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BlogTexas Open Preview and Picks

Valero Texas Open

April 20th – 23rd, 2017

TPC San Antonio (ATT Oaks)

San Antonio, TX

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,435

Purse: $6.2 million

with $1,226,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Charley Hoffman

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 29 of the top 100 and 9 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with no players from the top-ten: #15 Patrick Reed, #17 Matt Kuchar, #21 Branden Grace, #24 Brooks Koepka, #25 Jimmy Walker, #28 Ryan Moore, #41 Kevin Chappell, #46 Adam Hadwin and #49 Charley Hoffman.

There were 11 players from the top-50 in the field last year so another decrease this year.  In 2015, when the event was played in March, there were 18 top-50 players in the field.

The field includes 4 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2017.  Those players are #5 Adam Hadwin, #10 Brendan Steele, #17 Mackenzie Hughes and #21 Luke List.

The field includes 4 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are #8 Adam Hadwin, #13 Brendan Steele, #21 Mackenzie Hughes and #22 Luke List.

The field includes 7 past champions: Charley Hoffman (2016), Jimmy Walker (2015), Steven Bowditch (2014), Martin Laird (2013), Ben Curtis (2012), Brendan Steel (2011) and Justin Leonard (2007, ’01 & ’00).

The field includes 5 of the 23 winners in the PGA Tour’s 2017 wraparound season: Brendan Steele (Safeway Open), Cody Gribble (Sanderson Farms Championship), Mackenzie Hughes (RSM Classic), Adam Hadwin (Valspar Championship) and D.A. Points (Puerto Rico)

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.

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 7.13.49 PM

Hit this link to join our DrafKings Fantasy Game

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

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

Player RBC Heritage Masters Shell Houston WGC Dell Puerto Rico Arnold Palmer Valspar WGC Mexico Honda Classic Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open
Matt Kuchar
(263.67 pts)
T11
(39)
T4
(160)
CUT
(-10)
T30
(20)
DNP DNP T22
(18.67)
T20
(15)
DNP T22
(9.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T9
(15)
Adam Hadwin
(205.67 pts)
T22
(28)
T36
(28)
DNP DNP DNP 6
(40)
Win
(88)
DNP DNP T34
(5.33)
T39
(3.67)
T12
(12.67)
Charley Hoffman
(165 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T22
(56)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T24
(8.67)
Sung Kang
(151.67 pts)
T11
(39)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T52
(0)
T22
(9.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T12
(12.67)
Ryan Moore
(149.67 pts)
DNP T9
(90)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP T34
(10.67)
T18
(21.33)
T28
(11)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T61
(0)
Kevin Chappell
(125 pts)
DNP T7
(110)
T44
(6)
T39
(11)
DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP T55
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T48
(0.67)
75
(0)
Soren Kjeldsen
(123.33 pts)
DNP T36
(28)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP T27
(15.33)
T32
(9)
T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Luke List
(119.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP T37
(8.67)
T17
(22)
T27
(15.33)
DNP T52
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Luke Donald
(117.67 pts)
2
(100)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T27
(7.67)
T17
(11)
T23
(9)
CUT
(-3.33)
J.J. Spaun
(115 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP T44
(6)
DNP T17
(22)
T49
(0.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T4
(26.67)
Brooks Koepka
(113.33 pts)
DNP T11
(78)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T48
(1)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T42
(2.67)
Jimmy Walker
(110.17 pts)
DNP T18
(64)
T71
(0)
T39
(11)
DNP DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
T21
(9.67)
T11
(13)
T55
(0)
DNP
Ollie Schniederjans
(110 pts)
T3
(90)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T34
(10.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T48
(0.67)
T8
(16.67)
DNP T24
(8.67)
D.A. Points
(108.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T23
(27)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T39
(3.67)
DNP
Branden Grace
(106 pts)
T11
(39)
T27
(46)
DNP T39
(11)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T32
(9)
WD
(-1.67)
T22
(9.33)
DNP DNP
Rafael Campos
(99.67 pts)
T32
(18)
DNP 7
(55)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sam Saunders
(99.33 pts)
T11
(39)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T5
(46.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T49
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brendan Steele
(94 pts)
DNP T27
(46)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T48
(1)
T14
(12)
T39
(3.67)
DNP T16
(11.33)
Jhonattan Vegas
(92.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
T15
(35)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(6)
T4
(26.67)
T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP
Tony Finau
(79.67 pts)
DNP DNP T34
(16)
DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
5
(46.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T23
(9)
CUT
(-3.33)
Danny Lee
(70 pts)
T39
(11)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T56
(0)
T17
(22)
T22
(18.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Bryson DeChambeau
(69.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T44
(6)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
J.T. Poston
(69.33 pts)
DNP DNP T55
(0)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP T27
(7.67)
T17
(11)
T66
(0)
DNP
Graeme McDowell
(65 pts)
T29
(21)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T28
(14.67)
T14
(24)
DNP T14
(12)
67
(0)
DNP DNP
Stewart Cink
(62 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
T27
(15.33)
DNP T27
(7.67)
T28
(7.33)
T55
(0)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player RBC Heritage Masters Shell Houston WGC Dell Puerto Rico Arnold Palmer Valspar WGC Mexico Honda Classic Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open
Steven Bowditch
(-53.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Roberto Castro
(-50.83 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T45
(2.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Carl Pettersson
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T62
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Smylie Kaufman
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Ken Duke
(-31 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T23
(9)
T61
(0)
Matt Every
(-30 pts)
WD
(-5)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T62
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Freddie Jacobson
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Ryo Ishikawa
(-29 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 69
(0)
DNP T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brett Stegmaier
(-29 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T44
(4)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T39
(3.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
John Senden
(-28 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T37
(8.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

