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BlogValero Texas Open Preview and Picks

Valero Texas Open

April 4th – 7th, 2019

TPC San Antonio (ATT Canyons)

San Antonio, TX

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,435

Purse: $7.5 million

with $1,350,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Andrew Landry

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 31 of the top 100 and 10 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with just one player from the top-ten: #8 Rickie Fowler.  The other top-50 players in the field are: #15 Tony Finau, #16 Matt Kuchar, #32 Jordan Spieth, #38 Haotong Li, #41 Billy Horschel, #43 Lucas Bjerregaard, #45 J.B. Holmes, #47 Kyle Stanley and #48 Justin Harding

There were 8 players from the top-50 in the field last year so another decrease this year.  The last time this event was played in March was in 2015, there were 18 top-50 players in the field.

The field includes 7 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2019.  Those players are #1 Matt Kuchar, #10 Rickie Fowler, #18 J.B. Holmes, #19 Sungjae Im, #21 Jim Furyk, #23 Kevin Tway and #25 Lucas Glover

The field includes 5 past champions: Andrew Landry (2018), Charley Hoffman (2016), Jimmy Walker (2015),  Martin Laird (2013) and Brendan Steel (2011).

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.

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

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

Player WGC Match Play Corales Puntacana Valspar Champ. The Players Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Farmers Desert Classic
Jim Furyk
(277.83 pts)
T17
(49.5)
DNP T18
(32)
2
(150)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
T14
(12)
DNP DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(230.33 pts)
2
(150)
DNP DNP T26
(36)
DNP DNP 50
(1)
DNP T28
(7.33)
T22
(9.33)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP
Jason Kokrak
(196.17 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
T47
(4.5)
T10
(26.67)
T9
(30)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP T20
(10)
T20
(10)
T18
(10.67)
Jhonattan Vegas
(182.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(135)
T23
(18)
T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
69
(0)
Lucas Bjerregaard
(175.33 pts)
4
(120)
DNP DNP T30
(30)
DNP T12
(25.33)
69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sungjae Im
(149.33 pts)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
CUT
(-15)
T3
(60)
T51
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T7
(18.33)
T52
(0)
T12
(12.67)
Rickie Fowler
(135.83 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(4.5)
T40
(6.67)
T2
(66.67)
T36
(14)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
T66
(0)
DNP
Lucas Glover
(129.67 pts)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
CUT
(-15)
T10
(26.67)
T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T12
(12.67)
Billy Horschel
(123.67 pts)
T24
(39)
DNP DNP T26
(36)
T50
(0.67)
T16
(22.67)
T45
(5)
DNP DNP DNP T39
(3.67)
8
(16.67)
DNP
Abraham Ancer
(119.83 pts)
T17
(49.5)
T41
(3)
DNP T12
(57)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T39
(11)
DNP T44
(2)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T18
(10.67)
Tony Finau
(106.67 pts)
T40
(15)
DNP DNP T22
(42)
DNP DNP T25
(25)
DNP T15
(11.67)
T38
(4)
CUT
(-3.33)
T13
(12.33)
DNP
Nick Taylor
(105.67 pts)
DNP DNP T24
(26)
T16
(51)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T43
(2.33)
T40
(3.33)
Roger Sloan
(104 pts)
DNP 68
(0)
T60
(0)
DNP T23
(18)
T30
(13.33)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T12
(12.67)
Byeong Hun An
(102 pts)
T40
(15)
DNP DNP T26
(36)
T10
(26.67)
T36
(9.33)
T45
(5)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(10)
DNP DNP
Sung Kang
(95.17 pts)
DNP DNP T18
(32)
T47
(4.5)
T6
(40)
T51
(0)
DNP DNP T64
(0)
T14
(12)
CUT
(-3.33)
T20
(10)
DNP
Martin Trainer
(85.5 pts)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-10)
T41
(13.5)
T66
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Wyndham Clark
(84.5 pts)
DNP DNP T37
(13)
DQ
(-7.5)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP T35
(5)
T18
(10.67)
J.T. Poston
(78.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T22
(42)
T66
(0)
T36
(9.33)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP T26
(8)
T40
(3.33)
T7
(18.33)
Aaron Baddeley
(78 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-15)
T17
(22)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
T49
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T18
(10.67)
Haotong Li
(76.83 pts)
T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Daniel Berger
(75.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T67
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
T36
(9.33)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T12
(12.67)
J.B. Holmes
(73.17 pts)
T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
CUT
(-3.33)
T26
(8)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Joel Dahmen
(72 pts)
DNP DNP T30
(20)
T12
(57)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T9
(15)
DNP
Adam Long
(67.33 pts)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP T79
(0)
T10
(26.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Win
(44)
Vaughn Taylor
(65.5 pts)
DNP DNP T18
(32)
T41
(13.5)
CUT
(-6.67)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T7
(18.33)
Scott Stallings
(59 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
CUT
(-15)
T40
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
3
(30)
CUT
(-3.33)
T43
(2.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Rory Sabbatini
(57.17 pts)
DNP DNP T18
(32)
T35
(22.5)
DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T70
(0)
T57
(0)
Si Woo Kim
(57 pts)
T61
(0)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP 3
(30)
T4
(26.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(7)
T40
(3.33)
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
(56.67 pts)
DNP T8
(16.67)
WD
(-5)
DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP T35
(10)
T25
(8.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Matt Jones
(55.33 pts)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP T55
(0)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Julian Etulain
(51.67 pts)
DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP T35
(10)
CUT
(-3.33)
T38
(4)
DNP T43
(2.33)
T40
(3.33)
Adam Schenk
(51 pts)
DNP T12
(12.67)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T29
(14)
T30
(13.33)
DNP T16
(22.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T45
(1.67)
T55
(0)
T57
(0)
T67
(0)
Curtis Luck
(51 pts)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T25
(16.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP T70
(0)
Ryan Armour
(50.33 pts)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-6.67)
T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Shawn Stefani
(50 pts)
DNP DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T6
(40)
T64
(0)
DNP DNP T62
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player WGC Match Play Corales Puntacana Valspar Champ. The Players Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Farmers Desert Classic
Ted Potter, Jr.
(-41.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Rod Pampling
(-36.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Tway
(-36 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-15)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T43
(2.33)
DNP
Grayson Murray
(-35 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-15)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
59
(0)
T62
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Alex Prugh
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Kyle Jones
(-27.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T33
(5.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Chase Wright
(-26.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jim Herman
(-26.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Peter Uihlein
(-26.67 pts)
DNP DNP T65
(0)
CUT
(-15)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP T66
(0)
T60
(0)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
D.A. Points
(-24.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T58
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T42
(5.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Many will wonder if this is nothing more than a good time to take a week off.  Despite having a great sponsor, this event hasn’t been a marquee stop on the PGA Tour and for many, they will continue the tradition this week.  Kind of a shame, the course is good and is a good test in getting the ball in the fairway and on the greens, things that players will be doing next week at the Masters.  But of the 144 in the field, only 15 are going on to Augusta National

