HP Byron Nelson Championship preview

The PGA Tour heads back to Texas this week for the HP Byron Nelson Championship at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving

Jason Dufner

The PGA Tour heads back to Texas this week for the HP Byron Nelson Championship at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving.

A number of the game's best players have made the trip from Florida to compete in this prestigious tournament, including South African duo Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, Keegan Bradley, Matt Kuchar and Jason Day.

Jason Dufner also returns to defend the title he won by holing a 30-footer on the 72nd hole last year.

The tournament started life as the Texas Victory Open in 1944 and became the Byron Nelson Golf Classic in 1968 - named after the event's first winner.

Since 1944, the likes of Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Ben Crenshaw have all triumphed at the Byron Nelson.

The TPC Four Seasons has staged the tournament since 1994, but it shared hosting responsibilities with the Cottonwood Valley Course until 2007.

It's a 7,166-yard par-70 course characterised by tree-lined fairways, large putting surfaces and numerous water features.

Venue: TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas Date: May 16-19 Course stats: Par 70, 7,166 yards Purse: $6,700,000 Winning share: $1,170,000 Defending champion: Jason Dufner (-11)

TV Coverage:

Thursday 16 - Sky Sports 3 from 8pm Friday 17 - Sky Sports 4 from 10pm Saturday 18 - Sky Sports 3 from 6pm Sunday 19 - Sky Sports 3 from 7pm

Player Watch:

Jason Day - The Australian won his first PGA Tour event here in 2011 and followed that with top 10s in 2011 and 2012. He's also made 14 consecutive cuts and recorded four top 10s this season, including a third-place finish at the Masters.

Jimmy Walker - The American leads the tour with 22 consecutive cuts and, had it not been for a double bogey at the Sawgrass' 17th, he'd have finished comfortably inside the top 10. He's 10th on Tour in Adjusted Scoring, 17th in Strokes Gained - Putting and first in Par-4 Scoring.

Marc Leishman - Leishman put in a stellar performance at the Masters and followed that with a tie for 8th at Harbour Town and another top 10 at the Players. He finished in a tie for third at the HP Byron Nelson last year.

Key hole:

15th - this brutish 505-yard par 4 is a slight dogleg from right to left with trees along both sides. In 2011, it produced 167 bogies.

Skills required:

Total driving. If you hit it long and straight, you should be able to find the large, undulating putting surfaces and avoid numerous trees and water features.

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x