Welcome to GOLFstats.com! You are currently viewing one of our Preview and Picks post that we publish each week. We also publish special Performance Charts for the tournaments, analyzing results over the past 8 years, a special DraftKings Picks Post, analyzing what picks are the best this week for the DraftKings games, and we do a weekly Key Fantasy Stats Post detailing what stats are most important for this weeks tournament and course, and which players excel in those stats. Very useful!
Our data is updated daily. To access all this info, and so much more, just CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for GOLFstats!

BlogValero Texas Open Preview and Picks

Valero Texas Open

March 26 – 29, 2015

TPC San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

Par: 72 / Yardage:

Purse: $6.2 million

with $1,116,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Steven Bowditch

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 18 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with three players from the top-ten: #6 Jordan Spieth, #7 Jim Furyk and #9 Dustin Johnson. The other top 50 players are #12 Martin Kaymer, #13 Jimmy Walker, #14 Matt Kuchar, #48 Billy Horschel, #21 Phil Mickelson, #22 Kevin Na, #23 Graeme McDowell, #24 Zach Johnson, #26 Chris Kirk #30 Ryan Palmer, #40 Matt Every, #43 Branden Grace, #45 Shane Lowry, #46 Gary Woodland and #50 Jason Dufner.

There were 8 players from the top-50 in the field last year so a drastic increase this year.

The field includes 12 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2015.  Those players are #1 Jimmy Walker, #4 Dustin Johnson, #9 Jordan Spieth, #10 Sangmoon Bae, #12 Charley Hoffman, #15 James Hahn, #18 Daniel Berger, #19 Shawn Stefani, #20 Harris English, #22 Matt Every, #23 Brendon de Jonge and #25 Scott Piercy.

The field includes 12 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are #2 Dustin Johnson, #3 Jimmy Walker, #8 Jordan Spieth, #9 Sangmoon Bae, #14 Charley Hoffman, #16 James Hahn, #19 Daniel Berger, #20 Matt Every, #21 Nick Watney, #22 Kevin Na, #23 Shawn Stefani and #24 Harris English.

The field includes 6 past champions: Steven Bowditch (2014),  Martin Laird (2013), Ben Curtis (2012), Brendan Steel (2011), Zach Johnson (2008 & ’09) and Justin Leonard (2007, ’01 & ’00).

The field includes 8 of the 19 winners in the PGA Tour’s 2015 wraparound season: Sangmoon Bae (Frys.com Open), Charley Hoffman (Mayakoba), Jimmy Walker (Sony Open), James Hahn (Northern Trust), Alex Cejka (Puerto Rico), Dustin Johnson (WGC-Cadillac), Jordan Spieth (Valspar) and last week’s winning Matt Every (Palmer)

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 North America, Vovada.  They give winning odds plus top-five and first round leader odds.

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

**NOTE**

We have made a lot of changes in GOLFstats and one of the biggest is that every on-going event gets updated every hour.  It’s not real time scoring, but after each day you will see our database change.  This will help look at things like good scores in a row and how each player does after every round.

One thing to look for is our new GOLFstats IQ.  For those that play in fantasy golf it’s a perfect way to help you pick those players in Draft Kings and Victiv games.  You can customize the list of those in the tournaments, to look back a couple or many years of tournament stats and you can go back a couple or ten weeks prior to the tournament.  On top of that, all the stats are fully sortable to help you pick your six players, we even give you their value for the week to help you chose.

That’s GOLFstats IQ, give it a try and tell us what you think of it

We are also offering “Who will win on Sunday”.  Just like our previews, this will not only preview the final round but also look at players who shoud win.  All of these will enhance GOLFstats and encourage you to check our stuff over the weekend and during play.

Another thing to look for is 24/7 GOLF which is coming to the Apple App Store this week.  This is a new app that you can get with your Iphone so that you can take a lot of GOLFstats with you when your away from your computer.  Try it out, you will love it.

So join us a couple of hours after play on Saturday night or Sunday morning for our “Who will win on Sunday” feature in which you can see who shall win during the final nine.

