Golf: HP Byron Nelson Championship

Highland Park golfer gets Nelson exemption

July, 31, 2013
Does the HP Byron Nelson Championship have another Jordan Spieth on its hands?

U.S. Junior Amateur champion Scottie Scheffler, a 17-year-old senior at Highland Park High School, has accepted a sponsor's exemption into the 2014 Nelson.

Like Spieth, a winner on the PGA Tour a few weeks ago and a two-time U.S. Junior Amateur champion who first played in the Nelson at age 16, Scheffler will get the chance to play in the event as a teenager. He also won the Class 4A state title for a second straight year in May and led Highland Park to a team title.

“Mr. Nelson always encouraged us to keep an eye out for young talent and reward them with opportunities like this,” Patton Chapman, chairman of the 2014 Nelson, said in a release. “Scheffler definitely fits this mold, and we’re looking forward to watching him compete at the highest level.”

Scheffler is No. 1 in the Polo Golf Rankings and has verbally committed to play at the University of Texas after he graduates (something else he has in common with Spieth).

The 2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship will be played May 12-18 at TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

Nelson notes: Short miss on 16 ends Bradley's comeback hopes

May, 19, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- When Keegan Bradley sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the hole proving the most difficult this week, the 504-yard par 4 No. 15, he said he felt like he was going to win the HP Byron Nelson Championship for the second time in three years.

Trailing by four strokes earlier in the day, the birdie allowed Bradley to catch leader Sang-Moon Bae with three holes to play.

[+] EnlargeKeegan Bradley
Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesKeegan Bradley's birdie on No. 15 allowed him to catch leader Sang-Moon Bae with three holes to play, but a short miss on 16 derailed his efforts to win the Byron Nelson Championship for the second time in three years.
But on 16, faced with a 4-foot birdie putt to remain tied for the lead, Bradley missed.

“I figured if I could hang and hang, somehow I would find a way, but that putt was the end of it," said Bradley, who led after all three of the previous rounds.

“I wouldn’t have hit the putt any different. It’s surprising to miss like that. I want to win, so coming in second is great, which I’ll love tomorrow -- but right now it’s a little disappointing."

Bradley missed this chance to join the elite few who have won the tournament multiple times.

“It would have been special," Bradley said. “I’m hoping to come here for another 20 years, so hopefully I can get another one or two."

Celebration: Nelson winner Bae said two days before the tournament he was considering a move from Los Angeles to Dallas.

And after winning? "Definitely! I love this place. I would move to Dallas tomorrow," Bae said.

Bae is the fifth player of Korean descent to win on the PGA Tour.

"It's something I've always dreamed of," said Bae, who has 11 wins abroad. "I was in awe actually, so I almost didn't know how to react."

Hoffman and Hoffmann: The names sound like a law firm, but 36-year-old Charley Hoffman of Las Vegas and 23-year-old Oklahoma State product Morgan Hoffmann shared more than a last name on Sunday. Both were able to vault into the top 10 on a difficult scoring day.

Morgan Hoffmann, who made the cut on the number Friday, finished in a tie for fifth at 8-under after his second straight 66. He credited a putter switch after the first two rounds: "To my old trusty that I’ve used for four years, a Newport Scotty Cameron."

Charley Hoffman shot a 67 on Sunday and landed in a tie for eighth at 7-under. It marked a continuation of his strong play in Texas this year, having tied for 20th at the Shell Houston Open and tied for third at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

Not this year: Jason Dufner capped his week as defending champion with his first over-par round, a 72, to finish at 1-under, in a tie for 33rd place.

“It’s not much fun playing golf right now the way I’m playing," Dufner said. “It’s pretty much everything. I can’t score.

“You’ve got to make birdies and save pars when you can, and I can’t do it, so it is a very frustrating time for me right now golf-wise."

The last player to win the Nelson in consecutive years remains Tom Watson, who won three straight from 1978-1980.

Big finish: Round of the day on Sunday belonged to 37-year-old Justin Bolli, who had a bogey-free 5-under 65. Bolli began the day tied for 19th and moved up to solo fourth at 9-under.

“Some weeks you come in on Tuesday and you are feeling great and your game kind of deteriorates. This week I wasn’t feeling that great on Tuesday, and every day my game has felt better and better. I’d never had any history of success here. I just played really well."

