2017 AT&T Byron Nelson
(The 27h of 43 events in the PGA TOUR Season)
Las Colinas, Texas May 18-21, 2017 FedExCup Points: 500 to the winner
TPC Four Seasons Resort Par/Yardage: 35-35—70/7,166 Purse: $7,500,000 ($1,350,000)
Second-Round Notes – Friday, May 19, 2017
Weather: Partly to mostly cloudy skies with SSE wind at 15-20 mph gusting to 30 mph. High of 86.
Due to anticipated weather on Saturday morning, tee times for round three are scheduled for 10am–Noon CT in threesomes off Nos. 1 and 10.
The 36-hole cut came at 2-over 142, with 76 professionals advancing to the weekend.
After opening with a 4-under 66, his lowest score on TOUR since a second-round 65 at The RSM Classic earlier this season, Jason Kokrak posted a bogey-free, 8-under 62 to secure a five-shot lead. Kokrak’s 62 is his lowest career round on TOUR. His previous low of 63 came during the first round of the 2013 CareerBuilder Challenge, where he finished T8.
Kokrak’s five-shot lead through 36 holes at the AT&T Byron Nelson is a new tournament record, previously held by Davis Love III (4 shots/2000). His 36-hole score of 128 ties the tournament record for the low 36-hole score, which four players have matched five times: Ben Crane/2016, Steve Pate/1999, Tiger Woods/1999 & 1997, Lee Rinker/1997. Kokrak’s only other appearance at the AT&T Byron Nelson was in 2012 (72-74/MC).
Kokrak is seeking his first TOUR win in 144 starts as a professional. This marks the second time Kokrak has held a 36-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR. After maintaining the solo lead through 36 holes at the 2016 Genesis Open, Kokrak finished T2 to Bubba Watson, tying his best career-finish on TOUR (2012 Safeway Open/T2).
In 16 starts this season, Kokrak has posted four top-25 finishes, his best a T15 at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Kokrak currently sits at No. 121 in the FedExCup standings. After joining the PGA TOUR in 2012, Kokrak failed to advance to the FedExCup Playoffs in his rookie season but has done so in the past four seasons, with No. 33 last season a career-best.
Kokrak was inducted into the Xavier University Athletic Hall of Fame in December 2015, where he was a two-time Atlantic 10 Conference Golfer of the Year and was a member of three NCAA tournament teams. He is Xavier’s first PGA TOUR member.
Second-Round Leader Stats
Two of the last three 36-hole leader/co-leaders at the AT&T Byron Nelson have gone on to win, including Brendon Todd in 2014 and Steven Bowditch in 2015. Ben Crane, the second-round leader last year, went on to finish T24.
The second-round leader/co-leader has won 12 times in 26 stroke-play events this season, most recently Sergio Garcia at the Masters Tournament.
Billy Horschel birdied his final three holes (Nos. 7,8,9) to finish with a 5-under 66. His birdie putt on No. 7 was 20 feet, followed by a 28-foot birdie putt on No. 8 and an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 9. Horschel leads the field in Strokes Gained: Putting for rounds one and two, making 146 feet, 7 inches on putts on Thursday and 117 feet, 11 inches of putts on Friday.
This is Horschel’s third start at the AT&T Byron Nelson, with two missed cuts in his previous two starts (2011, 2012). He entered this week on the heels of four consecutive missed cuts. The last time he missed at least four consecutive cuts came in 2011, his rookie year, when he missed five cuts from the AT&T Byron Nelson through the John Deere Classic. In 15 starts this season, Horschel has four top-25 and two top-10 finishes, with his best finish T4 at The Honda Classic.
Horschel is a three-time winner on the PGA TOUR. After back-to-back wins at the 2014 BMW Championship and TOUR Championship, Horschel won the FedExCup in what was one of the best closing stretches in PGA TOUR history.
FedExCup leader and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson finished with a bogey on the ninth—his lone bogey of the day—for a 3-under 67. Dating to the fourth round of last year’s tournament—where he finished T12—Johnson has shot three consecutive 67s at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Johnson owns four top 10s in seven AT&T Byron Nelson starts (T63/2008, T4/2009, T7/2010, T20/2011, T7-2014, T8-2015, T12-2016).