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 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.
  • Last year the course played to a 72.37 average, the 12th hardest course on the PGA Tour. 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 2019. 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 2018d was 72.37 so with par being 72 the course played just a shade over a quarter of a shot a round. Last year the course was the 12th hardest course on the PGA Tour in 2018. In 2017 the course played 72.85 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. Last year the winds were between 10 and 20 mph, a lot calmer. So if winds are high, the scores will be high. But the tournament is being played three weeks early so for this week all four days the winds will be below 10 mph.  Showers will be around most of Saturday but the other three days will be nice and each day in the mid-80s.

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 23rd out of 38 courses in driving distance on all drives. So with an average driving of 288.7 players will be hitting it hard and not laying up. You can see those results in fairway accuracy, the course was 19th on tour last year with 58.02 average, so it’s very important to place drives in the fairway. Last year the course was 9th 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 2017 it was 3rd, 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 last year’s winner Andrew Landry, 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-6th in that stat, with winner Landry ranking 1st while 2017 champion 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 23rd in scrambling on tour, meaning that the pros were able to get up and down when missing greens. Last year Andrew Landry was 2nd in scrambling getting it up and down in 15 of the 19 greens he missed.

Another important item in doing well is putting, last year the course ranked 10th in making putts from ten feet and in with 86.82 average. Again in looking at our profile of Landry, he ranked T-10th in this stat making 66 of 72 putts from ten feet and in.

Last is birdie average and it’s hard to image but the players only averaged making 3.41 birdies per round. That ranked it 15th on tour, while Landry won making 21 birdies for the week, a 5.25 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 2019 with 126 of the 156 players having stats:

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

Here is a link to the other 116 players from the field of 144

DraftKings tips

Of the 144 in the field, 112 have played at least once at TPC San Antonio in the Valero Texas Open since 2010:

  • Charley Hoffman is 39 under in 36 rounds playing 9 years
  • Aaron Baddeley is 25 under in 28 rounds playing 7 years
  • Andrew Landry is 18 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Ryan Moore is 18 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Jimmy Walker is 16 under in 30 rounds playing 9 years
  • Martin Laird is 16 under in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Ryan Palmer is 14 under in 32 rounds playing 9 years
  • Chris Kirk is 12 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Joaquin Niemann is 12 under in 4 rounds playing 1 year
  • Kevin Streelman is 12 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Brendan Steele is 10 under in 30 rounds playing 8 years
  • Ernie Els is 10 under in 12 rounds playing 4 years
  • Jim Furyk is 10 under in 16 rounds playing 4 years
  • Matt Kuchar is 10 under in 28 rounds playing 7 years

