Jason Dufner returns to The Four Seasons Resort to defend his 2012 title in The HP Byron Nelson Championship this week. He is hoping to find the magic from last year when he won both, The Zurich Classic of New Orleans, and the The Byron Nelson Championship on his way to his best season by far, on the PGA Tour.The Byron Nelson gets underway on Thursday morning with 156 players teeing it up to get a piece of the $6.9 Million Dollar prize money. Among them are 71 winners on the PGA Tour for a total of 235 total wins of which 12 have major championships on their resumes. The winner will pick up a check for $1.117 Million Dollars, and 500 FedEx Cup Points for their time.
The TPC Four Seasons Resort was designed in 1983 by Jay Morrish, is 7166 yards in length, and plays to a par of 70. It underwent a major overhaul in 2007 by D.A. Weibring, and Steve Wolfard. The pair added large undulating greens that will encourage players to use the slopes in working their approach shots closer to the pin.
Rory Sabbatini set the 72 hole record in 2009 of 261, and the 18 hole record is 60, Arron Oberholser (2nd round, 2006 at Cottonwood Valley GC). TPC Four Seasons record: 61, Billy Mayfair (2nd round, 1993), Charlie Rymer (3rd round, 1996), Justin Leonard (3rd round, 2001), Cameron Beckman (2nd round, 2010).
You might remember last year when Jason Dufner got his two tour wins, and got married all in a four week span. After finishing fourth in the FedExCup standings last year, Dufner has yet to find the same form in 2013. His best finish was 12th at Trump Doral, and his year is best known for the weary-looking “Dufnering” photo from an elementary classroom visit that went viral on the Internet. … Jordan Spieth, who made headlines when he tied for 16th as a Dallas Jesuit Prep junior three years ago, will play the event for the first time as a professional. He has special temporary status after two top-10 finishes in March … Dallas native Hank Kuehne, attempting a comeback after back woes forced him off the TOUR for five years, makes his fifth start of the year.
Byron Nelson was the first professional golfer to ever lend his name to a PGA Tour event, and charity. Thus the Byron Nelson Championship stands as the oldest of its kind, and leads all of golf for the amount of money generated for charity. Nelson retired from golf at the age of 34 to become a rancher in Roanoke, Texas. When he made enough money to buy his ranch, he retired, and lived on that ranch until he died in 2006. He was also the first player to turn to the broadcast booth after his playing career as an announcer.
He was part of the Triumvirate that included San Snead, and Ben Hogan that brought golf into the second half of the 20th century. If you haven’t read his story, it is well worth some time to check out. In fact, I am going to include a link to a short video that will give you some information on one of the greatest ambassadors the game has ever seen.
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