Byron Nelson field ranks as event’s strongest in recent years

Posted Friday, May. 09, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A
More information

HP Byron Nelson Championships

Thursday-Sunday, Four Seasons Resort and Club, Irving

Tickets: Available online at hpbnc.org or through Ticketmaster.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Officials at the HP Byron Nelson Championship secured commitments from two of the world’s top seven golfers Friday, setting up one of the strongest fields in recent years for next week’s PGA Tour event in Irving.

The Nelson headliners include Matt Kuchar (No. 5) and Jordan Spieth (No. 7), with nine of the top 25 in the world rankings pledged to compete at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Thursday’s opening round.

Because of a lingering thumb injury, Jason Day, the 2010 Nelson champion and No. 6 player in the world rankings, withdrew Friday.

Friday’s commitment deadline passed with Nelson officials holding commitments from Jimmy Walker, a former Baylor golfer who leads the 2014 PGA Tour in victories (3) and FedEx Cup points (2,046), as well as four of the past five Nelson tournament champions: Sang-Moon Bae (2013), Jason Dufner (2012), Keegan Bradley (2011) and Rory Sabbatini (2009), a Fort Worth resident.

All of that brings a smile to Patton Chapman, the Nelson tournament chairman.

“This is shaping up to be the best field we’ve had since 2005,” Chapman said, reflecting on a stellar year when all five of the world’s top-ranked golfers assembled in Irving to honor the tournament namesake on the 60th anniversary of his signature 1945 season.

Nelson, who died in 2006, established single-season Tour records in 1945 by winning 18 tournaments, with 11 consecutive victories. Both marks still stand in PGA Tour annals.

Since the tournament namesake’s death, the star power of Nelson fields has diminished. But this year’s field definitely represents an upgrade over last season, with Dustin Johnson (No. 13 in world rankings), Brandt Snedeker (No. 25) and Charl Schwartzel (No. 17), the 2011 Masters champion, among the notable names headed to Irving.

Regardless of the rankings, there is little question who projects to be the gallery favorite: Spieth, a Dallas resident who finished as the runner-up at the Masters.

Spieth, 20, made his Nelson debut as a high school junior in 2010, finishing 16th while playing on a sponsor’s exemption. He will be making his fourth appearance in his hometown event, his second as a professional.

“It’s home for me,” Spieth said. “Every year, I look forward to it and highlight it on the calendar.”

Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Thursday, August 28Full Scoreboard
Chicago Cubs2Final | Box
Cincinnati «7
NY Yankees2Final | Box
Detroit «3
Colorado1Final | Box
San Francisco «4
Tampa Bay4Final | Box
Baltimore «5
Atlanta «6Final | Box
NY Mets1
Cleveland «3Final | Box
Chicago WSox2
Texas2Final | Box
Houston «4
Minnesota «11Final(10) | Box
Kansas City5
Oakland3Bottom 9th | Box
LA Angels3@theBallpark | TV: MLB Net, CSN-CA, FSN-W
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, August 28Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 5Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Atlanta «24Final | Box
Jacksonville14
Detroit «23Final | Box
Buffalo0
Indianapolis7Final | Box
Cincinnati «35
Kansas City14Final | Box
Green Bay «34
St. Louis13Final | Box
Miami «14
NY Jets7Final | Box
Philadelphia «37
New England13Final | Box
NY Giants «16
Carolina «10Final | Box
Pittsburgh0
Washington «24Final | Box
Tampa Bay10
Chicago13Final | Box
Cleveland «33
Denver «27Final | Box
Dallas3
San Francisco «40Final | Box
Houston13
Baltimore «22Final | Box
New Orleans13
Minnesota «19Final | Box
Tennessee3
Seattle314th Qtr 4:30 | Box
Oakland38TV: NFL Network, Q13FOX, KTVU
Arizona9Final | Box
San Diego «12
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, August 28Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard