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BlogValero Texas Preview and Picks

Valero Texas Open

April 19th – 22nd, 2018

TPC San Antonio (ATT Oaks)

San Antonio, TX

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,435

Purse: $6.2 million

with $1,116,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Kevin Chappell

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 32 of the top 100 and 8 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with just one player from the top-ten: #10 Sergio Garcia.  The other top-50 players in the field are #21 Matt Kuchar, #22 Pat Perez, #26 Charley Hoffman, #28 Xander Schauffele, #39 Si Woo Kim, #43 Kevin Chappell and #46 Brendan Steele.

There were 9 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 5 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2018.  Those players are #11 Luke List, #13 Brendan Steele, #17 Pat Perez, #22 Austin Cook and #25 Chesson Hadley.

The field includes 7 past champions: Kevin Chappell (2017), Charley Hoffman (2016), Jimmy Walker (2015), Steven Bowditch (2014), Martin Laird (2013), Brendan Steel (2011) and Zach Johnson ( 2009 & ’08).

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 the 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 RBC Heritage Masters Houston Open WGC – Dell Match Play Corales Arnold Palmer Valspar WGC Mexico Honda Classic Genesis Open Qatar Masters AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open
Luke List
(224.67 pts)
T3
(90)
DNP T24
(26)
T59
(0)
DNP T7
(36.67)
T16
(22.67)
DNP 2
(33.33)
T26
(8)
DNP DNP T26
(8)
Matt Kuchar
(204 pts)
T23
(27)
T28
(44)
T8
(50)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP T40
(6.67)
T58
(0)
DNP T26
(8)
DNP T62
(0)
T5
(23.33)
Si Woo Kim
(187 pts)
2
(100)
T24
(52)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T62
(0)
Charley Hoffman
(158.67 pts)
T23
(27)
T12
(76)
DNP T36
(14)
DNP T14
(24)
CUT
(-6.67)
T20
(15)
DNP T41
(3)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
T26
(8)
Beau Hossler
(137.33 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP T66
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T43
(2.33)
T17
(11)
Ryan Moore
(130 pts)
T16
(34)
T28
(44)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T49
(0.33)
T9
(15)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Keith Mitchell
(124.33 pts)
T55
(0)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T47
(1)
DNP
Sergio Garcia
(111.5 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP 4
(53.33)
T7
(27.5)
T33
(5.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chesson Hadley
(106 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP DNP T49
(0.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T35
(5)
T5
(23.33)
Brice Garnett
(97 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T35
(5)
DNP
Xander Schauffele
(95 pts)
T32
(18)
T50
(2)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T18
(16)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP DNP T17
(11)
Abraham Ancer
(94 pts)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP T16
(22.67)
T52
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Jimmy Walker
(93.67 pts)
DNP T20
(60)
DNP DNP DNP T73
(0)
T28
(14.67)
DNP T33
(5.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP
Zach Johnson
(88.67 pts)
T42
(8)
T36
(28)
DNP T36
(14)
DNP T26
(16)
T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T57
(0)
Kevin Streelman
(87.67 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP T43
(7)
DNP DNP T41
(6)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T41
(3)
DNP 6
(20)
T40
(3.33)
Jamie Lovemark
(81 pts)
DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP DNP T41
(6)
T16
(22.67)
DNP 7
(18.33)
T26
(8)
DNP DNP T52
(0)
John Huh
(75 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP DNP T26
(16)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T24
(8.67)
T26
(8)
DNP DNP T38
(4)
Adam Scott
(73.67 pts)
DNP T32
(36)
DNP DNP DNP T41
(6)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T13
(12.33)
T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Patrick Rodgers
(72.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T22
(18.67)
T7
(36.67)
T59
(0)
DNP T33
(5.67)
T26
(8)
DNP T8
(16.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Scott Piercy
(71 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP T60
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T17
(11)
DNP DNP T20
(10)
CUT
(-3.33)
Tyrone Van Aswegen
(67.67 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP DNP 72
(0)
T28
(14.67)
DNP T68
(0)
T68
(0)
DNP T26
(8)
69
(0)
Harris English
(65.67 pts)
T32
(18)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T5
(46.67)
T22
(18.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T33
(5.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Julian Suri
(64.33 pts)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
T29
(21)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T68
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Chappell
(63.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
DNP T36
(14)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP T30
(10)
DNP T20
(10)
DNP T8
(16.67)
T31
(6.33)
Bill Haas
(63.67 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP T76
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T26
(8)
Brendan Steele
(58.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP T49
(0.33)
DNP DNP T3
(30)
Martin Laird
(57.33 pts)
T32
(18)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T26
(16)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
Denny McCarthy
(57 pts)
DNP DNP T43
(7)
DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T66
(0)
DNP
Grayson Murray
(56.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP T14
(24)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
T70
(0)
Sam Ryder
(53.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T68
(0)
DNP
Trey Mullinax
(53 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T47
(1)
DNP
Michael Thompson
(52.67 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T24
(8.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Andrew Putnam
(51.33 pts)
DNP DNP T32
(18)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Nick Watney
(50.67 pts)
T32
(18)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP DNP T47
(1)
T26
(8)
Keegan Bradley
(49 pts)
DNP DNP T43
(7)
T36
(14)
DNP T26
(16)
T31
(12.67)
DNP T49
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T43
(2.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player RBC Heritage Masters Houston Open WGC – Dell Match Play Corales Arnold Palmer Valspar WGC Mexico Honda Classic Genesis Open Qatar Masters AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open
Cody Gribble
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T70
(0)
Billy Hurley III
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Nick Taylor
(-33.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T52
(0)
Mackenzie Hughes
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Camilo Villegas
(-26.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T68
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T57
(0)
Jon Curran
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Cameron Tringale
(-25.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T47
(1)
CUT
(-3.33)
Scott Brown
(-25.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T76
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T64
(0)
DNP T46
(1.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Richy Werenski
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T85
(0)
DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Bob Estes
(-22.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP 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 robust summer schedule many are taking these weeks off.

