Bill Nichols

Saturday, May 21, 2011

HP Byron Nelson Championship lands only one top-10 player

The HP Byron Nelson Championship landed some unexpected big names, but next week’s event failed to pull in any marquee players at the 11th hour.

When Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline rolled around, the biggest surprises were the ones that got away. Most notable: Colleyville’s Hunter Mahan, No. 18 in the World Ranking.

Only 10 of the top 50 players will be at the TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas. Tenth-ranked Matt Kuchar is the lone top-10.

The next highest-ranked players are No. 13 Dustin Johnson, No. 14 Nick Watney , No. 15 K.J. Choi of Southlake and No. 20 Jason Day of Fort Worth, the defending champion.
Choi, Watney, Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Brandt Snedeker were mild surprises for the Nelson. The tournament had hoped to see a return of former champions Phil Mickelson (1996) and Adam Scott (2008).

Mickelson hasn’t played since 2007, when he tied for third. Scott, who is in this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, will be skipping the Nelson for the second straight year. Mahan had played every year since 2004. 

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