The Dallas Morning News

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson commits to Nelson

Field for debut at TPC Craig Ranch will include 3 local stars

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The AT&T Byron Nelson will have some star power to help kick off its return to the PGA Tour schedule at its new home.

Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1 player and a long-time fixture at the Nelson when it was held at TPC Four Seasons, will return to play at the Nelson for the first time since 2017.

“Really exciting for us to have Dustin Johnson back here,” tournament director Jon Drago said. “To have him commit early is great. It’s been several years since we’ve had a world No. 1 play. We think the course sets up well for him.”

This year’s Nelson will take place May 13-16 at TPC Craig Ranch. It will be the first year at the new location in Mckinney. The tournament moved from its longtime home at TPC Four Seasons in Irving following the 2017 event to Trinity Forest in southern Dallas in 2018. It held events in 2018 and 2019 at Trinity Forest before the 2020 event was canceled due to the pandemic. It announced its move shortly after.

Johnson will be joined by a trio of area players who have been at the forefront of the golf world over the past month: Plano’s Will Zalatoris (Tcaaddison), Dallas’ Jordan Spieth (Jesuit) and Scottie Scheffler (Highland Park).

Scheffler finished second at the World Golf Championsh­ips-dell Technologi­es Match Play in Austin. Spieth won the Valero Texas Open the following week in San Antonio. Zalatoris finished second at the Masters, one shot behind champion Hideki Matsuyama.

Late birdies propel Cam Smith: Cameron Smith birdied the difficult 17th and 18th holes at Harbour Town to shoot a 9-under 62, his career low on the PGA Tour, and take a oneshot lead over Stewart Cink at the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island, S.C., on Thursday.

Collin Morikawa, who will defend his PGA Championsh­ip title up the South Carolina coast next month, shot 65 along with Matt Wallace. Charles Howell III, Billy Horschel

and Harold Varner III shot 66.

Dustin Johnson opened with a 1-under 70. Zalatoris played with Johnson and shot 68.

Two lead in Hawaii: In Kapolei, Hawaii, Yuka Saso and Brittany Altomare took the lead in the Lotte Championsh­ip leaderboar­d Wednesday morning with rounds of 8-under 64. No one caught them in ideal afternoon conditions at Kapolei Golf Club.

Vaccine incentive introduced: The PGA Tour told players and caddies in an internal memo this week that they will no longer require weekly testing to play in events if they are vaccinated.

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 ?? Stephen B. Morton/the Associated Press ?? Top-ranked Dustin Johnson, who shot a 1-under 70 at the RBC Heritage on Thursday, has committed to play in the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch.
Stephen B. Morton/the Associated Press Top-ranked Dustin Johnson, who shot a 1-under 70 at the RBC Heritage on Thursday, has committed to play in the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch.

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