We are in a stretch in which the marquee players are taking a couple of weeks off.  It’s a hard date since many played a lot leading up to the Masters and with the Players in just three weeks, along with the tough summer schedule many are taking these weeks off.  I have to also wonder if the course may not be too tough for a lot of players.

Wesley Bryan

The big storyline was the surprise win at the Heritage by Wesley Bryan.  He is another of those youngsters, he is just 27, that has come out of nowhere and found himself in the winners circle.  Despite many not knowing who he is, he has had quite a rise through the ranks.  After graduating from South Carolina in 2012, he struggled with his game and was forced to play for a couple of years on the SwingThought Tour, NGA Tour and eGolf Tour.  Then in the fall of 2015 he was able to work his way through the qualifying system and finish T-9th in Web.com Q-School.  With his tour card and no prior experience on either the PGA or Web.Com Tour, he played in the Panama Claro Championship and finished T-7th.  The next week he missed the cut in the Colombia Championship but then he won his third start at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open.  He wasn’t finished let, in his six start he won the Mexico Championship and took over the #1 ranking on the money list.  He ended the year with a third win at the Digital Ally Open to get his PGA Tour card as only the 11th player in Web.Com Tour history to win three times in a season.  He also was the leading money winner and the Web.Com Tour Player of the Year.  At the same time he was getting into PGA Tour events.  His first PGA Tour start was the FedEx St. Jude Classic were he finished T-58th, then was T-29th at the Quicken Loans, got his first top-ten with a T-8th at the John Deere Classic and ended the year missing the cut at the Wyndham Championship.  On the 2017 season he had a tough start, only making the cut in 3 of his first seven starts and never finished higher than 41st.  Things clicked for him at the Genesis Open, he opened with rounds of 69-69-63 and went into the final round in 2nd place and in the last pairing with Dustin Johnson.  He shot 72 to finish T-4th, but it was a great experience for him.  The next week at the Honda Classic, he shot 64-67- to lead the first two rounds and played in the final group again on Saturday.  He cooled down to a 72-70 to finish T-4th again.  After a week off, he was 77th in the world rankings and didn’t qualify for WGC-Mexico, he finished T-7th at the Valspar Championship.  He made the cut at the Arnold Palmer and Puerto Rico, but everything came together at the RBC Heritage Classic, as he shot 69-67-68-67 to finish one shot better than Luke Donald.