Bolli executed a difficult 35-yard bunker shot on his final hole to save par. “To be honest, long bunker shots are not my forte. So I wasn’t exactly licking my chops there, but it came off perfect and almost went in. It was as good of a shot as I could hit."

Limping home: For the first three days of the Nelson, John Daly played consistently, averaging 13 pars per round. But on Sunday, the enigmatic 47-year-old made only five pars and faded badly with bogeys on his final six holes for a closing 77. Daly plummeted to a tie for 66th at 4-over.

Notes: Jordan Spieth, the 19-year-old playing in his hometown tournament for the first time as a professional, shot 75 on Sunday to finish 5-over, in a tie for 68th place. … Ryo Ishikawa carded five 3’s on his final nine holes to shoot a 4-under 31 en route to a closing 3-under 67. The 21-year-old from Japan holed his 128-yard approach on the par-5 No. 16 for an eagle. … Attendance for Sunday’s final round was announced at 76,500, about 1,500 more than on Saturday. For the week, the event drew 265,000.

Nelson dates to stay the same in 2013

May, 20, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- The HP Byron Nelson Championship will be on the schedule for the same week in 2013 as it was this year, according to Nelson tourament director Jon Drago. That means the tournament is slated for May 13-19, 2013.

“The week after the Players works well for us,” Drago said. “We just finished up a great tournament this week, and the date worked well for our title sponsor, the players, and the community.”

The Nelson should still follow The Players Championship. The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is expected to be the week after the Nelson for the second consecutive season.

The Salesmanship Club, which hosts the Nelson, will also host the Nationwide Tour Championship Oct. 25 to 28 at TPC Craig Ranch.

Jason Dufner's caddie wins a Caddy

May, 20, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- Jason Dufner's caddie, Kevin Baile, had no idea that Dufner's win also meant he was driving off in a new Cadillac.

The caddie of the winner at the HP Byron Nelson Championship wins a Cadillac, starting in 2010 with Tony Navarro, who was on Adam Scott's bag at the time. Steve "Pepsi" Hale won the car last year when Keegan Bradley took home the trophy.

Baile is driving a 2003 Chevy Tahoe and was in need of an upgrade.

"I don't think he knew, but he definitely needed a new car," Dufner said. "That Tahoe he has at home is pretty beat up. Hopefully, he will be driving that car around Auburn and can get rid of that Tahoe."

Baile was pumped up when he found out.

"I've been looking for a new ride in the last couple of weeks," Baile said. "I know a couple of car salesmen friends that aren't going to be happy."

Par-3s frame day for J.J. Henry

May, 20, 2012

IRVING, Texas -- Two par-3s at TPC Four Seasons framed the day for Fort Worth’s J.J. Henry.

In spectacular fashion, Henry grabbed the HP Byron Nelson final-round lead by making a hole-in-one on No. 5.

Henry’s lead was still one when he reached No. 17. But after a disastrous double bogey, Henry had to settle for a four-way share of third place at 9-under.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing,’’ Henry said. “It’s tough to be that close and to have it within your grasp with two holes left to play.’’

The root of Henry’s problem on the 198-yard No. 17 was a tee shot that carried beyond the green.

“I played great all day, and to be honest, I thought I hit a great shot on 17. I hit the line exactly where I tried to, and it carried about six or seven yards too far. I thought I hit a good shot, but the golf gods thought otherwise.

“I was a little pumped up, making two birdies in a row on 15 and 16, and I was trying to hit it exactly where I did, just left of the hole and putt up the hill. Probably a little adrenaline flowing.’’

After an indifferent chip, Henry three-putted for a five, missing a four-foot bogey putt.

Henry’s hole-in-one at No. 5 came with a pitching wedge from 154 yards.

“I guess I’m buying drinks today, anyway,’’ he said. “We will take the positives and hopefully carry it over next week at Colonial.’’

Marc Leishman, Jonas Blixt fade at No. 17

May, 20, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- Comments from a couple of young gun HP Byron Nelson contenders that came up a little short in Sunday’s final round:

*Marc Leishman (9-under, tied for third): “This was a great week for me. Anytime you can have a crack at a win on Sunday, it‘s a lot of fun and hopefully I can do it again soon. I hit the ball well all day, but my three-putt on No. 17 was costly. I left it in a tough spot behind the hole.

“I had a couple of good chances on No. 11 and 12, which I just left short in the middle.’’