For the Valero Texas Open, this is the last time in this time slot, next year it moves to the excellent week before the Masters.

Now many have criticized this move saying that the Golf Club of Houston is perfect for practicing run-up shots.  But I would say that the TPC San Antonio is a tough track and will give players a lot to get Masters ready.  So look for this tournament to drastically go up a notch next year when it’s played the week before the Masters.

Satoshi Kodaira

The big storyline was the surprise win at the Heritage by Satoshi Kodaira.  For many this was not even a possibility, the 28-year-old played mostly in Japan and he wasn’t well known in Japan until he won the 2013 Japan Golf Tour championship.  Before that, the future of Japanese golf was in the hands of Hideki Matsuyama, Yuta Ikeda, and Ryo Ishikawa.  But when Kodaira at the age of 23 won the Japan Golf Tour Championship, it opened up some doors.  The first he was able to get into 2nd place on the Japan Golf Tour order of merit which got him into the British Open, played at Muirfield.  The win also qualified him for the World Golf Championship Bridgestone, so for the first time in his career, he was going to play professional golf outside of Japan.  His first two experiences were a bit nightmarish, at Muirfield Kodaira didn’t impress many with rounds of 80-81, he beat just four players on the way of missing the cut.  Two weeks later in Akron, Kodaira shot 70-74-76-73 to finish T-65th in the 73 man field.  Still, it gave Kodaira a taste of something that he really wanted to be a part of, playing in the best tournaments around the world.  It would be two years before he was able to qualify for another WGC event, this time the 2015 WGC-HSBC Championship in China.  By then he won two other events in Japan, his second win coming in the prestige Japan Open Golf Championship.  He again didn’t play very well in China shooting rounds of 74-76-76 before finishing the final round of 68 finishing 71st in the 77 player field.  But in the last round, he realized that he could play on the PGA Tour and worked hard to accomplish that.  It was a dream, watching fellow Japanese Hideki Matsuyama he tried to make it through Q-school five years ago and failed.  He watched Matsuyama win the 2014 Memorial and felt he too could win on the PGA Tour.

