Monday, May 20, 2024
HomeSportsByron Nelson: Matt Wallace leans on Masters contenders to seize lead

Byron Nelson: Matt Wallace leans on Masters contenders to seize lead


Like so many golf followers all over the world, Matt Wallace sat at house and watched The 2024 Masters Match unfold from his sofa.

He didn’t obtain an invitation to Augusta Nationwide this yr, because of his 5 missed cuts to date this season. His finest end got here on the Valspar Championship, the place he tied for seventeenth.

As a substitute of pouting about his poor play, Wallace determined to hone in on Scottie Scheffler, Ludvig Åberg, Max Homa, and Collin Morikawa—the 4 gamers in rivalry on Sunday—to see how they approached every shot. Wallace wished to be taught from them.

“They’re so targeted on their shot and never worrying concerning the final result or what’s on the market,” Wallace mentioned of those gamers after the primary spherical of the CJ Cup Byron Nelson.

Matt Wallace, PGA Tour, THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson

Matt Wallace and Cameron Champ shake palms after the primary spherical of the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson.
Photograph by Sam Hodde/Getty Pictures

“That’s what I’m making an attempt to do now. However caring for my enterprise and my swing is an important half, and I’m in a position to try this for the time being as a result of I’m in place.”

Wallace actually took care of enterprise on Thursday at TPC Craig Ranch, carding eight birdies and 0 bogies to shoot a stable 8-under 64.

He leads Taylor Pendrith, Alex Noren, and Chesson Hadley by a stroke after spherical one.

“It was nice. Actually stable day. Acquired off to a fantastic begin. Three birdies to start out any event is good,” Wallace mentioned of his opening spherical.

“The wind began to select up on the finish, however the course is in wonderful situation contemplating the rain we had and the delay this morning. Ball in hand is admittedly necessary, so I drove it good for probably the most half. A couple of instances, I used to be within the semi-rough with a little bit of mud on the ball, which may trigger slightly little bit of doubt. Prime up on these, actually deal with hitting my tee pictures nicely for the subsequent few days, and we’ll be in good condition.”

One might say that Wallace drove it like Åberg, the Ryder Cup star who has impressed everybody within the recreation of golf over the previous 12 months. The younger Swedish phenom drives the golf ball higher than most, which has impressed Wallace. However so, too, has his strategy to each shot.

Ludvig Åberg, RBC Heritage

Ludvig Åberg on the 2024 RBC Heritage.
Photograph by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Pictures

“I have a look at Ludvig, the way in which he performs his recreation for somebody who’s so younger. The brand new breed that’s come out on Tour, so quick and so good anyway,” Wallace added.

“I really feel like he’s so targeted on his personal shot and appears down right here somewhat than out right here on the goal. His dispersion sample is so tight as a result of he’s hitting it so nicely, and his swing is in good condition that his dispersion patterns come collectively and develop into tighter. I’ve seen that during the last two or three weeks once I’ve been working towards, and final week as nicely, on powerful holes and hard pictures. Simply actually specializing in the ball somewhat than on the market as a lot.”

That technique paid off for Wallace on Thursday; now we should wait and see if it holds up for 54 extra holes.

If it does, maybe Wallace will win his second profession PGA Tour occasion and earn a visit to Augusta in 2025. That will mark an unbelievable full-circle second for the Englishman.

Jack Milko is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Taking part in By means of. You’ll want to try @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You may comply with him on Twitter @jack_milko as nicely.



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