It was Leishman’s third top-12 finish at the Nelson.

*Jonas Blixt (9-under, tied for third): “It’s getting better and better, to get to know yourself and how to respond to the pressure that you have. It’s a feeling that you never really feel unless you are here. When I got the eagle [at No. 7] going I felt like maybe if I can get a couple of more birdies going I might have a chance.’’

Like Leishman, Blixt had a momentum-crushing bogey at No. 17. Blixt's tee shot on the par-3 flew the green, leaving him a difficult downhill chip of 82 feet that he failed to get within 20 feet of the cup.

Durant takes advantage of final berth

May, 20, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- Joe Durant, the last player to gain entry into the HP Byron Nelson Championship, said he owes fellow PGA Tour pro Joe Ogilvie a case of wine.

When illness forced Ogilvie to withdraw Thursday prior to the opening round, Durant’s place in the tournament was finally secure.

The 48-year-old parlayed his opportunity into a four-way tie for third, thanks to matching 65s on the weekend. He finished at 9-under, two shots behind the winner, Jason Dufner.

“It wasn't looking promising but Joe Ogilvie, bless his heart, pulled out for me,’’ Durant said. “I shook his hand on the driving range Thursday and told him I was sorry he was sick. He told me to go take advantage and play well.

“I was fortunate to have a chance. The only thing they had to change was the last name of the pairing sheet.''

It was a hectic three days for Durant, who traveled to Greenville, S.C., for a Nationwide event early in the week, but returned to Dallas when he learned he was next on the Nelson’s alternate list. En route, he left his car at the Atlanta airport.

The Florida resident bogeyed two of his first three holes Sunday, then heated up with three birdies and an eagle in a four-hole stretch.

“I started to feel some momentum come my way after that,’’ Durant said. “I don‘t find this course to be easy at all. If you can give yourself 20-footers for birdie, you’re ahead of the game and I was rolling it pretty well.’’

Durant in seven previous Nelsons never finished higher than a tie for 41st in 2010.

Jason Dufner wins with dramatic putt

May, 20, 2012

IRVING, Texas -- Jason Dufner had the look of a winner the entire 18th hole. He knew that Dicky Pride, trying to get his first win since his only PGA Tour victory in 1994, had made a terrific par after hitting in the water off the tee to finish at 10-under. So Dufner crushed a drive 314 yards right down the center of the fairway. He then hit his second shot 25 feet away from a tucked pin and calmly and confidently made the birdie putt to win the 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship.

"I assumed Dicky's putt was for birdie, but my caddie told me otherwise," Dufner said. "I knew we were tied after I hit the tee shot. That bunker is a good aiming point and I've been swinging well with the driver, so I was comfortable with that. I was surprised how far I got out there. I don't think I've hit sand wedge into that hole, 110 yards in."

[+] EnlargeJason Dufner
Jim Cowsert/US PresswireJason Dufner holed a long birdie putt on No. 18 to win his second PGA Tour title this season.
Dufner said he didn't want to get "crazy aggressive," but also wanted to leave himself a putt he thought he could make.

"I knew if I made birdie that I would win, par would be a playoff, but playoffs aren't much fun," said Dufner, who is 1-2 in playoffs in his career. "When I stepped up to the putt, I just had a good idea of what it was going to do and felt like I could make it."

The putt avoided an Auburn vs. Alabama playoff, too. Pride, an unabashed Tide man, didn't hesitate to reference the good-natured rivalry between the two in his post-round interview.

"He went to Auburn, but at least he married a woman that went to Alabama," said Pride, referring to Amanda. The two were married earlier this month. "She can show him around."

Pride, 42, also joked that at least Alabama won last year's BCS title, college football's ultimate prize. But he also mentioned that Dufner was the first guy to step up and tell Pride he'd bring a team of golfers to Tuscaloosa (home of Alabama's campus) last year to help with tornado relief fundraising efforts.

But on Sunday, it was Dufner's resolve and ability to finish down the stretch that made the difference as others faltered. J.J. Henry, wearing his TCU purple, led the tournament with two holes to play until a double bogey at No. 17 ended his chances. Marc Leishman and Jonas Blixt stood at 10-under until a bogey at that pesky penultimate hole did him in. Pride birdied the 17th, but appeared to hand the tournament to Dufner, too, when his tee shot trickled into the water on No. 18.