At the start of 2016 Kodaira played in his first PGA Tour event (non-major or WGC event) at the Sony Open in Hawaii and even though making the 36 hole cut, was a victim of the 54 hole cut.  It would be the start of a breakout year on the Japan Golf Tour as he played in 25 events winning the Bridgestone Open, was runner-up at the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup and T-3rd at the Visa Taiheiyo Masters.  Thanks to a terrific finish to the year in which he finished in the top-ten in six of his last nine starts he was able to finish 6th on the Japan Golf Tour money list.  Also noteworthy, in his T-2nd at the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, the final event of 2016 he got up to 97th in the Official World Rankings, the first time inside of the top-100.

He again began his 2017 season in Hawaii at the Sony Open, and his opening round 65 found him six shots back of Justin Thomas who shot 59.  Unfortunately a second round 66 lost more ground on Thomas who shot 64, but he made his first PGA Tour cut.  He finished with rounds of 70-71 to finish T-49th and secure a PGA Tour check of $14,430.  It would lead to other opportunities, he qualified in Japan for the U.S. Open and at Erin Hills made another cut with rounds of 73-69-73-76 to finish T-46th.  He also played at the WGC-Bridgestone, finishing T-47th and then played the next week at the PGA Championship, finishing T-48th.  After that, he went back to Japan and in his last 15 events of the year was in the top-ten, 10 times winning the TOP Cup Tokai Classic and the Visa Taiheiyo Masters.  He earned 154,282,933 yen ($1.38 million) and with a T-21st finish at the season-ending Golf Nippon Series JT Cup made it to 49th in the Official World Golf Rankings, the first time he got into the top-50.  Unfortunately, he dropped down at the end of the year to 51st in the rankings, which meant he didn’t get into the Masters.

But after missing the cut at the Sony Open, he had a pair of 2nd place finishes in the SMBC Singapore Open and they the Myanmar Open which vaulted him into the 35th position.  That would not only get him into the Masters, but he also played in the WGC-Mexico Championship finishing 54th, then missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer and was T-59th at the WGC Dell Match Play.

He not only made the cut at the Masters but finish T-28th his best finish in America.  So all of this help him get into the Heritage thanks staying in the top-50 of the World Rankings. And he made the best of his visit to Hilton Head.

You can say that Kodaira’s win is a byproduct of some severe weather on Sunday.  After an opening round of 73, Kodaira shot 63 in the 2nd round and with a third round 70 was T-12th, six back of leader Ian Poulter.  With the bad weather coming in that forced officials to send off the groups in threesomes and early so they could finish before the storm.  Kodaira teed off at 8:10, 50 minutes before the last group that consisted of Poulter, Luke List, and Si Woo Kim.  Kodaira got off to a great start making birdies on his first three holes and with a birdie at 7 and a bogey at 8 he shot 33.  When he birdied the 10th hole, he was 11 under par and three back of Si Woo Kim who had played his first six holes in two under par.  With a birdie at nine, Kim got it to 15 under par, but Kodaira cut the lead with birdies at 14 and 15.

Still, the weather played a factor, when Kodaira got to the par 3 17th hole, the wind was blowing and was very difficult Kodaira made bogey at 17 and par at 18 and just sat back and watch the rest struggle in rough conditions.

Luke List was 2 over on the back nine and watch his chances go away when he missed a ten footer on 18 that would of tied him with Kodaira.  But the hard-luck putting round had to go with Kim.  On his back nine 38, Kim missed six putts of ten feet or under.  On his final three holes, Kim missed from 8 feet on 16 for birdie, missed from 6 feet on 17 for par and then had a 7 footer on 18 to win and missed that one.

In the playoff, both traded pars when they played 18 two times.  On the third extra hole with the storm blowing in, on the par 3 17th hole Kodaira made a 24-foot birdie putt to beat Kim.  The putt was his longest of the week and with it will now completely change his life.

