PGA Tour Event Recap: 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson

I am going to be honest: I didn’t spend a lot of time watching the Byron Nelson this year. I had a couple of things going on the prevented me from gluing myself to the television for the weekend. But even if I didn’t, I don’t think I would have spent a ton of time. That’s not to say there weren’t interesting things going on down in Dallas – there were plenty of reasons that made this an interesting event. There just wasn’t enough intrigue from a competitor perspective to keep me hooked. And that’s not just some anti-Texas bias that I am harboring, there strength of schedule at all of the events on the “Texas Swing” (which for some reason last for an eternity) have been abysmal.


With star power like *squints* Keith Mitchell (T3?), who could resist such an event? I am not here to rag on guys like Mitchell, who are young pros and are out there grinding every week just to keep their tour card. I love that they get chances to prove themselves and golf viewers aren’t subjected to the same story lines every week.  The young-guys-fighting-for-their-livelihoods  theme is one of the best things about non-big time events. But it’s even better when those guys fighting to put food on the table get to do it in the midst of the guys who are trying to cement their legacies.


I am not sure what the issue is with these tournaments. I am sure there is someone out there who has a stronger grasp on the PGA Tour Schedule and OWGR and the economics of the purses of golf tournaments, and the psyche of golfers in general who can better explain this issue. Anyway, here are a couple of the key points from the past week.



Aaron Wise

This kid is an absolute stud, winning his first ever PGA tournament at a brand new course at the age of 21 takes some serious talent.  He has the pedigree to be a really great golfer, already having won on the Tour and the Mackenzie Tour up in Canada. He also recently came in second at the Wells Fargo tournament, which means he can play well at a variety of golf courses.  Wise does look like he was made at the same factory where other, slightly older boy-wonders were produced (Spieth, Thomas, etc).


Also, to go along with his exceptionally boyish looks, one of the lines in his PGA Tour Profile is “Loves going fast with favorite activities including go-karting and roller coasters.” I think that means Wise is actually 12 years old, not 21. The youth movement in golf is awesome and something everyone should be cheering for. If we can’t have Tiger Woods back, I want a bunch of young studs throwing haymakers at each other every week.


George W Bush

Our Greatest Living President (opinions may vary, strongly) got in the commenting booth this weekend to talk about the course, Dallas, and everything. To be honest, I didn’t really pay attention to him, because the CBS crew is so abysmal that I have learned to tune them out entirely. By the time I realized the Mission Accomplished guy was on my TV, it was too late for me to care.



Trinity Forest Golf Club

Architect nerds rejoice! The PGA Tour actually played on a golf course that is wildly interesting  and doesn’t look like the same cookie-cutter bullshit they normally sell overpriced beer on the premise of. There’s not a ton to be said other than well known villain Matt Kuchar talking about how much he didn’t like the course in the most Matt Kuchar way possible.


The course looked like it was in awesome, deliberate condition. Good shots were rewarded, bad shots were penalized, and mediocre shots could fall either way. This is exactly how golf should be played. Width of fairways and greens allowed for increased strategy.  Overall, the course was just more intriguing!


But even if you don’t care about any of that stuff, it’s important to note that unique golf courses create more unique viewing experiences, whether you realize it or not. When you see holes that stand out from the crowd – and you actually remember them – you are going to lock that thought away deep in the recesses of your mind. The more you see those holes and recognize them, the more you are going to enjoy that experience.


Other Players

·      Marc Leishman is a monster. He fell short to the young gun this week, but he always seems to play well at interesting golf courses. He is just an absolute unit. In awe of the lad.

·      Charles Howell III (Chuck Triple Sticks), is a fascinating character study when it comes to the PGA Tour. He has only won twice, in 2002 and 2007. But he always seems to be lingering around the tour. Constantly so close to greatness is a great way of describing his life on tour.

·      Rory Sabbatini is good again, I guess.

·      Smylie Kaufman actually played a good round. If you haven’t been following his story for the past year, here’s a quick summary: *insert sad face emoji*. He has been playing very poorly. But on Friday, he shot a 67. He still missed the cut, but one good round is fun to see. Something is wrong with his game, but I hope he turns it around.

Peter G Schmidt