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 Tshwane Open WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Africa Open Honda Classic Joburg Open Northern Trust Indian Open AT&T Pebble True Thailand Farmers
Dustin Johnson
(308 pts)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(198)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Jordan Spieth
(268.17 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Na
(160.83 pts)
T6
(60)
T10
(40)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Sean O’Hair
(151.67 pts)
T29
(21)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP T29
(14)
DNP T69
(0)
Matt Jones
(150.67 pts)
3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(24)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP
Alex Cejka
(132.67 pts)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Daniel Berger
(129 pts)
T13
(37)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP T24
(8.67)
Jim Furyk
(127.67 pts)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP T12
(57)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(24)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP
Jon Curran
(126.67 pts)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP 71
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Matt Every
(122.67 pts)
Win
(132)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T63
(0)
DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP T69
(0)
Brendon Todd
(117.17 pts)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP T23
(40.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(24)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
(113.33 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP
Nick Watney
(109.67 pts)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T41
(6)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP T7
(18.33)
Jason Kokrak
(107.67 pts)
T6
(60)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T41
(6)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
James Hahn
(105 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T29
(14)
DNP T41
(3)
Harris English
(101 pts)
T29
(21)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
Charles Howell III
(96.33 pts)
T21
(29)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T44
(4)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
Russell Knox
(94.67 pts)
T29
(21)
T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Danny Lee
(80.67 pts)
T17
(33)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T32
(6)
Daniel Summerhays
(78.67 pts)
T55
(0)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP DNP
Shane Lowry
(77.17 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP T7
(18.33)
Brendon De Jonge
(74.67 pts)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T27
(7.67)
Camilo Villegas
(72.67 pts)
T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 16
(22.67)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP T27
(7.67)
Jimmy Walker
(72.17 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T31
(28.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T41
(6)
DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP T7
(18.33)
Ryan Palmer
(67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(57)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player Arnold Palmer Valspar Tshwane Open WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Africa Open Honda Classic Joburg Open Northern Trust Indian Open AT&T Pebble True Thailand Farmers
Jim Renner
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Ben Curtis
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Tim Wilkinson
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Steven Bowditch
(-23.33 pts)
T62
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Max Homa
(-22.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T29
(14)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Bo Van Pelt
(-20.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T47
(3)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP DNP
Robert Allenby
(-20 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Chez Reavie
(-20 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Tony Finau
(-18 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(8.67)
Justin Hicks
(-17.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

We are having one hell of a year in golf.  Lots of great play and you want a bit of parody, you’ve got it having 19 events and 19 different winners.  How about Matt Every defending his championship at the Palmer, this is becoming his annuity winning 30% of his career earnings of $7.5 million at the Palmer.  A guy gets into a groove at a spot and seems that Every has that groove.

Here are the players, who since 1970 made their first two wins on the PGA Tour at the same event:

  • Matt Every                2014, ’15 Arnold Palmer
  • Boo Weekley             2007, ’08 Heritage
  • J.B. Holmes              2006, ’08 Phoenix
  • Vaughan Taylor       2004, ’05 Barracuda Championship (Reno)
  • Calvin Peete              1997, 1982 Milwaukee
  • Loren Roberts          1995, ’95 Arnold Palmer
  • Brian Henninger      1994, ’96 Sanderson Farms Championship
  • Dave Eichelberger    1971, ’77 Milwaukee
  • Hale Irwin                  1971, ’73 Heritage

 

This week is also important for several players looking to get into the Masters.  The field is set and there are very few ways of getting a last minute invite, of course the winners of the Texas Open and Shell Houston get in.  One that ends on Sunday is for those players in the top-50 of the world rankings.  Now those that are in the top-50 and don’t have an invite are Anirban Lahiri (35), Bernd Wiesberger (41), Branden Grace (43) and Paul Casey (49).  Now for Lahiri, Wiesberger and Grace they are safe and should stay in the top-50.  But for Casey, he is very, very vulnerable.  Making things worst he’s not playing in San Antonio so the odds are good that he gets past over this week.  I am sorry but I just can’t understand him not playing this week.  Yes you can’t play every week, but he has very little chance of staying in the top-50 by taking the week off.

Now let’s look at some of the players that are knocking on the door and see what it will take to jump into the top-50.

  • First is Marc Warren, who is 52nd.  He will need a 18th place or better at Valero.
  • At 53rd is Harris English.  He will need a 7th or better at Valero to make it.
  • So you can see why I say that Casey could get past over this week
  • Then it gets really hard.
  • Alexander Levy is 54th and playing in Morocco.  He will need a T2nd with just one player or win at Trophee Hassan.
  • Then it gets really hard.  Andy Sullivan is 61st and needs a win or 2nd alone in Morocco.
  • Matt Jones is 62nd and needs a 4th place or better at Valero.
  • Francesco Molinari is 63rd and needs a 3rd place or better in Texas.
  • The same for #64 John Senden, #67 Graham Delaet and #70 Daniel Berger.
  • One other guy with an outside chance is Charley Hoffman, who is 72nd and needs to finish 2nd or better at Valero.
  • For 66th Tommy Fleetwood and #69 George Coetzee they will have to win Trophee Hassan.

