The Match Play last week was not very kind to us as a ton of underdogs prevailed from their group, and then it was a crapshoot from there. Billy Horschel beat the hometown, Scottie Scheffler, in the final for his 6th win on tour. Quietly a solid career for Horschel. We’re onto the Valero Texas Open now at TPC San Antonio.
TPC San Antonio is a par 72 playing around 7,400 yards with Bermuda greens overseeded with poa. It is a sneaky long course with three long par fives for tour standards and some tough par fours.
The field for this tournament is underwhelming as it falls the week before the Masters. It’s also hard to predict who is just in tune-up mode for next week and who is really locked in. However, anyone who isn’t already in the Masters next week can get in with a win, so there is incentive there for sure.
TPC San Antonio can play pretty difficult if the wind gets blowing and the greens firm up, but it has also yielded some good scoring as well. Bombers have had some success here, but hitting it far certainly isn’t required to succeed here based on past results.
The greens and fairways at this course are harder to hit than the tour average, putting extra emphasis on good ball strikers. I think it’s telling that this is where Corey Conners got his only win on tour as he is one of the premier ball strikers on tour. Find the fairways and greens will be key as many players will not.
SG: Approach and SG: Off the Tee are going to be important stats to look at for this week. I will also have a lean toward the longer hitters of the players who excel in those statistics.
We have seen some really longshot winners and strange-looking leaderboards here as the field isn’t really top-heavy. Be careful who you back, and don’t be afraid to look farther down the board this week as history shows some success for longshots here.
Valero Texas Open – Outright Picks
Like I just mentioned, the winners here haven’t always been the premier guys on tour because the field usually isn’t too strong right before the Masters. However, there is some nice value on guys who are really hunting a win and are due to win one soon.
Beyond Finau, Spieth, and Scheffler, there aren’t many top-end players here, which leads to some chaos at the top of the leaderboard.
Charley Hoffman +3300 (Betrivers)
Hoffman isn’t someone I usually back to win because he doesn’t win super often, but he loves this place. Hoffman is your ultimate horse for the course pick this week as he has five top 20’s in seven tries with no missed cuts, including a win.
Beyond his good play here, he is coming in with good form. Hoffman is coming in with five straight-made cuts with three top 20 finishes. He ranks fourth in SG: Approach and Ball Striking over the last 36 rounds and is top 10 in Opportunities Gained and driving distance, according to fantasynational.com.
He is coming in confident with his play and is clearly comfortable here. With a weaker field and a berth in the Masters on the line, I think Hoffman is a really solid play this week. This price for Hoffman has his course history baked in, but it’s probably still good value given the field.
Cameron Davis +4100 (Betrivers)
Davis is a player that should like this course, and his game fits the good ball striker with length. Davis is a really good tee to green and bombs it off the tee, ranking 5th in SG: Off the Tee. Beyond that, he is a great iron player and 17th in SG: Approach over the last 36 rounds.
Davis struggles around the greens but scrambling here isn’t super difficult. He should be able to take advantage of his length off the tee and capitalize on good iron shots. Davis is one of the more talented players without a win, and it is coming soon.
He should be one of the guys really motivated to get in the Masters next week and is poised for a win soon. His form is just okay, but he had a nice run earlier this year and should be rested after a couple of weeks off.
Longshots I like: Doug Ghim +8000 & Ryan Moore +8000
Valero Texas Open – Top 20 Picks
Sam Burns +200
Burns can be a little volatile, but his game fits perfectly for TPC San Antonio, and his form is solid. Burns is basically a better putting Cam Davis with more experience. Burns has faded on Sundays, but a top 20 play is good for him.
Over the last 36 rounds of players in this field, Burns ranks in the top 20 in SG: Ball Striking, Approach, Off the Tee, Putting, and driving distance. He tends to get off his game for one round an event, but he can go really low to make up for it.
Burns’s ability to not only hit it far and hit green but putt as well should lend itself really nicely for this track.
Ryan Moore +300
Moore fits a similar mold as Hoffman, great course form and decent recent form. Moore has played this event four times and never finished worse than 18th with 3 top 10’s.
Moore also ranks in the top 20 in SG: Off the Tee and Opportunities Gained because of his accurate driver and irons. Moore won’t wow you, but he has more than enough game to win in a field like this.
He has been a little inconsistent of late, but getting to San Antonio should make him feel comfortable. Moore has shown the ability to win a golf tournament in a weak field which makes his top 20 price even better.
Longshot I like: Akshay Bhatia +650
Valero Texas Open – Matchup Picks
Corey Conners +105 over Scottie Scheffler (Betrivers)
The matchup market is pretty slim pickings this week, but I like that value here. Scottie Scheffler just played seven rounds in five days only to lose the finals of the Match Play in his hometown. It was a tough loss for him, still searching for his first win.
I think Scottie will probably take it easy this week and rest up for the Masters next week. For Conners, this is an event he won and has had other success at. Conners’ game fits here so nicely too.
Conners is arguably the best ball-striker on tour that isn’t an elite player. His putter holds him back typically but has been in super good form recently with back-to-back top tens. His putter has come around some to back up his awesome ball striking (2nd in SG: Ball Striking over last 36 rounds).
Ghim has quietly strung together a nice season and made a pretty good run at the Players before a quadruple bogey on Sunday. Ghim has gained strokes on approach in 7 straight events and had five top 40’s during that stretch.
Ghim hasn’t quite figured out how to put four rounds together yet, but he is close and is super talented. Ghim isn’t a longer player but is precise and can really go low. He gives himself lots of good birdie looks (30th in Opp. Gained) and is one of the best up-and-comers in the game. Ghim could break out in a field like this.
Ghim is due for a win given his immense talent, and it’s likely coming in a weaker field like this.