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Palmer learning from second place finish last year

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IRVING, Texas – Ryan Palmer may have lost last year’s Byron Nelson Championship to Keegan Bradley on the first playoff hole, but it did help him devise a strategy entering this week’s edition of the event.

“Continuation from last year,” he said after posting a 6-under 64 to take the opening-round lead. “That's what's cool about the whole thing. It was great.”

The strategy was devised by Palmer’s locally based instructor, Randy Smith, and came hand-in-hand with a separate plan of attack involving his caddie. Basically, longtime looper James Edmondson pulls the club and tells him where to hit it, and Palmer simply takes direction.

“I think it works here because we're so mentally in tune,” Palmer explained. “We go to other courses we try it, it's like, ‘Are we really doing it or just going through the motions?’ Here we have Randy Smith in James' ear saying, ‘Get your brain ready,’ you sit back, relax, and hit the ball.