Golf: Louis Oosthuizen

Players to watch: Byron Nelson Championship

May, 15, 2013
5/15/13
9:00
AM CT


IRVING, Texas – It's time for the start of the North Texas swing on the PGA Tour, and that begins with a stop in the backyard of the late Byron Nelson.

PODCAST
Lance Paczkowski, the marshal and escort for Tiger Woods last weekend, joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what happened with Woods and Sergio Garcia.

Listen Listen
The HP Byron Nelson Championship, as it has for the past few years, is trying to make the most of being the tournament directly after The Players Championship. There won't be any rematch of feuding golfers Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, for instance. Neither is in the field. Phil Mickelson isn't here, either.

But there are some top Americans and international players competing at the TPC Four Seasons Resort & Club this week. Let's take a look at some of the golfers to watch in the event, which starts Thursday:

Jason Dufner: All this talk about "Dufnering" doesn't happen without the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Dufner, the defending champion, arrived in Dallas in March and appeared slumped over and out of it as kids were busy reading a story in a classroom at J. Erik Jonsson, a school supported by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, which also runs the Nelson. The photo went viral even before Dufner flew out of town and the golfer was a great sport about it. It helped publicize the tournament in a way no one expected.

But joking aside, Dufner can play. He won last year's event thanks to a clutch par putt on the final hole to beat surprise contender Dicky Pride, continuing his best career year. He was the runner-up to Zach Johnson the next week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He ended up on the Ryder Cup team and made more than $4.8 million last season.

Dufner's not as hot this season as he was coming into the event last year (after winning in New Orleans). He is still looking for his first top-10 of the season, though he’s made nine of 11 cuts. A final-round 80 dropped him out of a chance at a top-10 at The Players Championship last weekend.

Jason Day: He has to be one of the favorites here because of how well he plays in this event. He won it in 2010, his first time playing in the tournament, and has top-10s in his other two appearances. Day had a 68 in the final round of The Players, earning him a top-20 finish.

Day has played just twice since his third-place finish at the Masters and has made the cut in all 10 of his events in 2013. The Australian nearly withdrew before winning the Nelson in 2010. He felt ill because of medicine for a sinus infection, but stayed in the tournament and won by two strokes over Blake Adams, Brian Gay and Jeff Overton. It was a strange final hole that year as Day hit his approach shot into the water on 18, giving Adams, his playing partner, an opening. But Adams didn't know where Day hit his shot and he ended up in the water too. Day bogeyed the hole to get the win.

Matt Kuchar: He blew into the Nelson fresh off a win at The Players Championship last year. It's not the same in 2013, but Kuchar is as close to an automatic top finisher as you can get on the PGA Tour this year. He has made the cut in all 14 events he’s played and he’s got four top-10s. He likes the Nelson, making the cut in all five of his attempts. His best finish was a tie for sixth two years ago.

Keegan Bradley: It was the Nelson that marked the emergence of Bradley on the PGA Tour. He won rookie of the year honors that season -- 2011 -- and was the rookie of the year. That included a major victory at the PGA Championship that season. But it was the Nelson where he posted his first victory. And he did it coming from behind. He entered the final round four strokes back of Ryan Palmer and shot a 68 to tie Palmer and force a playoff. He won on the first playoff hole (the 18th). He won with a total of 3-under for the event, the highest in relation to par at the Nelson since 1981. It was windy and the players had a tough time, but Bradley survived. He has missed his last two cuts, but he has finished fifth or better in five tournaments this season.

Jordan Spieth: It was at age 16 that Spieth was the biggest story at the Nelson, getting himself into contention on Sunday before finishing tied for 16th as an amateur. He played well under pressure in his first PGA Tour event. Three years later, Spieth is 19 and a pro on the PGA Tour. He made the decision this year to take sponsor’s exemptions rather than go full time on the Web.com Tour. But for that to be smart, Spieth had to play well early in the season. He has, earning more exemptions and a chance to finish in the top-125 of the money list to earn his card for next season. The Dallas native has three top-10s this season already and is certainly comfortable in Irving.