"I was proud of how I hit the ball where I had a putt and that I made it," Pride said. "Apparently, that was not a very difficult putt."

Pride laughed as he said it, noting that Dufner's birdie putt came from essentially the same area.

It's difficult to imagine 35-year-old Dufner executing the way he did down the stretch without the confidence of doing it when it mattered three weeks ago in New Orleans. Dufner had put himself in position before, but wasn't able to close the deal. He did that in New Orleans and managed to do it again Sunday, with birdies on Nos. 16 and 18 to earn the one-stroke victory.

"The biggest thing I learned about New Orleans is staying patient out there," Dufner said. "There were times in New Orleans where I felt like I was out of it, then there was no way I was going to lose, then I was out of it and you get these flip-flopping emotions. Today I didn't have that as much. I always felt I was in there, I just needed a little something to happen, to go my way."

Dufner has had a memorable spring. He was the leader at the halfway point of The Masters, but a pair of 75s on the weekend had him tied for 24th. Still, it was a confidence builder. He got the win in New Orleans in April and now has a victory at TPC Four Seasons Resort & Club in Las Colinas. In the midst of it all he got married.

"You probably couldn't dream it any better than what's been going on here," Dufner said. "The wedding has been in the works for close to a year, so we know that's been coming around the corner, and there's been a lot of good golf since then. But to win two events and get married in the span of 22 days, pretty remarkable. Amanda and I are lucky to be in the position we're in and to have each other and enjoy what's going on around us right now."

Dufner isn't one to show much excitement. He had a very subtle fist pump and a quick wave when the winning putt went in. That's just part of his style. Does he ever get extra expressive?

"Here and there a couple of times a year," Dufner said. "Usually there is some alcohol involved or Auburn football, but for the most part I'm laid back."

Dufner's plan after the win: Check into his hotel in Fort Worth, have some dinner and move on to the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Dufner becomes the second two-time winner in 2012, joining Hunter Mahan. He's now made the cut in 11 straight events. His only missed cut was the first tournament of the season, the Sony Open in January. Maybe a major win is next.

"He's a really good player," Pride said of Dufner. Pride clapped for Dufner when his winning putt went in. "I think we're all seeing that, we've known that, now he's just winning tournaments. But I have a lot of respect for Jason. I'm happy for Jason."

Country tune has Duke humming to a 66

May, 20, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- Ken Duke was humming the country tune “Neon Moon’’ while posting a final-round 4-under 66 and a top-10 finish at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

“My caddie and I went over to Billy Bob’s Saturday night to relax for awhile,’’ said Duke. “I listen to a lot of country music and Ronnie Dunn is one of my favorites. That song was in my head all day.’’

Duke had a great start on his first nine, recording five birdies in a six-hole stretch. He played the second nine in even par.

“I’ve got to find a way to improve coming down the stretch or earlier in the week,’’ Duke said. “But my caddies and I are working on it.’’

Traditional pin positions on Nos. 17 and 18

May, 20, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- As expected, the two finishing holes at the HP Byron Nelson Championship have their traditional locations.

On the par-3 17th, where a large crowd is assembling as groups start coming through there, the hole is front right, just over the water. And water should come into play on the difficult par-4 18th hole as well, with the pin sitting front left.

It should make for some exciting final holes later today.

Ryuji Imada quick with Tyler buddy on bag

May, 20, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- Ryuji Imada teed off on Sunday morning with no one in front of him and no one playing with him. The Japanese golfer, with a buddy from Tyler, Texas, on the bag with him, sped around TPC Four Seasons Resort & Club in 2 hours, 8 minutes. And he was disappointed in that time.

"It's not bad, but I've played in 1 hour, 47 minutes before at Hilton Head," Imada said. "I like to play fast, so it's good for me."

Imada posted a 1-over 71 at that brisk pace as his regular caddie watched from outside the ropes. Imada saw a buddy of his, Nick Meads, from Tyler, Texas, on the first tee and asked if he wanted to caddie for him. Meads is a 17-year-old who is heading to Baylor and hopes to walk-on the golf team.

"I've known him for a while and always watch him here," Meads said. "My dad played with him at a pro-am here a while ago and we got to know each other. It was fun to be out there."

Meads joked that Imada blamed him for any errant shot, saying he wasn't reading putts right or giving him the correct yardage. They jabbed each other all day as they quickly made their way around the course.

