleeper this week coming off back-to-back wins at this event, but he’s not exactly the best player in the field at No. 44 in the OWGR. The South Korean also enters the tournament in poor form, as he’s finished CUT, T42, CUT, T53, CUT, T19, T59, T23, T41, and T8 in his last 10 starts. He should be able to record his best finish of the season at his favorite golf course in the U.S.

Luke Norris: J.J. Spaun

While J.J. Spaun hasn’t played his best golf lately, the 32-year-old has had a solid 2022-23 season overall. He’s made 13 of 18 cuts and owns a couple of top-10 finishes, the most recent being a tie for ninth at the WGC Match Play, which was held in Texas. His lone PGA Tour victory also came in the Lone Star State at last year’s Valero Texas Open. Throw in the fact that Spaun is 26-under in two appearances at TPC Craig Ranch, and I’ll take a little action at 65-1.

Most likely bust

Jack Dougherty: Scottie Scheffler

With Jordan Spieth now out of the tournament, Scottie Scheffler is a sizeable favorite to win the AT&T Byron Nelson at +350 odds. I don’t necessarily disagree with that price, but it means anything other than a win would be a disappointment from the Texas native this week.

In two career starts at TPC Craig Ranch, Scheffler has finished T15 and T47 in fields that weren’t much better than this one. I don’t think he lives up to his short price this year.

Luke Norris: Tom Kim

With Jordan Spieth out of the mix, Tom Kim’s odds to win the Byron Nelson have naturally bumped up a little bit. But outside of a tie for 16th at the Masters, the 20-year-old has failed to crack the top 20 since January.

Make-or-break hole

Jack Dougherty: No. 16

TPC Craig Ranch isn’t an exceptionally long golf course, and that’s why the challenging 16th hole will be the difference-maker this week. At 492 yards, the 16th plays as the second-longest par 4 on the course. Players must avoid two large fairway bunkers down the left side to have a chance at hitting the green in regulation, then they’ll have to play to the left of two deep greenside bunkers on the right side. Four straight pars would be a great performance on 16 this week.

Luke Norris: No. 17

OK, so the 17th at TPC Craig Ranch might not be the true make-or-break hole at this year’s Byron Nelson, but we certainly have to make mention of the PGA Tour’s newest attempt at a party hole.

Similar to the famed 16th at TPC Scottsdale during the WM Phoenix Open, the 147-yard par-3 17th at TPC Craig Ranch will feature a stadium-like atmosphere as new grandstands and hospitality tents were constructed for this year’s Byron Nelson, which will allow approximately 6,000 fans to watch the action on the penultimate hole. Essentially every hole at TPC Craig Ranch is a birdie hole, and this one is certainly no different. It just has a different feel this time around, which should make for some exciting action on Sunday.

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