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

  • Andrew Landry is 18 under playing 2 years (-2.25)
  • Trey Mullinax is 10 under playing 2 years (-1.67)
  • Ryan Moore is 18 under playing 3 years (-1.50)
  • Charley Hoffman is 39 under playing 9 years (-1.08)
  • Richy Werenski is 6 under playing 2 years (-1.00)
  • Aaron Baddeley is 25 under playing 7 years (-0.89)
  • Ernie Els is 10 under playing 4 years (-0.83)
  • Martin Laird is 16 under playing 6 years (-0.73)
  • Padraig Harrington is 7 under playing 3 years (-0.70)
  • Chris Kirk is 12 under playing 5 years (-0.67)
  • Jim Furyk is 10 under playing 4 years (-0.63)
  • Ollie Schniederjans is 5 under playing 2 years (-0.63)
  • Kevin Streelman is 12 under playing 5 years (-0.60)
  • Nick Taylor is 6 under playing 3 years (-0.60)
  • Sung Kang is 6 under playing 3 years (-0.60)
  • Jimmy Walker is 16 under playing 9 years (-0.53)
  • J.T. Poston is 4 under playing 2 years (-0.50)
  • Luke Donald is 3 under playing 2 years (-0.50)
  • Ryan Palmer is 14 under playing 9 years (-0.44)
  • Matt Kuchar is 10 under playing 7 years (-0.36)
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

DraftKings Picks

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:
  • Rickie Fowler – $11,700
  • Matt Kuchar – $11,200
  • Tony Finau – $10,800
  • Jordan Spieth – $10,300
  • Sungjae Im – $10,100
  • Billy Horschel- $9,800
  • Jim Furyk – $9,600
  • Jason Kokrak – $9,400
  • Lucas Glover – $9,300
  • Byeong-Hun An – $9,200
  • Ryan Moore – $9,100
  • Lucas Bjerregaard – $9,000

With a weak field, that means DraftKings has to take guys that you would possibly be picked do to their marquee value and put them a high price.  A perfect example is Jordan Spieth at  $10,300.  Picking Jordan at that price is like paying to take a ride on the Titanic, not a great move.  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 in Dominican Republic Graeme McDowell at $8,800.  Or how about Lucke Donald who played great at Valspar two weeks ago, you can get him for just $7,300.  Or even better how about Chris Stroud going off at $7,100 he was T-2nd last week at the Corales Puntacana.

So let’s look at the top of the barrel and the reason you don’t want to take them.

Right off the bat, Rickie Fowler at $11,700 is a terrible pick.  He has no track record on this course and he has not played that great in his last two events, so it’s best not to take him.  Now Matt Kuchar at $11,200 is a lot of money but he has some good moments on this course and comes in playing great.  So if you want to spend a boatload of money ok, I can see him getting you some points.  Tony Finau at $10,800 could be ok, he was T-3rd last time he played on this course and his game is showing some signs of life, you could catch lightning in a bottle with him.  How many words does it take to say no on Jordan Spieth at $10,300, don’t think anybody would disagree with me.  Sungjae Im at $10,100 is a big gamble, yes he hits it straight, can scramble and putt and make birdies, the only disadvantage has never played in this event.  Still, he is ok to take.  Also, Billy Horschel at $9,800 could be a great pick.  Has some good history on this course with a T-11th last year, T-4th in 2016, 3rd in 2015 and T-3rd in 2013.  For the year is making cuts and looking for that one consistent week of golf.  Jim Furyk at $9,600 is also a good possibility.  Has played good of late, has played well at TPC San Antonio.  Only thing I don’t like, will be playing his fourth straight event and fifth in the last six weeks he has to be tired.  But I think he knows he is playing well and would like a shot at winning and getting him back tot he Masters.  Now Jason Kokrak at $9,400 has problems and some good thing.  He isn’t a good putter, is good from tee to green but between his past record in this event and the fact that he was T-2nd in his last start at Valspar will have a lot of people going for him.  I say toss that coin and let the flip make up your mind.  Lucas Glover is $9,300 and I just don’t think he is worth the money, yes he is making cuts but not really contending.  Can someone at DraftKings tell me why Byeong-Hun An is at $9,200.  Yes, he was T-10th at the Palmer last month, but lost two out of three matches in Austin, plus has no record in this event, I say no.  I can see why Ryan Moore is $9,100, that is because he was 7th last year in this event and frankly the course is good for him.  But he has struggled this year so I say no.  Have to also say no to Lucas Bjerregaard at $9,000.  Sorry his stats are tough for this kind of course and yes he made it to the consolation match and beat Tiger Woods but the princess turns into a pumpkin on Thursday morning.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Abraham Ancer is one to watch at $8,900.  Has played well of late and has all of the stats for the year to mount a good offensive.  Yes, he hasn’t been great in his two starts in this event, but he shows lots of promise.  Graeme McDowell is $8,800 and looked good in his win.  The only problem of McDowell’s four wins in America, they are all along a body of water and the last time I checked, TPC San Antonio is landlocked, but he could still do ok.  Like Ryan Palmer at $8,400, he plays well at TPC San Antonio and was T-4th at Honda wedged in between missed cuts at the AT&T and the Players.  I took Charley Hoffman in this event in 2016 and was very happy with his win, this week he is $8,200 and despite his struggles, this year could surprise us with a very good week.  Talking about guys with good track records at TPC San Antonio is Jimmy Walker at $7,800.  His stats for the year aren’t very promising, but you never know if the return to a place he has success on will turn his game around.  Andrew Putnam at $7,600 could be good, yes his game isn’t blazing but the last couple of winners in this event also wasn’t blazing coming into their tournament.