With the win he is now 37th in the Official World Golf Ranking which just about guarantees him a spot in the remaining three majors and the WGC-Bridgestone.  Amazing to think that just 55 weeks ago he was not only the 1,127th rank player in the world, but nobody outside of South Carolina knew who he was.  The big question, is he a viable person to pick week in and week out in DraftKings?  I will say this, at the Genesis Open you could get Bryan for just $7,200.  I don’t think many people took Bryan at the Heritage for $7,700, another bargin.  Bet the next time he plays at the Wells Fargo, he will be in the $9,000 range.

Dustin

So it seems that everything is Ok with Dustin Johnson and he is planning on starting in two weeks at the Wells Fargo Championship.  Even before the fall, Johnson’s schedule was to take three weeks off after the Masters and play in the Wells Fargo, so nothing has changed.  Still you have to think that the last ten days or so have been pretty miserable for him, thinking what could of been at the Masters.  So hopefully he will be back to normal on his game and he will pick up with three consecutive wins.

Rory going down the aisle this week

Ireland is bracing for what could be the wedding of the year as Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll get married at Ashford Castel in Western Ireland.  The area is well known as the place that they filmed the 1952 classic film “The Quiet Man” with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.  Seems that McIlroy is not playing at the Wells Fargo, with a new venue this year and will return to action at the Players Championship, then takes a week off before playing at the BMW PGA Championship in London.  The following week he will end his U.S. Open prep at the Memorial tournament.  When asked were the couple will go for the honeymoon, all McIlroy said was that it would be for 10 days and “in the middle of nowhere.”  Many are calling it the “wedding of the decade” as the Irish Sun reported that Coldplay will perform at the reception and that U2’s Bono is on the guest list.

Talking about weddings, it’s reported that Sergio Garcia’s wedding will be the week after the British Open and rumor has it that he may wear the Green Jacket in the ceremony.

Ian got so very close

The last two years have been very frustrating for Ian Poulter.  After enjoying close to 16 straight years in the top-50 of the Official World Golf Rankings, which basically allowed him to play in any tournament he wanted to, an injured foot causes him to take almost six months off last year.  Since October when he returned on tour at the CIMB Classic 139th in the rankings, he didn’t play very well and teeing it up at the Valspar Championship he found himself 207th in the rankings, but more importantly with just five starts left on his medical extension to earn just over $144,000 to earn conditional status for the rest of the year.  He finished T-41st at Valspar and Palmer, missed the cut at Puerto Rico and found himself in 5th place, just 3 shots back of leader Jason Dufner.  Unfortunately a final round 73 dropped him into a T-11th with ten others that deeply diluted his earnings to just $114,045 leaving him $30,000 away from gaining his extension.  A shot better and he would of won an additional $50,000.  So this week Poulter will be looking to play well knowing he needs a top-25 finish to stay on tour.  Ian has only played in San Antonio once, finishing T-37th in 2013.

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.  Seven 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.  It has 58 bunkers and water that comes into play on 3 holes.
  • In 2016 the scoring average was 72.21 and was the 17th hardest course on tour.  In 2015 it was 74.52 and the second hardest course on the PGA Tour.
  • 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 7,435 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.

Let’s take a look at key stats that are important for those playing at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course:

This is based on the most important stats for TPC San Antonio, based on data from last years Valero Texas Open, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2017. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four catagories.
The scoring average of the field at TPC San Antonio in 2016 was 72.21, so with par being 72 that means the average score was quarter of a shot over par, making TPC San Antonio the 17th hardest course to score on in 2016. The previous year, 2015 it played to a 74.52 scoring average making it the second hardest course for that year on the PGA Tour. In the history of the PGA Tour it’s one of the highest scoring averages for a non-major so it’s important to note that all the players will be tested this week. With perfect weather the scoring average last year went down drastically from the previous year so maybe 2015 was a fluke. Possibly, but in 2014 the course was 8th hardest, in 2012 it was the 4th hardest and in 2011 it was the 7th hardest so no two ways around it, TPC San Antonio will be hard. One of the reasons the course plays tough is wind, if it’s blowing it will add to scores. Players will not see winds in the first two rounds, but over the weekend they will. According to weather forcasts Saturday will see winds in the 14mph range, with thunderstorms in the afternoon. Sunday is suppose to be nice, but winds will blow at 12mph, so the course will again play over par and tough.