W2W4: 14 guys within 4 strokes of lead

May, 20, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- It should be a fun final round with so many players bunched up on the leaderboard, hoping to pass Jason Dufner for a victory. Here are some things to keep an eye on:

* Wind. It's not supposed to blow quite as hard, but we should get some 10 to 15 mph winds and gusts that could hit 20 mph or so. That's enough to impact shots and make certain holes difficult.

Those holes would include No. 11, where if the wind blows across like it did Saturday, it could give players a chance to go for the green knowing they'll get help from the wind in keeping the ball out of the water. The downside: It can blow balls across the road and cause big numbers. Just ask Keegan Bradley, who likely had his tournament hopes dashed Saturday with a triple bogey on the hole.

* Early bird gets the worm. If you want to see someone play fast, check out Ryuji Imada. He's first off at 7:10 a.m. and is playing by himself (or with a marker if he chooses). Imada shot 79 on Saturday after shooting 67-68 the first two rounds.

* Players to watch early in the round: Jhonny Vegas (7:26 a.m.), Nick O'Hern (8:06 a.m.), Ricky Barnes (8:22 a.m.), Brian Davis (8:39 a.m.) and Todd Hamilton (former British Open winner from Westlake, Texas, tees off at 8:48 a.m.).

* Players will go off No. 1 tee all day in twosomes. Phil Mickelson, still the biggest draw of this event, tees off at 10:45 a.m. and is playing with Shane Bertsch.

* Six of the final 10 pairings include someone from Texas. That includes Fort Worth's J.J. Henry, who plays with Dufner in the final group starting at 12:15 p.m. Expect to see plenty of purple as TCU fans will be cheering on Henry. His caddie, Pete Jordan, also played golf at TCU.

* Vijay Singh is one of the bigger names on the leaderboard and is back in contention. He'll be in the third-to-last group with Jonas Blixt. They tee off at 11:57 a.m. If Singh continues to putt well, he'll have a chance as he sits two back of the leader.

* Three players to watch that are four strokes back: Ryan Palmer, Matt Kuchar and Bradley. They'll tee off right after one another (starting with Palmer at 11:12 a.m.)

* 2010 champion Jason Day is one back of the leader and fell behind because of a bogey at No. 18.

* Dufner will be tough to beat. He's used to being in the lead and taking care of business, as his win three weeks ago at New Orleans showed. He had a top-10 finish here last year.

Neighbors lose ground in final pairing

May, 19, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- The day didn’t go as planned for Colleyville residents Chad Campbell and Ryan Palmer in the final pairing of the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Saturday.

Palmer shot a 2-over 72 and Campbell was one back at 73.

“It’s always nice to play with guys you know,'' Palmer said. "I hit the ball pretty well. Unfortunately, I had the worst putting day I’ve had in a while. I wasn’t able to get the speed right.’’

The backyards of Palmer and Campbell in their North Texas suburb are only 500 yards apart. Palmer calls Campbell his best friend on Tour. They were joined in the final grouping by Jason Dufner.

“When one person starts making birdies, it usually gets the others going, too. But nobody in our group ever got it going today,’’ Palmer said.

Said Campbell: “I always enjoy playing with Ryan, unfortunately neither one of us had a very good day.

“It was tough out there. I got off to a bad start, fought back, and struggled coming in, bogeying the last two.’’

Palmer (4-under) is paired with Jason Bohn in Sunday's final round with an 11:12 a.m. start. Campbell (3-under) and Padraig Harrington are scheduled for a 10:54 start.

Jason Dufner hopes wind blows Sunday

May, 19, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- Jason Dufner hopes Mother Nature will continue to blow some wind around TPC Four Seasons Resort & Club at Las Colinas. While many players teetered and blew over in the wind, Dufner was a rock. He shot a 1-under 69 on Saturday, good enough to keep his one-shot lead after three rounds of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Dufner sits at 8-under for the tournament and will play in the final group at 12:15 p.m. with J.J. Henry.

"I feel really comfortable out there," Dufner said. "I think if it's windy again tomorrow, that shrinks the people that could possibly contend. It's just going to be more difficult. There is a premium on ball striking this week."

And Dufner is striking it well. He held the lead after Friday's round and is still the leader following the third round. The wind that Dufner hopes will blow is expected to return to the course Sunday, though it isn't supposed to blow quite as hard. The wind blew 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 on Saturday. It's supposed to be 10 to 15 mph winds Sunday.