*Are there any “Bargains” out there?

Joaquin Niemann is at $7,600 and I just wonder whatever happens to his game, just think that maybe a return to a place he did well in, (finished 6th last year) could put a spark into him.  Like Luke Donald a lot at $7,300, the guy played well at Valspar and I think he continues the good play.  Same with Dylan Frittelli at $7,300, has played solidly of late and was T-20th at this course last year.  A past champion that could do you good this week is Martin Laird at $7,000, he always plays solid at TPC San Antonio and despite a run of three missed cuts could bounce back.  Looking for that cheap bridge to get you some points while making the cut, look at Brian Gay at $7,000, he won’t disappoint you.  Another cheap player is Ernie Els at $6,800.  Finished T-3rd the first year TPC San Antonio opened he has played great of late including a T-7th in Malaysia two weeks ago.

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, nine 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 2018 hitting greens seemed to be the key for many in the top-ten. Last year the course was 9th in greens hit while in 2017 it was 3rd. 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 nine 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 easy 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 42nd, in 2017 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 42nd last year in most one putts of any course on tour with a 41.65 average.
  • Combination of that tells us that a player needs to hit lot’s of greens and putt well.  In looking at the eight 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 to for this week:

  • Unimportant stat: With the course being new in 2010, it made sense with wins from inexperience winners like Brendan Steele, Martin Laird and 2014 winner Steven Bowditch.  But Andrew Landry won last year,  Kevin Chappell won in 2017, 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 but look for a non-marquee guy to win.
  • 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 seven 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 22 of the 31 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 six of the nine winners have led after the third round, last year Andrew Landry and in 2017 Kevin Chappell both led 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 early thunderstorms on Thursday and scattered Thunderstorms on Saturday. The big news for the players, it will not be windy this year as no day sees winds higher than 10 mph.

Who to watch for at the Valero Texas Open

Best Bets:

Matt Kuchar

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T51 T40 T42 T15 T4 T22 T13 CUT CUT

Playing the best of anyone, may not have the best of records at this event but should be able to win on the course.

Tony Finau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T3 T68

Was T-3rd last year, his game is still a bit rusty but getting better.

Billy Horschel

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T11 CUT T4 3 CUT T3 75 T74

Is the horse for this course, just needs that one consistent week.

Best of the rest:

Abraham Ancer

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T58 T42

I like him a lot this week, he is the type of guy that always seems to win this event, has played well of late.

Rickie Fowler

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

Just don’t know which Rickie Fowler will show up and if he has a chance on this course, playing the event for the first time.

Jim Furyk

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T26 T58 T6 T3

Just hope he has enough left in the tank for another good week. Would love to win this week and be able to play in the Masters.

Ryan Palmer

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT T6 T4 T6 T56 T15 T32 CUT T9 CUT CUT T33

Always plays well at TPC San Antonio.

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

Solid contenders

Ryan Moore

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
7 T18 T8

TPC San Antonio is right up his alley, just hasn’t played well of late.

Lucas Bjerregaard

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

Showed some heart last week, just wonder if he can be consistent on this course for four rounds.

Haotong Li

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

Become more of a name in America, showed he could play at the match play.

Charley Hoffman

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T64 T40 Win T11 T11 T3 T13 T2 T13 T9 T70 T11

Another of those that have played well on this course, hasn’t played that great this year.

Graeme McDowell

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T51 T27 WD

Great to see him back in the winners’ circle again, his good play could carry over to this week.

Long shots that could come through:

Luke Donald

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT T13

Seems to have his game back into shape, course should suit his game.

Joaquin Niemann

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
6

A bit disappointed on how poorly he has played in 2019, played great in this event last year, maybe the happy memories will get him going again.

Dylan Frittelli

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T20

Guy has played solidly of late.

The disaster continues

Jordan Spieth

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
2 10 CUT T41

His game doesn’t seem to be improving, don’t see it happening this week or next at Augusta.

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