The AT&T Byron Nelson landed a few notable golfers late.
Patrick Reed, the polarizing golfer who won the 2018 Masters, has joined the field, along with former world No. 1 Luke Donald. Four-time major champion and winner of the 1995 Nelson Ernie Els has also committed.
Brooks Koepka, the No. 3 player in the world, is the only Top 10 player in the field followed by Reed (No. 19), Australia’s Marc Leishman (22), Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (28), Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello (31), Sweden’s Alex Noren (33) and North Texas’ Jordan Spieth (36).
“We are excited about how the field came together this year,” tournament director Jon Drago said. “In addition to some of our early commitments such as Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Jimmy Walker, Ryan Palmer and Brandt Snedeker, we’ve seen a few surprises this year. We were pleased to see Patrick Reed return to the event, as well as a great group of highly ranked international players, including Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Justin Harding, Lucas Bjerregaard, Luke Donald, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Alex Noren, Branden Grace and Ernie Els.
“All in all it’s a deep field of diverse players and should produce a lot of storylines next week.”
Reed didn’t play in last year’s tournament as the reigning Masters champion, but has made a name for himself on the PGA Tour for his abrasive behavior and becoming a so-called “villain” of the sport. Reed was greeted with plenty of boos at the Ryder Cup in France last fall, and then drew the ire of some for his outspoken remarks on the U.S. team’s struggles.
But he’s one of the top players in the game, and comes to Dallas searching for his first Top 10 finish of the 2019 calendar year.
Donald was at golf’s peak in 2011, but has battled injuries and fallen out of the Top 300. Els is an intriguing name, too, and joins Koepka, Spieth and Padraig Harrington as multi-major winners in the field.
The 49-year-old Els has made eight of 11 cuts in PGA Tour events this season.
Nelson week gets underway on Monday at Trinity Forest Golf Club, and Wednesday’s Pro-Am is open and free to the public. General admission tickets for the tournament rounds next Thursday-Sunday (May 9-12) are $45 and available through the tournament’s website.