For Kodaira his dream will come true as he is now a member of the PGA Tour and couldn’t except that membership any faster.  With it, he will play in all of the majors this year, along with the Players Championship and return trips to the WGC-Bridgestone, WGC-HSBC Championship and he will get to play two weeks in a row in Hawaii, first at Kapalua at the Sentry TofC and then the Sony Open in Hawaii.  He also has a return trip to Augusta next year.

For Kodaira he knows that his game is good, but he needs to get better at course management skills.  He is also looking forward to spending some time with Matsuyama and get some advice on what to expect in the coming months.

Now the big question for fantasy golf players, is this a person that we should think of, just like fellow Japanese Hideki Matsuyama?  Frankly, we will have to wait and see.  Kodaira has proven himself on the Japan Golf Tour, but that isn’t the same as the PGA Tour.  He did win, but under strange conditions posting a round and watching his competitors struggle in severe conditions.  Until Kodaira shows us that he can compete in the final group in the final round, I will sit back and watch.

Things you need to know about the Valero Texas Open

The Valero Texas Open is a historic tournament; it’s the 6th oldest professional tournament in golf worldwide, the 3rd oldest on the PGA Tour and the longest held in the same city. In 2012, the competition 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.  Eight 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 on 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 on the path, 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 2017 the scoring average was 72.85, and it was the 10th hardest course on tour. 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 designed by Greg Norman with Sergio Garcia as the player consulted.  The course opened in 2009 and is one of the 12 TPC course that will be used on the PGA Tour this year.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing in TPC San Antonio.

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 2018. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories.
The scoring average of the field at TPC San Antonio in 2017 was 72.85 so with par being 72 that means the average score was just under a shot over par, making TPC San Antonio the 10th hardest course to score on in 2017. In 2016 the course played to a 72.21, or a quarter of a shot over par, making it 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. The reason for high scores in 2017 was winds that blew between 10 to 30 mph all week, with Saturday having the hardest day. So if winds are high, the scores will be high and for this year again the weather will be the story. Each day this week will see winds between 10 and 21 mph, with Friday being tough with breezes up to 25 mph and Sunday will see winds between 10 and 20 mph. Showers will be around most of Friday and Saturday will have thunderstorms with a 90% chance of rain. Sunday will be great with the winds going down and sunny skies with temperatures in the high 70s.

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 26th in driving distance, meaning that players throttle back (not hitting it far) and layup to make sure of hitting in the fairways. You can see those results in fairway accuracy, the course was 22nd on tour last year with 59.49 average, so it’s very important to place drives in the fairway. Last year the course was 3rd in greens hit which is very high probably because of all the wind. It’s also something that is expected on this course in past the greens have been very tough to hit, in 2016 it was the 15th hardest, in 2015 it was the 2nd hardest greens to hit on tour, and the between 2012 and 2017 all the winners were in the top-17 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-5th in that stat, with winner Kevin Chappell ranking 2nd in this stat, 2016 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 22nd in scrambling on tour, meaning that the pros were able to get up and down when missing greens. Last year Kevin Chappell was 26th in scrambling getting it up and down in 13 of the 20 greens he missed.

Another important item in doing well is putting, last year the course ranked 22nd in making putts from ten feet and in with 87.07 average. Again in looking at our profile of Chappell, he ranked 18th in this stat making 64 of 70 putts from ten feet and in.

Last is birdie average and it’s hard to image but the players only averaged making 3.16 birdies per round. That ranked it 14th on tour, while Chappell won with just 20 birdies for the week, a 5.50 average.

*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green: Stat is a 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 2018 with 136 of the 156 players having stats (Sergio Garcia doesn’t have enough rounds to qualify):

Here is the link to the other 126 players with stats for 2018

DraftKings tips

Of the 156 in the field, 124 have played at least once at TPC San Antonio in the Valero Texas Open since 2010:

  • Charley Hoffman is 41 under in 32 rounds playing 8 years
  • Aaron Baddeley is 18 under in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Ryan Palmer is 17 under in 30 rounds playing 8 years
  • Adam Scott is 14 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Pat Perez is 12 under in 16 rounds playing 4 years
  • Brandt Snedeker is 11 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Kevin Chappell is 11 under in 23 rounds playing 7 years
  • Matt Kuchar is 10 under in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Sung Kang is 9 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Martin Piller is 9 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Nick Taylor is 8 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Ryan Moore is 7 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Ernie Els is 7 under in 8 rounds playing 3 years
  • Martin Laird is 7 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Brendan Steele is 7 under in 26 rounds playing 7 years

