The overnight leader at TPC Craig Ranch has been caught, as Sebastian Munoz was only able to do so much after his record-setting opening round at the 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson. Backing up his 12-under 60 with a respectable 3-under 69, the Colombian has been joined by Ryan Palmer and David Skinns at the top of the leaderboard at 15 under.
Palmer put together the round of the day and continued his dominance on the par 5s en route to a 10-under 62. Playing those eight holes in 9 under up to this point, the 45-year-old has once again put his best foot forward in his home state of Texas. Last in contention at the Texas Open in early April, Palmer ultimately fell off the pace over the weekend at TPC San Antonio.
“It’s so hard to win out here. I mean these guys are so good. I spent 19 years doing this … and these young guys are — you got to play such great golf to beat ’em,” said Palmer. “I played great at San Antonio, leading after two days and we’re back here again as of right now, I’m sure I’ll be one or two back going into tomorrow, but we’re in position again and we’ll learn from what we learned in San Antonio and try and do it here.”
T1. Ryan Palmer, David Skinns, Sebastian Munoz (-15): Lost in the shuffle of two Texas boys is the ultimate journeyman, David Skinns. The 40-year-old’s story has been well-documented, but it is worth revisiting just how amazing his rise to the PGA Tour was.
To say the Englishman’s rookie campaign has not been kind to him would be an understatement. In 15 starts on the PGA Tour this season, Skinns has collected only six paychecks with his best finish coming last November at the RSM Classic. Currently 208th in the FedEx Cup standings, a big weekend would go a long way toward Skinns maintaining his status on the PGA Tour.
4. Justin Lower (-14)
5. Charl Schwartzel (-13)
T6. Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann, K.H. Lee (-12)
T9. Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Kokrak, Seamus Power, Beau Hossler, Mito Pereira (-11)
There are some fantastic stories at the top of the leaderboard, but it is realistic to suggest the lead actually being 12 under. Spieth, Niemann, and the defending champion all sit at this number and should each have a say in this tournament come Sunday on the back nine.
Niemann is of particular interest — not because of his short game, but rather his lack of success with his irons thus far. To get around TPC Craig Ranch effectively without the help of his scoring clubs makes Niemann’s performance up to this point all the more impressive. If those clubs come around for him, the 23-year-old should like his chances to grab his second trophy of the season.
Spieth is gonna Spieth
Before you had time to finish your first cup of coffee, Jordan Spieth had already gotten into a pickle. With his ball resting against a tree off the 10th fairway (his first hole of the day), the Dallas native gave the Texas crowd something to cheer about. He wouldn’t stop there, as Spieth tacked on eight birdies against just one bogey en route to a second round of 7-under 65.
At 12 under, Spieth trails the leaders by only three strokes heading into the weekend. A winner already at the Texas Open and Charles Schwab, the AT&T Byron Nelson trophy must surely have a place reserved on the 28-year-old’s Texas-sized mantle.
“I tried to press for so many years and it never has worked out. Last year, I think Sunday I really tried to press, I knew I needed a low one, I think I only shot 1 under or something,” said Spieth. “In a good position, but who’s to say that 20 under’s not leading at the end of this day, so I could be way back. Put the ball in the fairway, you can really get to any pin anywhere … there’s a couple holes you got to watch out a little bit for and be careful, but the rest of it it’s kind of point, aim, shoot. So it comes down to making putts.”
Scheffler shows resolve
Golf is a game of misses. It isn’t always about how good your good is, but rather oftentimes how bad your bad is. After a triple bogey on the par-4 13th, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler saw his name drift outside the projected cut line as he stood at 2 under for the tournament.
What transpired over the next 14 holes is exactly why Scheffler is the top player in the game at the moment. Playing this next stretch in 7 under, not only did the former Texas Longhorn play himself into the weekend, but better yet, he played himself into contention.
Winning four times in his previous six individual tournaments, Scheffler heads into the back half of the AT&T Byron Nelson with a chance to make his 2022 even more memorable. He will have his work cut out for him, but it is about time we stop doubting what this 25-year-old is capable of.
You should probably bet on Hideki to win the PGA Championship
I was lucky enough to sit in on the CBS Media call ahead of next week’s PGA Championship, and a certain parallel to another major championship was brought up numerous times. Since Gil Hanse restored Southern Hills in 2019, the urge to compare the property to Augusta National has be apparent.
The Fried Egg mentioned this in their video series (which you should 100% check out) but Dottie Pepper confirmed their thoughts on Wednesday. If this proves to be the case, who is better suited for such test than a former Masters champion?
A multiple-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, Matsuyama’s neck injury wreaked havoc to his Florida swing and green jacket defense. Still, he was able to finish in a tie for 14th at Augusta National and currently leads the field in strokes gained approach at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Finally healthy, if he can somehow pick up his third victory of the season this week in Texas, you have to imagine his 35-1 price tag will only get more expensive in Oklahoma.
Updated odds and picks
Here’s a look at the odds after 36 holes, courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
- Sebastian Munoz: 4-1
- Ryan Palmer: 6-1
- Jordan Spieth: 7-1
- Joaquin Niemann: 10-1
- Hideki Matsuyama: 12-1
- Justin Thomas: 14-1
- David Skinns: 14-1
- Justin Lower: 20-1
- Mito Pereira: 22-1
- Charl Schwartzel: 22-1
- Scottie Scheffler: 25-1
- K.H. Lee: 25-1
- Jason Kokrak: 25-1
- Seamus Power: 25-1
The big boys typically have a chunk taken out of their prices because of namesake, and this is the case heading into the weekend. We are already involved with Thomas at a similar pre-tournament number but the best value on the current odds board is without a doubt Lee. The defending champion impressed alongside Spieth and Scheffler the first two days and should have no problem making up a three-stroke deficit over the final 36 holes.