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BlogWho will win in San Antonio on Sunday

Valero Texas Open

March 26 – 29, 2015

TPC San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,435

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

Who should win on Sunday

With tough scoring conditions brought on my swirling winds, Jimmy Walker shook off consecutive bogeys on holes 3 & 4 to play his final 14 holes in 5-under par on his way to a 3-under-par 69. He’ll begin Sunday’s final round with a four-shot margin over Jordan Spieth, who finished with a 1-under-par 71. Walker’s 54-hole total is 9-under-par 207 and it’s one of the largest 54 hole score in 2015.

Walker began the day with a one shot lead and was two ahead of Jordan Spieth.  For most of the day Walker and Spieth were going mano-a-mano until Spieth ran into trouble on the back with two bogeys and a double bogey on 16.

So is this cut and dry for Walker?  On the surface it should be, There is only two players within six shots of Walker.  We know the conditions have been brutal and anything is possible, Walker could shot 76 or 77 on Sunday.  Just look at what some of the second round leaders did, Kevin Na shot 75, Aaron Baddeley shot 76 and Charley Hoffman shot 79.  So anything is possible and Walker still has to play the final round.

How tough has it been to win of late?  So far this year, the third-round leader/co-leaders has won five of 19 events.  But it’s been nine events going back to the Humana Challenge when the last third round leader won, Bill Haas.  SO you know that this record has to end and this week should be the week as Jimmy Walker should win.

So what does Walker realistically have to shot on Sunday?  I have to think that a 72 would do the job.  That would mean that Spieth would need to shot 68 and Billy Horschel would have to shot 66.  I just don’t think this is possible with the weather forecast in which there will be winds again.  The weather on Sunday will be identical to the way it was on Saturday where the low score was 68 and only six players broke 70.  Now it’s not written in stone that Walker will shot 72, the odds are he will shot 74 or 75, but still someone needs a low score to catch him.

We have seen Walker struggle when having a big lead, could that happen again?  Of course it could, Walker struggled at Kapalua, played his last five holes in one over and lost to Patrick Reed in a playoff.  But the next week Walker had a lead and just increased it by shooting a final round 63.  Best way in looking at it is to look at how Walker has done with the lead, co-lead or within five of the lead.  This shows that Walker has a pretty good record when close to the lead.

What do we expect from Spieth?  Have to think that he will shot somewhere between 70 and 75.  I didn’t like the way he finished on Saturday, that could linger on Sunday.

Anybody else could contend?  You have the best players in the world, no matter what the conditions are you will have someone shot 68 or 67.  If it’s Spieth or Billy Horschel it could spell for an interesting finish.  Last week we saw Zach Johnson go low and shot a final round 66 and shot up 20 spots on the leaderboard.  If Johnson does it again he could win the tournament.

One last question, what is Walker doing right this week?  First he has hit the most greens of anyone else, 37 of 54.  That with a combination of good putting, he is first in total putts made, 300 feet, 7 inches.  He is also first in strokes gained putting so the combination of hitting lot’s of greens, making lot’s of putts is hard to beat.

Below is a list of the top-16 players on the leader board going to even par which is nine shots back of Jimmy Walker

Those that have played well of late:

Of the top-16 on the leaderboard, who is playing the best:

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
Jordan Spieth
(233.33 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Na
(141.67 pts)
T6
(60)
T10
(40)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Matt Jones
(132.33 pts)
3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(24)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP
Jason Kokrak
(111 pts)
T6
(60)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T41
(6)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Daniel Summerhays
(77 pts)
T55
(0)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP
Brendan Steele
(66.67 pts)
T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
Carlos Ortiz
(55.33 pts)
T21
(29)
68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(13)
Jimmy Walker
(53 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T41
(6)
DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP T7
(18.33)
Zach Johnson
(39.33 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP T49
(1)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Phil Mickelson
(37.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the top-16 on the leaderboard, who isn’t playing well:

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
Chris Kirk
(-14 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T32
(6)
Aaron Baddeley
(-10 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
John Merrick
(-4.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Billy Horschel
(2.67 pts)
T43
(7)
DNP DNP T46
(4)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Scott Pinckney
(28.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T45
(1.67)
Chesson Hadley
(28.67 pts)
T67
(0)
T44
(6)
DNP DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

In Conclusion:

Should be cut and dry, Jimmy Walker will find a way of shooting 74 and winning.  If there is one player I would be most worried about is Billy Horschel, his game is coming around and he could do well on Sunday.  Same with Zach Johnson, look for him to shot well on Sunday.

Who to watch for on Sunday at San Antonio

Only need to look at one guy for Sunday

Jimmy Walker

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
leads by 4 T16 T31 CUT CUT T3 T24 T19 T60

He is in the drivers seat with a big four shot lead on a really hard course with rough conditions. Walker will be really hard to beat, matter of fact there is only one person that can beat him, himself.

Those that could make life tough for Walker on Sunday:

Billy Horschel

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
6 shots back CUT T3 75 T74

Finished up with three birdies on Saturday, could this be a preview of things to come? I think he will come out and not worry about things, if Walker starts to stumble Horschel will be there to take control of things.

Jordan Spieth

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

Worried about his finish on Saturday and the fact that the course is going to be real tough. But he handled a tough course two weeks ago at the Valspar so if Walker stumbles Spieth could be in the right place.

Need to go really low on Sunday

Zach Johnson

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

He went low on Sunday last week and made a lot of money. Think he can do it again.

Jason Kokrak

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
7 shots back T31 T15 CUT

One of the hottest players on tour right now, he didn’t do the deed last week so maybe it’s time for some payback with a low round on Sunday.

Kevin Na

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

Big surprise on him shooting 75 on Saturday, don’t see that again.

Long shots that we shouldn’t forget about

Chesson Hadley

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
7 shots back T56

Has won before, he could shot low and back into a win.

Chris Kirk

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
8 shots back T48

He can show us a thing or two on Sunday, he is a bit of a forgotten man of late.

Brendan Steele

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
7 shots back CUT T46 T4 Win

He knows how to be in the right place at the right time to win Vale in 011.

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