Leishman’s love affair with Byron Nelson venue singles him out


There are strong opposing trends surrounding the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship which could easily point punters in different directions when making their selections for the 2015 edition.

The PGA Tour staple is being housed at the Four Seasons Resort, Texas, for the 21st time, while being played exclusively on its TPC, par 70 course for the eighth successive year.

Interestingly this event has produced first-time PGA Tour winners in four of the last five renewals, which includes 33/1 chance and defending champion Brendon Todd, whose putter did the talking in 2014.

Contradicting this particular pattern is the 12-tournament streak this season where not a single first-timer has lifted silverware, the longest barren patch for breakthrough winners on the stateside Tour since a 0-for-13 in 2012.

The best-placed man in the field to unify these converging trends is certainly Justin Thomas, also at 33s.

The 22-year-old Kentucky native has not missed a cut since March, comes off a quartet of top 25s, including seventh at Quail Hollow most recently with many predicting a win to follow sooner rather than later.

However, there are plenty of big names, not least FedExCup leader, local lad and tournament favourite Jordan Spieth (5/1) who will attract backers in their droves.

Of those at the sharp end of the betting Dustin Johnson, with four top 20s in as many recent trips to TPC Four Seasons, gets the nod at 10/1, especially in light of his scoring average of 68.375 at this layout.

It’s an Australian who gets the firmest backing though and at a fine price of 33/1, looking to complete a trio of victories for his countrymen since TPC’s redevelopment in 2008, when Adam Scott triumphed, before Jason Day (14/1) followed suit two years later.

Mark Leishman has played solid golf since a month off, finishing 27th at Colonial last week which will stand the Victoria native in great stead at a course where he’s turned in five top 12s.

He’s come agonisingly close too, finishing with a share of third in two of the last three years.

Ranking 30th in overall average putts and first in putts from 10-15’, Leishman is a golden ticket at 11/4 for the top 10, but will only have eyes on the top prize (33s) recent results in Texas.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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