Marc Leishman: I know he's probably not a familiar name to many, but in flipping through the top finishers at the Nelson the past four years, his name pops up. Leishman tied for third last year and was in the top-12 in three of his four Nelson appearances. He showed he could hang in under pressure at the Masters, tying for fourth. He posted two more top-10s since and can handle the wind. He’s one to watch.

Don't forget about: Ryan Palmer (two straight top-10s at this event); J.J. Henry (TCU alum has made 10 cuts in 11 appearances); Louis Oosthuizen (has major pedigree and playing well); Ben Crane (he's hot right now and had a top-10 at The Players).

Field set for HP Byron Nelson Championship

May, 13, 2013
5/13/13
1:46
PM CT
The field for this week's HP Byron Nelson has been finalized and will feature recent former champions Jason Dufner, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley and Vijay Singh along with 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang of China and former Jesuit and Texas Longhorns standout Jordan Spieth.

PODCAST
Lance Paczkowski, the marshal and escort for Tiger Woods last weekend, joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what happened with Woods and Sergio Garcia.

Listen Listen
“We are thrilled with the quality, diversity and depth of our field,” 2013 tournament chairman Mike McKinley said in a release. “We have a great mix of young rising stars, PGA Tour veterans and a strong international contingent that I’m certain will have great appeal for our fans.”

Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson are also in a field that includes major champions Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Y.E. Yang, Dallas' Justin Leonard, Mike Weir, Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman, Bradley and Singh.

The 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship will be played May 13-19 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving. Children 13 and under receive free admission, and free public parking and shuttle service is available at the intersection of SH 114 and Loop 12 in Irving (2000 E. John Carpenter Freeway, Irving). Fans may also travel by DART to the Northlake College Station, where free shuttles will be available to the main entrance.

Star power added to fields for Nelson, Colonial

April, 24, 2013
4/24/13
5:05
PM CT
Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Jason Dufner -- all ranked in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings -- will be in the field for both the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

Kuchar, ranked No. 10, won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship earlier this season.

Oosthuizen, ranked No. 7 in the world, finished tied for 10th in the Shell Houston Open -- his best finish this season -- and lost in a playoff at the 2012 Masters.

Schwartzel (No. 15), the 2011 Masters champion, will be making his Metroplex debut for both events.

Keegan Bradley (No. 13), the 2011 Nelson champion, and Martin Kaymer (No. 33), the 2010 PGA Championship winner, also will be teeing it up at TPC Las Colinas. The Nelson field currently includes 12 of the top 50 players in the official world golf rankings. The field will not be final until Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m. The 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship will be played May 13-19 at TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving.

The Colonial field also will be highlighted by Rickie Fowler (No. 29) and defending champion Zach Johnson (No. 30). The field currently includes nine of the top 30 in the world. The field will not be final until Friday, May 17. The 2013 Crowne Plaza at Colonial will be played May 23-26 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.

Louis Oosthuizen, Vijay Singh ascending

May, 26, 2012
5/26/12
12:39
PM CT
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champ, opened Saturday's third round at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial swinging a hot stick that that didn't cool down until he hit No. 5, the final hole of the Horseshoe.

Starting the day at 2-under and nine shots back of leader Jason Dufner, Oosthuizen birdied his first four holes to climb to 6-under. But a bogey at the par-4 No. 5 sent him back down into a logjam of players at 5-under. John Huh, two shots into his round, is at 6-under, tied with Tom Gillis, who is set to tee off at 12:30 p.m.

One of those in the group at 5-under is Vijay Singh, who birdied his first two holes and three of his first seven. Greg Owen and Ryan Moore have also made early birdies to get to 5-under with plenty of golf to go.

Louis Oosthuizen commits to Nelson

April, 30, 2012
4/30/12
4:01
PM CT
Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, has committed to the HP Byron Nelson Championship. He has four top-25 finishes in 2012, including a second-place finish at the Masters, losing in a playoff to Bubba Watson.

This is the first time Oosthuizen has played in the Nelson. He's No. 11 overall the Official World Golf Rankings. The Nelson field currently boasts 11 of the top 40 players in the world rankings.

The 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship is May 17 to 20 at TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas.

SPONSORED HEADLINES