Rory McIlroy had dropped to 15th, his lowest Official World Golf Ranking since 2009. But the time out of the top 10 did not last long as McIlroy, now No. 7, got right at an event he had won twice, the Wells Fargo Championship. McIlroy (18-1) led the field in scrambling while ranking in the top three for strokes gained putting, driving distance and greens in regulation. The victory was McIlroy’s first since November 2019 at the WGC: HSBC Champions in China. The next time he tees it up will be for the PGA Championship in two weeks at Kiawah Island, where he won the last PGA held there in 2012. McIlroy has been shortened to 10-1 and is the current favorite.
First things first, though, as the last event before the PGA, the AT&T Byron Nelson, returns to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex after the event was canceled last year due to COVID-19. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson withdrew Monday due to what he called a lingering knee injury. World No. 3 Jon Rahm (8-1) missed the cut last week at the Wells Fargo, which ended his PGA Tour-best streak of 22 consecutive cuts made. Nevertheless, he is the tournament favorite. Bryson DeChambeau (17-2) mistakenly thought he had missed the cut and flew home to Dallas, then took a 2:45 a.m. flight back to Charlotte for his Saturday round and tied for ninth. Jordan Spieth (10-1), like DeChambeau, lives in Dallas and will play in a tournament for the first time since the Masters five weeks ago. Brooks Koepka (16-1) also returns for the first time since Augusta, as does Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama (20-1). Daniel Berger (16-1) will tee it up for the first time in four weeks. Scottie Scheffler and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 20-1) have multiple top-10s this season. Will Zalatoris (22-1), who missed the cut at the Wells Fargo, is also a Dallas-area resident. Recent winners Marc Leishman (Zurich Classic of New Orleans) and Sam Burns (Valspar Championship) are priced at 33-1.