Welcome to GOLFstats.com! You are currently viewing a special post on GOLFstats.com .
For the best experience and full access to GOLFstats.com, CLICK HERE to sign up for a $15 one month GOLFstats Ultimate account!

BlogWho will win in San Antonio on Sunday?

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

Things you need to know before Sunday’s final round:

Another week, another unknown leading on the PGA Tour:

  • Guess after having Adam Scott lead going into the final round last week at Bay Hill it was time to get back to the routine of the PGA Tour, an unknown leading going into the final round.  Every week it seems to be a drill in which we have to dive deep into the media guide and the internet to find out information about who is leading.  This week it’s another journeyman Steven Bowditch, a 30 year-old Australian journeyman who has bounced around the world looking for fame and fortune only to find frustration and hardship.   In the win department his resume is a bit bare other than a couple of Web.com tour events and winning the New South Wales PGA in 2010 and the 2004 Queensland Open.  Things didn’t start out that way as he was runner-up in the 2000 World Junior and then a couple of months later as a 17-year-old was among the leaders in the Australian Open and found himself paired with his boyhood hero Greg Norman in the final round.  He went on to shot 75 and finish T7th.
  • Bowditch started playing the game at 12 when his father wouldn’t let him play rugby because it was too rough.  While he was finding himself as a player, he made some extra money as a cement mixer in Australia.  In 2005 the Web.com tour started it’s year off in Australia and New Zealand, Bowditch won the Jacob’s Creek Open held in Australia.  He was just 21 years, 8 months old to become the second youngest winner in that tour’s history.  It was just his second start on the Web.com tour and it granted him an exemption for that tour.  The next week he lost in New Zealand in a playoff against Peter O’Malley.  Bowditch had another runner-up finish that year and finished 4th on the money list, which got him onto the PGA Tour in 2006.  Things haven’t really been very rosy on the PGA tour as he played it in ’06, then between 2011 and now without much success, only finishing in the top-125 of the money list once last year.  Things have been so bare, in 109 starts has had only two top-ten finishes, the best being a runner-up finish last year in the Greenbrier Classic.

 

So how did Bowditch do it?

It’s a real big mystery, statistically he ranks T45th in fairways hit, T16th in greens hit, 49th in strokes gained putting, 50th in proximity to the hole in approach shots and 63rd in total putts made.  His only good stat, which is the reason he is leading is scrambling, he is fourth and on Saturday he chipped in twice.  One thing that he has done right is not get himself in trouble, he has only made three bogeys and one double all week and most of this damage has come on the 9th hole in which he bogeyed twice and had a double bogey on Friday.

So is this cut and dry, look for a 75 out of Bowditch on Sunday?

Normally I would say yes, it’s going to be a very nervous afternoon for Bowditch.  He has a lot riding, a two year exemption on the PGA Tour, a last minute invite to Augusta but overall a different lifestyle.  Bowditch said that one of the keys to his life is being more mature now, he could be a late bloomer.  On the surface it seems unfathomable that he is leading and will win, but when you see the list of winners of late, guess that anything is possible on the PGA Tour these days.  One thing to think about, Bowditch does have a three shot lead over Matt Kuchar and Andrew Loupe, four over Pat Perez, five over Kevin Na and six over Daniel Summerhays and Chad Collins.  These aren’t powerhouse players on tour and other than Kuchar and possibly Perez and Na I can’t see anybody else making a run.  Still we have seen some weird finishes on the PGA Tour this year and you never know who could back into a win.

If not Bowditch, who?

Everybody will look at Matt Kuchar who is T2nd at 9 under par three back of Bowditch.  Kuchar had a 65 on Saturday to get him into the race, to some this could be a bad sign in which it’s hard to have two great rounds in a row.  His year has been a mixed bag with four top-tens but if you go off the experience factor, of those within six shots of him he has the most experience at winning.  I also think that Pat Perez and Kevin Na could make runs, both have played well of late, both are hungry for wins and both could easily stumble into a win if Bowditch and Kuchar do stumble on Sunday.

Anything else on the line Sunday?

Masters invites, this is the last week in which anyone that finds his way into the top-50 of the world rankings can grab a last minute invite.  Right now Ryan Palmer sits 62nd in the rankings and if he was to finish in the top-three he would move into the top-50 and be Augusta bound.  Palmer is T8th at 5 under, now he is seven back of Bowditch but just four back of the top-three.  A round of 68, 69 could do the trick for him.  Another person that should be on our radar scope is Chesson Hadley at 3 under par. He is 56th in the world rankings and a top-seven finish would do the trick for him.  He is presently T14th only three shots back of those in the top-six, he probably needs at least a 67 on Sunday to do the trick

So it’s just ten days away from the Masters, what’s this talk of a Masters without both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson?

Both are real possibilities as back problems have them ailing.  Mickelson had to withdraw during the third round and we should know more of his faith Tuesday or Wednesday.  He is planning on playing in Houston so we should know something.  Rumors are floating around about Tiger’s situation, of course since Tiger never opens up on things we just don’t know.  So it’s pure speculation on what’s up with Tiger.

