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Defending A Real Honor – HP Byron Nelson Championship

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When you make your return to defend any PGA Tour title it is special in some way. That is even more so when it is an event that honors the legacy of one of the game’s greatest champions. 

That situation falls on the shoulders of Rory Sabbatini this week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Nelson may have passed away in 2006 but his legacy lives on with this tournament and the players know it.

A gentle man with deep faith, few will argue that there was not a more respected PGA Tour player and the field at the golf tournament that bears his name usually swells in talent in reverence.

Sabbatini addressed the influence of Byron Nelson immediately after his win last year. “…his name and his legend lives on with this tournament and with the Salesmanship Club and just in north Texas here. You know, what a wonderful name to be associated with now. Obviously absolutely amazing man, one of the greatest names in the history of the sport, and just really, there's no words to express how much honor there is to be associated with him.”

Since 1968 The Salesmanship Club has raised more than $110 million dollars for charitable causes at this tournament, making it bigger than just a golf tournament week, and that is never lost on the players. 

Part of the week includes the Byron Nelson Prize, an award that comes with a $100,000 gift to charity on behalf of the recipient. This year the Prize went to Tom Watson, a long time friend of Mr. Nelson who learned plenty under the watchful eye of the elder statesman during practice sessions at the Nelson Ranch in Roanoke, Texas. Watson will split the donation from the prize between Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, The Bruce Edwards Foundation for ALS research and the First Tee of Greater Kansas City.

On the golf course this week Rory Sabbatini will have to defend against a deep field. It is the third straight week that the PGA Tour is playing on a TPC Course, this one the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas, and this could be a great shootout. Sabbatini reached 19 under par last year, pushing to the finish with weekend rounds of 65, 64 on the par 70 layout.

Renovated heavily in 2007/2008 the Four Seasons Course weighs in at just over 7100 short Texas yards and if golfers can stay in the middle of the tree-lined fairways the fairly flat greens always dish up some birdie opportunities.

Watch for at least one score of 63 or lower this week. Scott McCarron tuned that trick with a final round 62 last year on his way to a tie for 4th place.

Also keep an eye on Brian Davis, who had the heartbreaking playoff loss at Harbour Town. He finished 2nd to Sabbatini here last year and Dustin Johnson, who tied for 4th in 2009 is also in fine form.

My pick of the week though? I’ll take Rickie Fowler. Currently 23rd on the FedEx Points list, for some reason I feel he is ready for a win.

Byron Nelson probably wouldn’t approve of his Fowler’s choice of haircuts but you know he would respect his ability to play the game. It would be a great breakout venue for the PGA Tour rookie who played his collegiate golf just a state over.

This report provided to GolfWRX.com by Flagstick Golf Magazine (www.flagstick.com)

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10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Fort Worth Invitational

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GolfWRX is on the ground at Marvin Leonard’s famed pet project, Colonial Country Club, peeking into players bags and taking in the action on the driving range.

While you’ll want to take a trip through the buffet line, we’ve made you a plate of some of the tastiest morsels.

Absolutely savage new putter cover for Jon “Rahmbo” Rahm. Just killer.

Prettier than a new penny.

Spotted: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 MSI

Everything here is excellent. Just excellent.

More like Garsen Murray. Am I right?

If you were Aaron Wise standing over the winning putt at last week’s Byron Nelson, this is what it’d have looked like (of course, you’d have had a ball and the putter would be soled on the green, but you get the point…)

Abraham Ancer’s new Artisan wedges are simply incredible… All of this: Artisan star stellar stuff.

Rickie Fowler has gone grape.

You can’t fool me. You’re not Adam Hadwin, you’re a golf bag.

Is Patrick Cantlay considering a switch to a Cameron Napa?

Check out all our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Tuesday’s Photos

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club (par 70; 7,209 yards). The event has now been hosted here for 73 straight years.

Headlining the field this week are Jordan Spieth, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Jon Rahm (No. 4), Justin Rose (No. 5) and Rickie Fowler (No. 6). Joining them are notables Webb Simpson, who’s coming off his win at The 2018 Players, as well as Wesley Bryan, Jason Dufner, Bryson DeChambeau, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Pat Perez, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker, and last week’s champion, Aaron Wise.

Related

Last year, Kevin Kisner captured the second PGA Tour victory of his career after shooting a final-round, 4-under 66.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Aaron Wise’s Winning Outfit: 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson Invitational

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The 21-year-old Aaron Wise pulled off a three-shot victory at the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson Invitational — his first win on Tour. If you want to see the clubs he used, click here.

In addition to our Winning WITB series, where we show the clubs, shafts and specs from the winning player every week, we will also highlight the apparel they wore in our all-new Winning Outfit series. This is the first edition, and we hope you enjoy!

GolfWRX’s Resident Fashion Expert Jordan Madley says:

“First off congrats to Aaron Wise on his first win on Tour, but even more on his outfit choice for the final round. From a lady’s perspective, if you train hard, show off the hard work! Aaron, a Nike athlete neck to toe, showed off his lean physique in a Nike Zonal Cool polo, their slim-fitting flex pant, a stretch woven belt and finished it off with Lunar Command 2 kicks. The dark tones meant he was ready for war on Sunday and it worked!”

GolfWRX’s non-fashion-expert (but occasional fashion designer) Editor Andrew Tursky says:

“Wise went pretty conservative for his Sunday outfit. He was probably a little nervous trying to get his first victory and didn’t want to be too loud. Don’t get too fancy when it’s winning time; a good lesson for the folks at home. That’s not to say this outfit wasn’t sharp, though. White hat and white shoes is a great look, especially paired with the grey shirt and black pants/belt. Hits of white on the shirt with the Nike Swooshes bring it all together. Solid look here.”

Aaron’s Winning Outfit

Hat: Callaway Tour Authentic

Polo:  Nike Zonal Cooling Polo Framing (unreleased)

Belt: Nike Stretch Woven

Pants: Nike Flex Pant Slim

Shoes: Nike Lunar Command 2 Boa

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