Golf Channel's game has a new look in 2019.
This year in addition to picking a tournament winner we’re also shifting the focus to head-to-head matchups, with both the Golf Pick ‘Em game and an additional Sunday-only contest that focuses on the final round. Both contests can be found in the NBC Sports Predictor app, which fantasy players can download to make their selections each week.
Players can compete for weekly cash prizes, with the best scores during the season qualifying for the season-ending FJ $100,000 Championship, where cash and prizes will be awarded to top finishers.
The contests continues this week with the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest Golf Club. Here’s a look at some of the top players you should consider when making picks, as Aaron Wise returns to defend his title in Dallas:
1. Brooks Koepka: Amid a relatively weak field, Koepka's name stands out. The world No. 3 lost in a playoff at this event back in 2016 when it was held across town, but even at a new and unique venue he's a deserved favorite as he makes his first stroke-play start since a runner-up at the Masters.
2. Henrik Stenson: The former Open champ is quietly getting back to playing the kind of golf that earned him the claret jug three summers ago. Stenson fell off the pace a bit last year but he has had four straight solid outings including a T-28 finish at Quail Hollow and his iron game should be ideally suited for Trinity Forest.
3. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama was one of the few big names to play in Trinity's debut last year, where he tied for 16th. Like Stenson, he'll rely on his ball-striking on a sprawling venue, while unlike Stenson he's riding a run of nine straight top-35 finishes that dates back to Torrey Pines.
4. Jordan Spieth: If not now, when? Spieth's instructor, Cameron McCormick, is based at Trinity Forest and he has a significant advantage over the other 155 players when it comes to course knowledge. Spieth has shown signs of a turnaround in recent weeks, but he has yet to sustain that momentum across 72 holes. He'll have a great chance to do so this week against a middling field and on a course he knows well.
5. Marc Leishman: The Aussie let one get away at this event last year, squandering a late lead to then-rookie Aaron Wise after an opening 61. Leishman's play is ideally suited for Trinity, which he has stated reminds him of the Sand Belt region in Australia, and he'll hope that familiarity translates into his first top-10 finish in a stroke-play event since Riviera.
6. Patrick Reed: Perhaps Reed's dabble with David Leadbetter will pay dividends after all. The former Masters champ played rather well last week in Charlotte, where he contended before a final-round 74. Reed didn't play last year at Trinity, but the pieces are starting to come together as he looks for his first top-10 finish since November.
7. Branden Grace: Grace impressed during the final round last year, closing with a 62 that gave him a share of third. The South African has struggled to post results since his runner-up finish at TPC Scottsdale in February but flashed the creativity a year ago that's necessary to contend on an unpredictable track.
8. Keith Mitchell: Back when he tied for third here last year, Mitchell was still fighting to keep his Tour card. Now a winner at the Honda Classic with a two-year exemption and on the cusp of the top 50 in the world, he returns in a much different frame of mind. But the game is still the same, if not better, as Mitchell has shown that his victory at PGA National earlier this year was no fluke.
9. Rory Sabbatini: The former South African (and current Slovakian) has quietly been on a bit of a run this season, with seven straight made cuts each yielding a top-40 finish. That includes a T-10 finish at Harbour Town and a T-18 result last week, and suddenly it seems quite possible that Sabbatini could soon snag his first win since 2011.
10. Kevin Na: Na broke a lengthy victory drought last summer at The Greenbrier, a win that was preceded a couple months earlier by a T-6 finish at the Nelson. He made a run to the quarterfinals of the match-play bracket earlier this year and enters off a T-10 finish at Hilton Head three weeks ago in his most recent start.