Below is a list of the top-20 players on the leader board going to three under which are 9 shots back of Bowditch:

 

Of the top 20 players on the leaderboard, who is playing the best? for the Valero Texas Open

Player Arnold Palmer Valspar Trophee Hassan WGC Cadillac Championship Puerto Rico Honda Classic WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Qatar Masters
Chesson Hadley
(172 pts)
T26
(24)
T14
(36)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
T24
(17.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Kevin Na
(169.67 pts)
T14
(36)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T4
(26.67)
T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Jordan Spieth
(165.67 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T12
(12.67)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP
Will MacKenzie
(157.67 pts)
T43
(7)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP T52
(0)
T13
(12.33)
DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP
Jim Furyk
(114 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T23
(9)
T35
(5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(90.67 pts)
DNP T38
(12)
DNP T13
(37)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Freddie Jacobson
(87 pts)
T10
(40)
T20
(30)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP
Ryan Palmer
(73.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP T32
(6)
T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Pat Perez
(70.67 pts)
T67
(0)
T44
(6)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 75
(0)
T7
(18.33)
11
(13)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP
Zach Johnson
(69.33 pts)
T43
(7)
DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T33
(11.33)
T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Wes Roach
(46 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP T32
(6)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Andrew Loupe
(29.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP T27
(7.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Daniel Summerhays
(29.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T70
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP T29
(7)
T19
(10.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Jerry Kelly
(20 pts)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP DNP T9
(30)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Andrew Svoboda
(10.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the top-20 on the leaderboard, who isn’t playing well: for the Valero Texas Open

Player Arnold Palmer Valspar Trophee Hassan WGC Cadillac Championship Puerto Rico Honda Classic WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Qatar Masters
Bo Van Pelt
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Stephen Ames
(-10 pts)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Geoff Ogilvy
(-9.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(7)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Chad Collins
(-7.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T38
(12)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP
Steven Bowditch
(-1 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T37
(8.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T19
(10.33)
T69
(0)
DNP T75
(0)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

In conclusion:

Last week I was wrong in my assessment on Matt Every not having a chance.  In hindsight there were a few reasons that he could of won and one of them was backing into a win.  This week is every more raw with Bowditch, I can’t see him even backing into a victory.  There is just too much riding, it’s been four years since his last win on the Australian Tour.  But more importantly his game is not very sharp, look at his stats and you wonder how he has done it.  Yes he has stayed out of trouble this week but still when your in the last group in the last round a lot of things pop up and I just think all of this will get to him.

Now it’s easy and say that Matt Kuchar will be the one but I’m not so certain.  His last two fourth rounds have been 74 and frankly Kuchar hasn’t shown us much of being able to perform his magic in 2014.  Again it’s the case of getting things done early, if Kuchar makes the turn in two under for the day he will win.  But if he struggles it becomes nothing more than a numbers game on who will be in the right place at the right time just like Matt Every was last week.  Tied with Kuchar is Andrew Loupe, the chances of him winning is about 1 in ten and that is of course him making into a win.  Now I do see some ray of light for Pat Perez or Kevin Na, they have the fire power to shot 67 and could easily win this event.

Who will win the Valero Texas Open on Sunday?

Best Bets:

Matt Kuchar

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

Has the most experience, has been there many times in the past. That is the only problem, he has been there a lot in past years and only won six times. So he has a case of nerves like a lot of players, still look for him to win on Sunday.

So what about the leader?

Steven Bowditch

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T69 CUT T66 WD

Just look at the numbers for this week and his career, they aren’t very impressive. I just have to wonder how he got so far, late to say it but I can see a 75 happening today for Steven.

Could surprise us:

Kevin Na

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

Has been knocking on the door this year, was real close at Valspar. As we said that week in order for Na to win I feel he has to be behind going into the back nine. He seems to play differently when behind and he showed it at Valspar when he made some birdies on the closing holes to come close.

Pat Perez

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T5 T22 T8 CUT T22 WD T5

He has had three top-tens including a runner-up at the Farmers. He has the fire power to do it, I can see him shot 67 on Sunday and that will get him the win. He is a talent that we shake our heads over his record of only one PGA Tour win in 14 years on the tour.

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

So what about Andrew Loupe?

Andrew Loupe

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

Are you kidding me? Sorry but this is a kid that has missed five of seven cuts, in his last start finished T12th in Puerto Rico. Still anything is possible on the PGA Tour but the odds on him are real long, he has never been in this position before.

Will they get to the Masters?

Ryan Palmer

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T15 T32 CUT T9 CUT CUT T33 T60 CUT T29 CUT

Tall order finishing in the top-three, but he has been around the block on the PGA Tour and knows how to accomplish this. He may be out of reach of a win, but he is only four back of the pace of being in the top-three. With some many inexperience players in front of him I can see him shooting 68 and grabbing a top-three.

Chesson Hadley

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

Has shown us a lot this year with his win in Puerto Rico. Unfortunely he had his best shot at getting into the Masters last week and shot a final round 79. He needs probably a 68, 69 and he in some sense should have a easier time at it than Palmer. We just have to wait and see if he is over the scars of last week’s 79. We should know by the ninth hole on Sunday, I say he makes it.

Speak Your Mind