The 50th AT&T Byron Nelson is here

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, May 19th, 2018
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TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

The 50th anniversary of the AT&T Byron Nelson has a new and intriguing look that fans here in north Texas will see this weekend at the links style Trinity Forest Golf Club located in southeast Dallas. Both players and spectators are in for a real treat seeing this link-ish sty le course right here in our own backyard.
One player who has to be excited about playing at this new venue is Jordan Spieth. Spieth who grew up in the area may never have a better opportunity to win the AT&T Byron Nelson than this year. The Dallas native calls the Trinity Forest Golf Club, which is hosting the event for the first time, home. Spieth’s best finish in the event is a tie for 16th when he was only 16 years old. It was back in 2010 when Spieth made a big splash receiving a sponsor’s exemption to the tournament. Last year he missed the cut. He comes into this week with mixed emotions after his final round at the Players Championship in Florida where he shot 74 playing with Tiger Woods. I know he hopes the hometown atmosphere will help him rebound for a good run this week.
Personally, I really like the look of the course which was designed by Bill Coore Ben Crenshaw. Links layouts can become very difficult when the wind starts whipping up as this course has no trees or water on it. Unique to this course is the fact it was built atop a 400- acre landfill.
The final field is set for the 50th Anniversary of this terrific tournament bearing the name of one of golf’s all-time greats Byron Nelson who was a Texan. Amongst the 156 players vying for the $7.7 million purse, the $1,386,000 first-place check and 500 FedExCup points are the aforementioned world #4 and Dallas-native Jordan Speith, Hideki Matsuyama (#9), Sergio Garcia (#13), Marc Leishman (#16), and Matt Kuchar (#21). 2017 champion Billy Horschel will return to defend his title alongside past champions Sang Moon Bae, Steven Bowditch, Brendon Todd, Rory Sabbatini, Adam Scott, and Ernie Els. Branden Grace, Graeme McDowell, Jimmy Walker, Bill Haas, Charles Howell II, Ryan Palmer and Brandt Snedeker and will also join the strong field.
Tournament sponsor’s exemptions include 2014 U. S. Junior Amateur Champion Will Zalatoris, who turned pro in December, passing up his final semester at Wake Forest University; reigning U.S. Junior Amateur Champion Noah Goodwin; and Joaquin Niemann, who finished sixth in his PGA TOUR debut two weeks ago at the Valero Texas Open. Also, David Duval, who won the 2011 British Open received a sponsor’s exemption.
Spectators will enjoy all the experiences they’ve come to love at the AT&T Byron Nelson, including the Pavilion, KidsZone, Grey Goose 19th hole lounge, and of course great golf.
Trinity Forest Golf Course is a links style course that sits on approximately 150 acres and provides an easy walk for spectators with options to quickly move around to different holes based on the action. There are several vantage points available throughout the course offering 360-degree views on numerous holes.
The tournament will also provide several options to keep spectators cool at the course, including shade structures, misting systems and several air-conditioned spaces.
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary and the new home of the AT&T Byron Nelson, AT&T has created a new tournament trophy in conjunction with Waterford Crystal. The trophy features tie-in’s to Byron Nelson, the Momentous Institute, and subtle AT&T brand attributes.
The AT&T Byron Nelson is a premier PGA TOUR event, hosted by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas since 1968. The tournament has raised more than $155 million over the past 50 years, making it the most financially successful charity event on the PGA TOUR. All proceeds from the tournament benefit Momentous Institute, the nonprofit operated by the Salesmanship Club since 1920.    Momentous Institute directly serves 6,000 kids and family members each year through its nationally acclaimed Momentous School, innovative therapeutic services, and research and training.
There are plenty of Texas based players in the field and I think a few of them will be in the hunt come Sunday for the coveted title. I’ll be rooting for a local Texas player to breakthrough to win this year as it would be a great tip of the hat paying homage to Byron Nelson on this 50th anniversary.
The tournament will be televised on the Golf Channel the first 2 days and CBS on the weekend. If you want to attend tickets are still available or if you can’t make it be sure to watch the broadcast on television as it will be something special to behold seeing a links style course being played on the PGA Tour in north Texas.

Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com

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