Johnson is in search of his fourth victory in six starts. His three wins this season were consecutive–Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico Championship, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play—and he holds the current-best streak on TOUR for having recorded victories in 10 consecutive seasons.
Since 1986, when the Official World Golf Rankings were introduced, there have been 12 players (including Dustin Johnson) who have competed in this event as World No. 1. Prior to Johnson, the last World No. 1 to play at the AT&T Byron Nelson was Tiger Woods (2005/MC). Should Johnson go on to win, he would become the first World No. 1 player at the AT&T Byron Nelson to win. The best finish by a World No. 1 at the AT&T Byron Nelson belongs to Tiger Woods, who finished solo-third in 2002.
Byeong Hun (Ben) An
Ben An, who is making his first start at the AT&T Byron Nelson and entered the week coming off a T8 finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, fired a bogey-free 4-under 66, hitting 10 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation.
An made history when he became the youngest winner of the U.S. Amateur in 2009 at age 17 and is in search of his first PGA TOUR win in 33 starts as a professional. He has four career top-10s on the PGA TOUR and owns three international victories (2015 BMW PGA Championship/European Tour, 2015 Shinhan Donghae Open/Korean Tour 2014 Rolex Trophy/European Challenge Tour).
In 13 starts this season, An has two top-10s and missed one cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with teammate and fellow South Korean Seung-Yul Noh. An’s best career finish on the PGA TOUR came at the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he lost in a playoff to Brian Stuard in the 54-hole tournament, which was shortened due to heavy rain.
An earned his 2016-17 PGA TOUR card through the Non-member Money List after carding five top-25 finishes in 14 starts last season, two of which were top-10 showings. An represented South Korea when golf returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, finishing T11 in the 60-man field.
Additional Player Notes
First-round co-leader James Hahn followed his opening-round 64 with an even-par 70 in the second round. A two-time winner on TOUR (2016 Wells Fargo Championship and 2015 Genesis Open), Hahn’s best finish in three starts at the AT&T Byron Nelson was a T5 finish in his first appearance in 2014.
In search of his first career PGA TOUR win in his 208th PGA TOUR start, Mission Viego, Calif. native Cameron Tringale followed his first-round 66 with a 68 in the second round. Tringale is looking to post his best finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson after missing cuts in his two previous appearances (2011/71-78, 2010/71-77). In 18 starts this season, Tringale’s lone top-10 finish is a T8 at the Genesis Open. Tringale has finished second on the PGA TOUR three times; 2014 THE NORTHERN TRUST, 2015 Zurich Classic of New Orleans and 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
After posting a 4-under 66 in the first round, his tournament low in 16 trips around TPC Four Seasons Resort, Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas shot a second-round 68. Vegas’ T49 at last year’s AT&T Byron Nelson is his best showing in four previous starts in this event.
Entering the week on the heels of three consecutive top-10 finishes, Bud Cauley fired back-to-back 67s. After missing the cut in 2014 and posting a T4 last year, Cauley, who has yet to win on TOUR, is making his third start at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
After opening with a 72, rookie Grayson Murray carded a bogey-free 63, his first bogey-free round in 46 rounds as a professional on the PGA TOUR. His 63 is his career-low on the PGA TOUR in an individual stroke play event. His previous low was a 65, which he shot in the second round of this season’s Sanderson Farms Championship. The 23-year-old, who earned fully-exempt status on the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season after winning the Web.com Tour Finals money list, hit 16 of 18 greens, tying his career-best on the PGA TOUR (2017 RBC Heritage/R1). In 16 starts this season, Murray has missed eight cuts and his best finish—T8—came at the Sanderson Farms Championship. The last rookie to win the AT&T Byron Nelson was Keegan Bradley in 2011.