Injury report

Brooks Koepka was one of my choices last week at the Palmer and was disappointed that he withdrew on Sunday.  Seems that he dislocated his rib on Thursday, tried to play through the pain and it got so bad on Sunday he had to withdraw after 11 holes.  This doesn’t come at a good time for him, since we are just two weeks away from the Masters.  Koepka is scheduled to play in Houston next week, but I have a funny feeling that may not happen

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  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 until the move to TPC San Antonio, 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 2014 the TPC San Antonio was the 8th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 73.286 average, playing a shot and a quarter over par.
  • 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 five tries while Johnson missed the cut in 2010 but did finish T6th last year.   In looking at the performance stats from 2010 through 2014 hitting greens seemed to be the key for many in the top-ten. Last year the course had the hardest greens to hit on the PGA Tour as only 55.24% of them were hit.  That has been the buzz about the course, in it’s five years on the PGA Tour it’s never been above 7th ranked in Greens Hit.
  • On the other realm of the spectrum, TPC San Antonio does have the easiest greens on tour to putt.  In 2014 it ranked 44 out of 48 courses on average putts and putts per round with an average of 28.24.  The course had the most one putts of any course on tour with a 43.50 average.
  • Combination of that tells us that of those that hit a player need to hit lot’s of greens and putt well.  In looking at the five winners at TPC San Antonio all of them ranked in the top-20 in both greens hit and # of putts (all except for Brendan Steele in 2011 ranked T40th in greens hit).

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, Martin Laird and last year’s winner Steven Bowditch.  But Adam Scott won in 2010 and Ben Curtis in 2012 so the players should know the course by now.
  • Since TPC San Antonio joined the PGA Tour in 2010, it has never been out of the top-20 of toughest courses on tour and been in the top-eight three of the last four years.
  • 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 19 of the 27 tournaments so if you are looking for a neat bet with someone, bet the 3rd round leader to win the tournament.  In the last five years at TPC San Antonio, three of the five champions led after the third round.
  • Look for the course to play tough, with thick rough and tight fairways that will play havoc on the players.  Hitting it long doesn’t cut it at TPC San Antonio, of those that have finished in the top-3 only four have been in the top-ten in driving distance.  So this is a course that power won’t dictate a win.
  • Fifteen previous Texas Opens have been decided in playoffs, the last coming in 2009 when Zach Johnson defeated James Driscoll.  So there hasn’t been any playoffs yet at TPC San Antonio.
  • In looking at the long range weather forecast it’s going to be warm with temperatures in the middle 70s.  There is a 60% chance for thunderstorms on Thursday afternoon, but after that the weather will be perfect.

Who to watch for at the Valero Texas Open

Best Bets:

Zach Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T6 CUT Win Win

Got to like him as the favorite after shooting his great final round 66 at Bay Hill which jumped him 20 spots into a T6th. Also like the fact that after dominating this event at The Resort at La Cantera, he missed the cut the first time he played TPC San Antonio. But after taking three years off played it last year and finished T6th, so he knows how to play the course.

Jim Furyk

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T6 T3

Been in the top-six in his two TPC San Antonio starts. Like the fact that on a course in which you need to hit a lot of greens, Furyk is T3rd in greens hit this year.

Kevin Na

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T11 WD CUT WD

Very hot right now, been in the top-ten in his last three starts including T6th last week at Bay Hill.

Best of the rest:

Charley Hoffman

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T11 T3 T13 T2 T13 T9 T70 T11 T8

Great record at TPC San Antonio, he has the lowest average finish of anyone the last five years on this course.

Jordan Spieth

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
10 CUT T41

Played great last year after opening up with 75, have to wonder if he could keep up the good play from his last start.

Matt Kuchar

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T4 T22 T13 CUT CUT CUT T41

Good finish last year, he always seems to play well when he starts this run on the schedule.

Jimmy Walker

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T16 T31 CUT CUT T3 T24 T19 T60

Playing at home, he has not played much so will be well rested.

Solid contenders

Freddie Jacobson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T16 T15 T18 T5 2 T5 T21 T29

Always Consistent in this event, this is the time of year that his game goes into overdrive.

Dustin Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T24 T15 CUT

Be interesting to see how he does on a course he never has played on. He isn’t my top choice because he may not be able to overpower this course.

Martin Kaymer

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
First time playing in this event

Never played here but on paper this course should be perfect for his game and he should do good. Last two starts at Honda and Cadillac weren’t great, but this could be a good week for him.

Phil Mickelson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
WD

Starting to get into the stretch drive for the Masters, I see some upswing in his game and this course could be good for him.

Long shots that could come through:

Daniel Summerhays

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 T7 T29 CUT

Been consistent on this course, could be a good sleeper pick.

Brendon Todd

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T6 T61 CUT

A lot at stake for him, looking for a great event so he can jump into the top-50 and play in the Masters.

Martin Flores

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T16 T10 T24 T51

Has had a indifferent year but comes to a course that he has done ok on.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.