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BlogValero Texas Open Preview and Picks

Valero Texas Open

March 27 – 30, 2014

TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course)

San Antonio, Texas

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,435

Purse: $6.2 million

with $1,116,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Martin Laird

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 8 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with two players from the top-ten: #5 Phil Mickelson and #10 Zach Johnson. The other top 50 players are #11 Matt Kuchar, #13 Jordan Spieth, #24 Jim Furyk, #27 Jimmy Walker, #33 Ernie Els and #47 Billy Horschel.

The field includes 9 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2014.  Those players are #1 Jimmy Walker, #9 Zach Johnson, #12 Kevin Na, #13 Jordan Spieth, #14 John Senden, #20 Ryan Palmer, #22 Will MaccKenzie, #24 Chesson Hadley and #25 Russell Knox.

The field includes 8 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are #1 Jimmy Walker, #11 Zach Johnson, #13 Jordan Spieth, #15 Kevin Na, #16 John Senden, #21 Ryan Palmer, #32 Will MaccKenzie and #24 Chesson Hadley.

The field includes 6 past champions: Martin Laird (2013), Ben Curtis (2012), Brendan Steel (2011), Zach Johnson (2008 & ’09), Justin Leonard (2007, ’01 & ’00) and Tim Herron (1997).

The field includes 4 of the winners in the PGA Tour’s 2014 wraparound season: John Senden won the Valspar Championship and Chesson Hadley won in Puerto Rico for his first PGA Tour victory. San Antonio’s Jimmy Walker, winner of the Frys.com in 2013 and the Sony Open in Hawaii and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in 2014 will be here as will Zach Johnson (Hyundai Tournament of Champions).

Texans In the Field: Currently there are 23 players in the field who were either born or live in the state of Texas – Cameron Beckman, Ben Crane, Martin Flores, Harrison Frazar, Bobby Gates, Brian Gay, J.J. Henry, John Huh, Danny Lee, Justin Leonard, Jeff Maggert, Troy Matteson, Sean O’Hair, Joe Ogilvie, Ryan Palmer, John Peterson, John Rollins, Jordan Spieth, Chris Stroud, Scott Verplank, David von Hoffmann, Johnson Wagner, and Jimmy Walker.

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Valero Texas Open field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Valero Texas Open in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Valero Texas Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

 

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Valero Texas Open

Player Arnold Palmer Valspar Trophee Hassan WGC Cadillac Championship Puerto Rico Honda WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Qatar Masters Farmers
Chesson Hadley
(212.67 pts)
T26
(24)
T14
(36)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
T24
(17.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Jordan Spieth
(186.33 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T34
(24)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T12
(25.33)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
Kevin Na
(166.33 pts)
T14
(36)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T4
(26.67)
T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Will MacKenzie
(157.67 pts)
T43
(7)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP T52
(0)
T13
(12.33)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
John Senden
(152.67 pts)
T52
(0)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP T18
(21.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Kokrak
(137.33 pts)
4
(80)
T14
(36)
DNP DNP DNP T41
(6)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T19
(10.33)
T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Jimmy Walker
(131.17 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T25
(37.5)
DNP DNP T17
(33)
T20
(20)
Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Jim Furyk
(123 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T23
(18)
T35
(5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Russell Knox
(113 pts)
T43
(7)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T27
(7.67)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
Scott Langley
(107.67 pts)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP DNP T19
(31)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T64
(0)
T69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Ryo Ishikawa
(107.67 pts)
T8
(50)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP T19
(31)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
Matt Kuchar
(105.83 pts)
DNP T38
(12)
DNP T13
(55.5)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Carl Pettersson
(102.67 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
T46
(2.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Danny Lee
(99 pts)
T31
(19)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Erik Compton
(99 pts)
T5
(70)
T32
(18)
DNP DNP DNP T71
(0)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
Brendan Steele
(92 pts)
T20
(30)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP T10
(26.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T6
(20)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
Brooks Koepka
(90.67 pts)
T26
(24)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T19
(31)
T33
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T3
(30)
T37
(4.33)
DNP
Zach Johnson
(86.33 pts)
T43
(7)
DNP DNP T16
(51)
DNP T33
(11.33)
T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Freddie Jacobson
(83.67 pts)
T10
(40)
T20
(30)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
Cameron Tringale
(81.33 pts)
T56
(0)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP T41
(6)
DNP T12
(25.33)
T13
(12.33)
T12
(12.67)
DNP DNP T66
(0)
Ernie Els
(81 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP 4
(80)
T35
(10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T37
(4.33)
DNP
Richard H. Lee
(80 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP T45
(3.33)
T10
(13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Ryan Palmer
(73.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP T32
(6)
T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Wes Roach
(72.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T32
(6)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Pat Perez
(70.67 pts)
T67
(0)
T44
(6)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 75
(0)
T7
(18.33)
11
(13)
DNP DNP T2
(33.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Valero Texas Open