TPC San Antonio has been and will be one of the toughest courses the tour will see this year. Hitting it hard and far is important, last year it ranked 13th hardest in driving distance, meaning that players throttle back (not hitting it far) and lay up to make sure of hitting in the fairways. You can see those results in fairway accuracy, the course was 32nd on tour last year with 63.17 average, so year it’s very important to place drives in the fairway. Last year the course was 15th in greens hit which is very high probably because of the lack of wind. In past the greens have been very tough to hit, in 2015 it was the 2nd hardest greens to hit on tour, and the between 2012 and 2015 all the winners were in the top-15 in greens in regulation with 2015 winner Jimmy Walker and 2012 champion Ben Curtis leading that stat. So our first key stat is strokes gained Tee-to-Green because you have to do well in this stat to win. Last year the course ranked T-14th in that stat, winner Charley Hoffman was 10th in this stat and 2015 winner Jimmy Walker was 3rd.

Just like we have seen the last couple of weeks on tour, if you miss fairways you have to scramble well, last year TPC San Antonio ranked 43rd in scrambling on tour, meaning that the pros were able to get up and down when missing greens.. While Charley Hoffman ranked 42nd in this stat, and since he only hit 49 greens ranking T-17th, the key for Hoffman was scrambling

Another important item in doing well is putting, last year the course ranked 10th in making putts from ten feet and in with 87.07 average. Again in looking at our profile of Hoffman, he ranked T-16th in this stat making 61 of 67 putts from ten feet and in.

Last is birdie avearge and it’s hard to image but the players only averaged making 3.20 birdies per round. That ranked it 16th on tour, while Hoffman won with just 18 birdies for the week, a 4.50 average.

*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green: Stat is great barometer on how players games are from tee to green, taking a combination of driving distance, driving accuracy, greens hit and proximity to the hole.

*Scrambling: So which course is tough to get it up and down on holes players miss the greens. Since all of the area’s around the greens are mowed short and are left with really hard shots to get it close, scrambling is important. You are not going to be perfect so you have to make sure you can make pars from some tough places

*Putting inside 10 feet: Very easy, counts every putt from ten feet in to see who makes the most.

*Birdie Average: Average number of birdies made over the course of a round

Players from this year’s field with stats from 2017 with 135 of the 156 players having stats:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

 

Here is the link to all the stats for all 135 players in the Valero Texas Open.

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, seven 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 six tries while Johnson missed the cut in 2010 but did finish T6th in 2014.   In looking at the performance stats from 2010 through 2016 hitting greens seemed to be the key for many in the top-ten. Last year the course was 15th in greens hit while in 2015 it had the 2nd hardest greens to hit on tour at 51.73% while.  In 2014 it 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 seven years on the PGA Tour it’s never been above 7th ranked in Greens Hit, until last year and that was probably because of the great weather..

On the other realm of the spectrum, TPC San Antonio does have the easiest greens on tour to putt.  In 2015 it ranked 39th in putts per round, in 2015 it ranked 38 out of 51 courses on average putts and putts per round with an average of 28.52.  The course ranked 42nd in most one putts of any course on tour with a 42.40 average.

Combination of that tells us that a player needs to hit lot’s of greens and putt well.  In looking at the six 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 2014 winner Steven Bowditch.  But Charley Hoffman won last year and Jimmy Walker won in 2015, 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 four of the last six 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 20 of the 29 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, four of the seven champions led after the third round, last year Charley Hoffman was T-3rd going into the final 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 six 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 storms will be around the first three days, with Saturday having a 60% chance of thunderstorms, with Sunday being the best day with sunny skies and 76 degrees.