Defending champion Sergio Garcia offset his opening-round 3-over 73 (his second-highest opening round in 13 appearances) with a 65 in his second round, highlighted by six birdies and one bogey at the par-4 12th. Garcia made 95 feet, 10 inches of putts Friday, compared to 32 feet, 1 inch on Thursday. He sits T25 heading into the third round.
After a first-round 68, Jordan Spieth posted a five-over 75 for his first missed cut in seven appearances at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Spieth’s 75 included a nine on the par-5 16th, his worst score since recording a nine on the 15th hole during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament. After missing the cut at THE PLAYERS Championship last week, this is the first time Spieth has missed back-to-back cuts since THE NORTHERN TRUST and Dell Technologies Championship in 2015. Prior to this second-round 75, all of Speith’s second round scores at this event had been under par, for an average of 66.83. Spieth made his PGA TOUR debut at the 2010 AT&T Byron Nelson at the age of 16 and finished T16.
2014 Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit winner and Player of the Year Joel Dahmen, who is making his first start at the AT&T Byron Nelson, followed an opening-round 68 with a second-round 70 to sit T14 heading into the third round. The 29-year-old survived being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2010 to return to professional golf in 2011. After finishing 25th on the 2016 Web.com Tour money list, Dahmen was awarded the final PGA TOUR card at the conclusion of the Web.com Tour’s Regular season, joining Mackenzie Hughes and JJ Spaun as Order of Merit winners to earn PGA TOUR cards for 2016-17.
Alex Moon, a 27-year-old from Dallas, led the Monday qualifiers at Lantana Golf Club with a 7-under 65, which included eight birdies and one bogey. Moon was Jordan Spieth’s roommate at the University of Texas and a member of the winning team at the 2012 NCAA Championship. After an opening-round 74 where he failed to make a single birdie, Moon fired a 66 on Friday, highlighted by six birdies and two bogeys. Moon made his PGA TOUR debut at last year’s AT&T Byron Nelson, shooting 77-69 to miss the cut. He made 23 starts on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica in 2014 and 2015, posting a runner-up finish at the 2015 Colombia Open.
After missing seven cuts in his last eight starts (he has missed 12 cuts in 19 starts this season overall), Peter Malnati shot 67-68 to make the cut. The 2016 Sanderson Farms Championship winner sits T9 heading into the third round. Malnati missed the cut in his two previous starts at the AT&T Byron Nelson (2014, 2016).
Matt Kuchar, who opened with 4-under 66, shot a second-round 71 to sit T17 heading into the third round and continue his streak of consecutive cuts made at this event. This is Kuchar’s 10th start at the AT&T Byron Nelson, and he has yet to miss a cut (T39-2007, T42-2008, T39-2009, T6-2011, T15-2012, T33-2013, T7-2014, T39-2015, 3-2016).
There have been 11 players that have claimed their first TOUR win at the AT&T Byron Nelson, including four of the last seven champions: Johnny Pott (1960), Charles Coody (1964), Mark Hayes (1976), Neal Lancaster (1994), Robert Damron (2001), Ted Purdy (2005), Brett Wetterich (2006), Jason Day (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Sangmoon Bae (2013), Brendon Todd (2014).
Eight past AT&T Byron Nelson winners are in the field this week. Here’s a look at where they stand through 36 holes.
Dating to 2000, there have been 10 international winners, with Sergio Garcia performing the feat twice (2000-Jesper Parnevik, 2002-Shigeki Maruyama, 2003-Vijay Singh, 2004-Sergio Garcia, 2008-Adam Scott, 2009-Rory Sabbatini, 2010-Jason Day, 2013-Sangmoon Bae, 2015-Steven Bowditch, 2016-Garcia).
At the suggestion of 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson winner Steven Bowditch, players, officials and caddies wore Rubik’s Cube stickers to show support for fellow PGA TOUR professional John Senden and his family. Last month, Senden announced he was taking indefinite leave from the TOUR after his son Jacob was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The Rubik’s cube is one of his son’s favorite toys.
Scoring Averages at the par-70 TPC Four Seasons Resort:
The par-4 8th hole played the toughest on day two with a 4.282 average. The par-5 7th hole played the easiest at 4.455.