*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)

  • Adam Scott is 14 under playing 2 years (-1.75)
  • Brandt Snedeker is 11 under playing 2 years (-1.38)
  • Charley Hoffman is 41 under playing 8 years (-1.28)
  • Sung Kang is 9 under playing 2 years (-1.13)
  • Martin Piller is 9 under playing 2 years (-1.13)
  • Nick Taylor is 8 under playing 2 years (-1.00)
  • Ryan Moore is 7 under playing 2 years (-0.88)
  • Ernie Els is 7 under playing 3 years (-0.88)
  • Aaron Baddeley is 18 under playing 6 years (-0.75)
  • Pat Perez is 12 under playing 4 years (-0.75)
  • Harold Varner III is 6 under playing 2 years (-0.75)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies:

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Sergio Garcia – $12,000
  • Matt Kuchar – $11,400
  • Charley Hoffman – $10,900
  • Ryan Moore- $10,200
  • Luke List – $10,000
  • Adam Scott – $9,600
  • Kevin Chappell – $9,300
  • Billy Horschel – $9,100
  • Brandt Snedeker – $9,000
  • Brendan Steele – $8,900

With a weak field, that means DraftKings has to take guys that you would possibly no pick and put them on the high price.  If you can figure this out, then you will have an advantage because you will have a lot of people that go off at a cheap price.  Example of that, last week’s winner Satoshi Kodaira you could have had at $6,600 and runner-up Si Woo Kim was at $7,400.  I can bet you that none of the guys on the top of the Draftkings list will be the winner, so look otherwise.  Now you have to pick someone at the top, of the names above I like Sergio Garcia at $12,000, Matt Kuchar at $11,400 and Luke List at $10,000 (he is my favorite).  One person that may have an outside chance is Charley Hoffman at $10,900, he likes this course and plays well, but for the year has been inconsistent, but better of late (T-12th Masters, T-23rd Heritage).  So let’s look at some winners.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,800 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Xander Schauffele at $8,800 is a good pick; he is right from tee to green, is an average putter but does make a lot of birdies.  Yes, he missed the cut but does play well on tough courses.  Some will go heavy on SiWoo Kim at $8,600, yes he played well last week, but I worry about how well a player does in a tournament after losing a playoff.  I would take a pass on him.  I do like Pat Perez at $8,400, he has good production numbers at TPC San Antonio and shows that he can do well, maybe this is his year.  I also like Ryan Palmer at $8,300, he has played well at TPC San Antonio, and this is the type of guy that can pounce at any time.  In his last three starts in this event has finished T-6th, T-4th and T-6th, so he has something going, I would say that he is only of my favorites.  Jimmy Walker at $8,200, he has had a rough ride playing with Lime disease but he plays well on this course plus his game has gotten more consisted of late, he would be a good pick.  Zach Johnson at $8,000 could be right, yes we know he has never played well at TPC San Antonio, but Patrick Reed never played well at the Masters until this year.  I like Johnson’s numbers in stats for the year, 31st in strokes gained tee-to-green, 45th in putting inside ten feet and 21st in birdie average, he will make the cut and could produce some nice numbers for you.  Another $8,000 player is Martin Laird, he is a past champion and has excellent numbers for the year, watches him.  Kevin Streelman at $7,700 is also a good choice, great with the driver and iron’s, but struggles with the flat-stick, still think he could have a good week.

*Are there any “Bargains” out there?

Brian Gay at $7,500 gets my attention, he played well last year and has been consistent in 2018, may be worth a pick.  Austin Cook at $7,400 is also right, great yearly numbers, playing for the first time in this event but has played well this year on tough courses.  Also at $7,400 is Jason Kokrak, he hasn’t played well in a month but shows a knack for playing well on tough courses, was T-30th at Riviera and T-8th at the Valspar.  Last but not least I also like Stewart Cink at $7,000, he makes a lot of cuts, and you can never go wrong with him.

