Radical idea reversed Palmer's fortunes in Nelson

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IRVING, Texas – In 2011, Ryan Palmer was struggling with his game and looking for answers, so his caddie and his swing coach suggested something dramatic.

Palmer’s swing coach, Randy Smith, wanted him to play the AT&T Byron Nelson without looking at a yardage book or even asking his caddie, James Edmondson, how far they had for a particular shot. Those decisions were made entirely by Edmondson.

“The one year it helped because we hadn't had any success,” Palmer said on Wednesday at TPC Four Seasons Resort. “[Edmondson] and Randy Smith thought this was a brilliant idea for some reason. I went along with it because it wasn't working the way we were doing it before but it worked that week.”


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Palmer lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley that week in Dallas, but continued the tradition for a few more years with success. He hasn’t missed a cut at the Nelson since 2010 and finished tied for 10th last year.

“It loosened me up on this golf course, freed me up to where just hit, execute it instead of overthinking,” Palmer said. “Last year we came back and [Edmondson] said, ‘I think you're good now, you know how to play this golf course and let's go back to what we always do.’”