Player Arnold Palmer Valspar Trophee Hassan WGC Cadillac Championship Puerto Rico Honda WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Qatar Masters Farmers
Johnson Wagner
(-36.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
J.J. Henry
(-35 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DQ
(-5)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T40
(6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Mike Weir
(-31.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
Kyle Stanley
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T61
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Bo Van Pelt
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Troy Matteson
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Paul Goydos
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T70
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Briny Baird
(-25 pts)
T60
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Scott Brown
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP 64
(0)
T75
(0)
DNP T45
(3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
John Peterson
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DQ
(-3.33)
T64
(0)
T61
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Things you need to know about the Valero Texas Open

  • The Valero Texas Open is an historic tournament, it’s the 6th oldest professional tournament in golf world-wide, the 3rd oldest on the PGA Tour and the longest held in the same city. In 2012, the tournament celebrated its 90th anniversary. Dating back to 1922, the tournament has been through 16 names to date, but it can always trace its lineage back to San Antonio, Texas. As for host courses of the Valero Texas Open, the event has predominantly been hosted by the Brackenridge Park Golf Course, the Willow Springs Golf Course, Fort Sam Houston Golf Course, Oak Hills Country Club, and and between 1995 and 2009, The Resort at La Cantera.  Five years ago they moved to the new TPC San Antonio, which is part of a two course project.
  • Always known as a place where pros can go to score low, the Valero Texas Open has been the site of numerous scoring feats. Al Brosch, in the 1951 Texas Open held at Brackenridge Park, became the first PGA Tour player to post a score of 60. In 1955, just four years later, Mike Souchak, again playing at Brackenridge Park, posted a 72-hole score of 257, which would stand as the PGA Tour record until 2001. In the 2003 Valero Texas Open, Tommy Armour fired a 254 at LaCantera to set the record for lowest 72-hole score in PGA Tour history. His score to par of 26-under also was a Tour record for Par 70 courses. His score eclipsed Donnie Hammond’s 22-under par, which he shot at the 1989 Valero Texas Open

Course information:

TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course

San Antonio, Tx.

  • 7,435 yards     Par 36-36–72
  • AT&T Oaks features a course rating of 76.5 and a slope rating from the back tees of 148. The tees, fairway, and rough are Bermuda Grass but different strains, Emerald Ultradwarf on the tees, TifSport on the fairways, Champion Ultradwarf on the greens and Bandera in the rough. The course is part of a resort and is open to those that stay at the course and it’s members.
  • The average green size at AT&T Oaks is 6,400 square feet, which is a little over the average on the PGA Tour.  has 58 bunkers and water that comes into play on 3 holes.
  • In 2013 the TPC San Antonio was the 15th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 72.740 average playing .740 stroke over par.
  • There wasn’t anything wrong with LaCantera, the reason for the move is financial because the event now doesn’t have to pay a site fee which has been reported in the $300,000 neighborhood.  The course being used is the AT&T Oaks, which will play at 7,522 yards and a par 72.  It was design by Greg Norman with Sergio Garcia as the player consulted.  The course opened in 2009 and will be the  12th TPC course that will be used on the PGA Tour this year.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Valero Texas Open:

Key stat for the winner:

For the regulars of past Valero Texas Open’s, five years ago was the start of the new era here.  For players like Zach Johnson, who won twice and Justin Leonard, who won three times at LaCantera, it was an unpleasant experience as Leonard has not finished better than T30th in four tries while Johnson only played once in 2010 and missed the cut  In looking at the performance stats from 2010 through 2013 hitting greens seemed to be the key for many in the top-ten.  Also interesting to note that putting isn’t much of a key and driving accuracy played a little bit of a factor.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • Unimportant stat: With the course being new in 2010, it makes sense with wins from inexperience winners like Brendan Steele and Martin Laird.  But Adam Scott won in 2010 and Ben Curtis in 2012 so the players should know the course already.
  • Look for the course to play tough, with thick rough and tight fairways that will play havoc on the players.  Look for the winner to be a medium hitter, someone that can do a bit of scrambling.
  • Again, with a new course coming into play nobody has the advantage of knowing the course. so a non-winner has just as much of a chance to win as a winner.
  • One trend that is pretty unique at the Texas Open is the fact that 3rd round leaders tend to rule the roast.  Since 1988 the 3rd round leader has won 18 of the 26 tournaments so if you are looking for a neat bet with someone, bet the 3rd round leader to win the tournament.
  • Fifteen previous Texas Opens have been decided in playoffs, the last coming in 2009 when Zach Johnson defeated James Driscoll.
  • In looking at the long range weather forecast it’s going to be warm with temperatures between 82 and 86, but each day will have chances of rain, with the exception of Sunday which is suppose to have zero chance of rain.

Who to watch for at the Valero Texas Open

Best Bets:

Jimmy Walker

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T31 CUT CUT T3 T24 T19 T60

Time for him to hit a home run in his home ton, almost won it the first year it was played at TPC.

Jim Furyk

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3

Played great last year finishing T3rd, time for him to start his move and move into contention.

Charley Hoffman

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3 T13 T2 T13 T9 T70 T11 T8

Has a runner-up and a third in the four times he has played TPC San Antonio. He could really be the next unknown to win in this weird stretch.

Best of the rest:

Freddie Jacobson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T15 T18 T5 2 T5 T21 T29

What a great record in the four years he has played at TPC San Antonio, hasn’t been higher than T18th, one to watch.

Kevin Na

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
WD CUT WD

Still on a high for the last month, but comes to a course he hasn’t fared well on.

Will MacKenzie

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T41 WD 73

Could he be our next shocking winner, has played well last four weeks.

Zach Johnson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT Win Win

He may be a two-time winner of this event, but in his only TPC San Antonio start he missed the cut. Guess we will see if he finds his game this week.

Solid contenders

Ernie Els

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3

Did finish T3rd in 2010.

Chesson Hadley

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

May not of played this course, but he has played great the last four weeks. Really fighting hard to get a spot for the Masters.

Brendan Steele

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T46 T4 Win

Can lightning strike twice? Winner in 2011 can he do it again?

Ryo Ishikawa

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Played well at Bay Hill, could get better this week.

Long shots that could come through:

Aaron Baddeley

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T15 T3 T26 72 5

Watch him, has been playing better of late and did finish T3rd on this course in 2010.

Jason Kokrak

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T15 CUT

Watch him is playing great right now.

Erik Compton

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
WD

Best ever finish last week at Bay Hill, looking to improve that 5th place finish.

Toss up picks:

Phil Mickelson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Never played this course but he is starting to think about the Masters and could be a big surprise this week.

Matt Kuchar

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T22 T13 CUT CUT CUT T41 CUT

Has not shown us much in the last couple of months plus not shown us much on this course, I think he would be a pick wasted this week.

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