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, eight 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 eight tries while Johnson missed the cut in 2010 but did finish T6th in 2014.   In looking at the performance stats from 2010 through 2017 hitting greens seemed to be the key for many in the top-ten. Last year the course was 3rd in greens hit while in 2015 it had the 2nd hardest greens to hit on tour at 51.73%.  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 its eight years on the PGA Tour it’s never been above 7th ranked in Greens Hit, until 2016 when it ranked 15th, and that was probably because of the tough weather conditions.
  • On the other realm of the spectrum, TPC San Antonio does have the easiest greens on tour to putt. Last year it ranked 44th, in 2016 it ranked 39th in putts per round, in 2015 it ranked 38th out of 51 courses on average putts and putts per round with an average of 28.52.  The course ranked 47th last year in most one putts of any course on tour with a 42.89 average.
  • Combination of that tells us that a player needs to hit lot’s of greens and putt well.  In looking at the seven 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, last year Kevin Chappell ranked T-36th in putts).

Here are some more key stats to look 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 Kevin Chappell won last year, Charley Hoffman won in 2016 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-ten 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 21 of the 30 tournaments so if you are looking for a neat bet with someone, bet the 3rd round leader to win the championship.  Since moving to TPC San Antonio in 2010 five of the eight winners have led after the third round, last year Kevin Chappell was the leader 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,  it will be cloudy every day with thunderstorms and an 80% chance of rain on Saturday.  The big news for the players, it will be windy each day between 12 to 18 mph so look for high scoring.

 

 

Who to watch for at the Valero Texas Open

Best Bets:

Ryan Palmer

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T6 T4 T6 T56 T15 T32 CUT T9 CUT CUT T33 T60

Has played well in this event the last three years, he is ready to win again and could be the guy to do it.

Sergio Garcia

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T45

Looking to turnaround his disastrous Masters’ performance, his tee to green game is right up the alley for TPC San Antonio.

Pat Perez

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T20 T11 T5 T22 T8

Another good tee to green guy, he loves playing here and has done well in past.

Best of the rest:

Luke List

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
CUT T29 T46

Has knocked on a lot of doors this year, is due to open up one of them to a win. He too is great from tee to green and will do well this week.

Matt Kuchar

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T40 T42 T15 T4 T22 T13 CUT CUT

Has hung around all year, is due to break it up.

Charley Hoffman

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T40 Win T11 T11 T3 T13 T2 T13 T9 T70 T11 T8

Past champion whose game seems to shine right around Masters time.

Zach Johnson

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
CUT T29 T20 T6 CUT Win Win

Has won this event, just hasn’t won at TPC San Antonio, he has the skill set to win on this course, just a big mystery on why he struggles.

Solid contenders

Kevin Streelman

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T53 T37 T13 T15 T19

If he could get hot with the putter, the rest of his game will carry him a long way this week, but again he struggles with the putter.

Kevin Chappell

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
Win T4 T66 CUT T15 WD T2 CUT

Have to show the defender some love, he could do it again.

Martin Laird

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T18 T50 CUT Win T9 T70

Past champion that can win at any point, has had a consistent year and could climb the ladder this week.

Kevin Na

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T20 T11 WD CUT WD

Has played well in his last two starts at TPC San Antonio, wondering why he hasn’t played here since 2015.

Austin Cook

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
First time playing in this event

Plays well on tough courses, this course is a good fit for him.

Long shots that could come through:

Brian Gay

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T6 CUT T56 T61 T4 T23 T30 CUT T21

Played well last year, he is the type of guy to watch and he will surprise you.

Aaron Baddeley

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
5 T29 T20 T67 T15 T3

Sometimes struggles with a driver, but if his putter is hot he can be a big surprise.

Jimmy Walker

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T13 CUT Win T16 T31 CUT CUT T3 T24 T19 T60

Has struggled with Lime disease, this would be a great place for him to mount a comeback.

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