Who to watch for at the Valero Texas Open

Best Bets:

Charley Hoffman

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
Win T11 T11 T3 T13 T2 T13 T9 T70 T11 T8

He is the best record of everyone at TPC San Antonio, in his seven starts has not been higher than 13th and has three top-three finishes. The only thing that worries me is the fact that after leading the Masters in the first round with a 65, followed up with scores of 75-72-78 to finish T-22nd and then he missed the cut at the Heritage last week.

Matt Kuchar

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T42 T15 T4 T22 T13 CUT CUT CUT

He may be more of the favorite, in his last four starts at TPC San Antonio is T-15, T-4th, T-22nd & T-13th. That and the fact that he was T-11th at Harbour Town and T-4th at the Masters tells us he is playing well now.

Ryan Moore

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T8 T53

You want a real good dark horse this week, Ryan is your guy. Was T-8th in his only TPC San Antonio start in 2012 and was T-9th at the Masters. His putting is sound and good enough for him to contend.

Best of the rest:

Adam Hadwin

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT

Know that his only start in this event was a missed cut in 2015, but he is a much better player now that is still playing well on tour.

Kevin Chappell

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T4 T66 CUT T15 WD T2 CUT

Good combination of being T-4th last year in San Antonio and T-7th in his last start at the Masters has me thinking he could be a dark horse this week, maybe the next Wesley Bryan.

Stewart Cink

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T59

Hasn’t played that bad this year, has the stats to play well on this course which he has only played once on finishing T-59th in 2011.

Luke Donald

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T13

Was runner-up last week and was T-13th in his only San Antonio start last year, good play from last week could carry over to this week.

Solid contenders

Brooks Koepka

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T36

Has had a rough last three months, but game is coming around, was T-9th at the Match Play and T-11th at the Masters.

Luke List

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T29 T46

Good stats in strokes gained tee-to-green and birdie average gives me an indication that he could do well this week.

Branden Grace

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T9 T30 T79

His game is coming around, was T-11th at Hilton Head and T-27th at the Masters. Was T-9th last year in San Antonio.

Jimmy Walker

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT Win T16 T31 CUT CUT T3 T24 T19 T60

Yes he has mononucleoses, but he is playing at home and has won on this course, was T-18th at the Masters.

Long shots that could come through:

Harold Varner III

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T9

Great pick, he has made his last four cuts in a row and was T-9th last year.

Sung Kang

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T42 CUT CUT

Was T-11th at the Heritage and 2nd at Shell, watch him he could do well this week.

Sam Saunders

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Was T-11th last week and T-20th at Shell, also T-5th in Puerto Rico. Playing for the first time, have to think course will be good for him and he is ready to break out.

He is the wrong choice for you:

Patrick Reed

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
2 CUT T35

He is one of the favorites, yes was 2nd last year but since finishing T-6th at Kapalua his game has been a mess, he missed his last two cuts at Houston and the Masters.

Comments

  1. Micahel M says:

    I like for my one-and-done League…please talk me into one. I’m leaning toward Soren….
    Hoffman
    Horschel
    Moore
    Finau
    Soren K
    Kuch
    Koepka

  2. No Steele?

  3. Micahel M says:

    already played Steele

  4. Guys, I have pains on picking Hoffman on my DraftKing six.
    I realize that just because a guy misses a cut, like Hoffman did at Heritaage, that doesn’t mean he is playing bad. Just look at this year for Hoffman, he missed the cut at Pebble, his next start at the Genesis he was T-4th, his next start at Valspar he missed the cut and then finished T-2nd at the Palmer.
    But what bothers me is what happen to Hoffman after shooting a first round 65 at the Masters. He then shot 75-72-78 and then 73-73 at Hilton Head.
    Charley is always up and down, in 14 starts he has missed the cut in half of his starts, so who knows maybe I shouldn’t worry about it, especially since I know that he has finished in the top-15 eight years in a row, he loves the course.

    But I still wonder about him and won’t touch him this week, maybe that is the kiss of death and he will win again, who knows.

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