Whatever the conditions, Dufner is used to being around the lead and has the confidence to finish the deal, thanks to winning three weeks ago in New Orleans.

"I've been out here, won an event now recently, so that says that my game is in good form and mentally I was able to grind through it there in New Orleans," Dufner said. "It was a tough thing for me to get over that hurdle."

Dufner said he's learned a few things from being in or around the lead so often recently. The biggest lesson: patience.

"Yesterday, I bogeyed two of the first three holes and possibly in the past I may have imploded and missed the cut or had a terrible day, but I kept telling myself there is a lot of golf to be played and to stick it out," Dufner said. "All of a sudden I chip in a couple, make a couple of long putts and I'm leading. It's just the value of patience out here and knowing that not every shot is life or death."

Mark Brooks helps J.J. Henry contend

May, 19, 2012

IRVING, Texas -- There was a different caddie on J.J. Henry's bag during The Players Championship last weekend. And he had major championship pedigree.

Mark Brooks decided it was time to help a fellow Fort Worth golfer J.J. Henry find a way to loft himself into contention more often. So he grabbed Henry's bag and gave him an on-course lesson. It was tough love. Brooks shot straight with Henry and kicked him in the pants. Clearly, it worked. The former TCU Horned Frog sits one stroke back after three rounds of the HP Byron Nelson Championship and will play in the final group Sunday with leader Jason Dufner.

[+] EnlargeJ.J. Henry
AP Photo/LM OteroJ.J. Henry is one stroke back of leader Jason Dufner heading into the final round of the Byron Nelson.
"It was a wake-up call for me last week, to be honest with you," said Henry, who finished tied for 40th at The Players, but shot a final-round 69 to give him some good vibes heading into his local events. "I was kind of status quo. My bar was probably set a little too low and I maybe didn't believe I was as good as I could be or didn't challenge myself to be better."

Brooks, who won the 1996 PGA Championship and lost in a playoff in the 2001 U.S. Open, worked with Henry on some shots around the green. But more than mechanical help, Brooks went under the hood to examine the mental engine driving Henry's game. He told 37-year-old Henry that it was time to start playing better and strive for bigger goals.

"We've worked together quite a bit," said Henry, who said Brooks was going to caddie for him at Colonial two years ago but played in the tournament instead. "He's been a mentor, a guy I look up to becuase the way he plays the game is a little different from me. I go ahead and hit it and he's more around the greens and gutting it out. When par is a good score, he's tough to beat.

"He was helping me with the mental side," Henry said. "It was the mentality of 'Hey, you gotta fight.' I think sometimes I've been lacking that."

Henry has one PGA Tour victory -- the 2006 Buick Championship. He's always been good enough to finish in the top-100 of the money list to keep his card and get in contention every once in a while, but never climb up the leaderboard with any consistency.

Brooks told Henry it's time that changed.

"He feels I've underachieved out here and I do as well," Henry said. "I've set the bar too low. He wants me to take tighter lines, take dead aim and work on some shots around the green. He's helped me a lot. I've been out here long enough to realize you're going to have your good weeks. I got off to a slow start this year, but I put in some good time and I'll continue to do it. And whether I play well or not tomorrow, I'm starting to see some results."

This season, Henry missed his first five cuts and six of his first seven. But he's started to find a rhythm the last few months. He's now made the cut at his last six straight events. A big assist goes to fellow Horned Frog Pete Jordan, who played for TCU in the mid 1980s. Jordan was on Tour for a while, but has decided to caddie now and gives Henry a second set of Frog eyes to help him navigate around the courses.

"He knows what he's doing out here and having somebody like that to know what it feels like to be in the hunt, hit a shot with these lies or read a green is huge," Henry said.

Henry has a large cheering section at Las Colinas this week. Most of them are wearing purple -- just as Henry was Saturday, sporting the purple slacks -- and hoping Henry can earn his second PGA Tour win right in his backyard. While Henry lives close to Colonial Country Club and knows the course better than most, he's got a better career mark at the Nelson. And Henry was one of the golfers that D.A. Weibring used as consultants when he did the redesign of the TPC Four Seasons Resort & Club.

"I feel like I know this golf course pretty well," Henry said.

Henry hopes that his knowledge of the course, Brooks' voice in his head and his Horned Frog fans are enough to give him his first PGA Tour win in six years.