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Golf

Valero Texas Open Preview

The PGA Tour moves to San Antonio this week to tee off at TPC San Antonio before the Masters begins next week. Currently The Masters has 86 players in the field, the Valero Texas Open is the last chance for someone not in the field to make it by winning this tournament.

Purse: $7,500,000

Winner: $1,350,000

Weather

TV Schedule

  • Thursday April 4th: Golf Channel 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM CT
  • Friday April 5th: Golf Channel 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM CT
  • Saturday April 6th: Golf Channel 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM CT
  • Saturday April 6th: NBC 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM CT
  • Sunday April 7th: Golf Channel 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM CT
  • Sunday April 7th: NBC 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM CT

Whose Teeing Off

So we have some big names here even with The Masters looming next weekend. This tournament is here because of the schedule changes the PGA made, normally this tournament is not the week before The Masters, that used to belong to the Shell Houston Open. We do have some names here though, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, and Tony Finau are the big names you’ll recognize. Some other solid players here are Billy Horschel, Jason Kokrak, and Jim Furyk. Other that, going to be a lot of names people haven’t heard of. However, there are 156 guys teeing off here. Each guy here wants that shot to make it The Masters.

Recent History

This tournament has been played at TPC San Antonio since 2010 so we have a solid number or years to look at but this so many big names come and go here that some don’t have consistent numbers. We’ll look back at the past five years of winners and then go from there.

  • 2018: Andrew Landry (-17) 200/1 odds
    • Runner Up: Sean O’Hair, Trey Mullinax
  • 2017: Kevin Chappell (-12) 28/1 odds
    • Runner Up: Brooks Koepka
  • 2016: Charley Hoffman (-12) 28/1 odds
    • Runner Up: Patrick Reed
  • 2015: Jimmy Walker (-11) 22/1 odds
    • Runner Up: Jordan Spieth
  • 2014: Steven Bowditch (-8) 350/1 – this win is utter bullshit
    • Runner Up: Will MacKenzie, Daniel Summerhays

Let’s look at how some other guys have fared here in the past three years, including all the big names.

  • Rickie Fowler, whose the favorite here, has never played at this course
  • Matt Kuchar has made the cut three years in a row but never finished higher than T40.
  • Tony Finau played here once in in 2017 and finished T3
  • Jordan Speith hasn’t played here in three years, but in 2014 & 2015 finished top 10.
  • Billy Horschel has a T4 in 2016, and T11 in 2018.
  • Ryan Moore finished 7th last year and 18th in 2017.
  • Aaron Baddeley was 16th last year, 5th in 2017, and 29th in 2016.
  • Ryan Palmer finished 4th in 2016, 6th in 2017, and MC last year.
  • Jim Furyk whose played well of late finished 26th here last year but didn’t play in 2016 or 2017.

The Course

TPC San Antonio, the Oaks Course, is a 7,435 yard Par 72 that was designed in 2010 by Greg Norman assisted by Sergio Garcia. This course is usually known for being windy and can turn into one of the harder courses on tour because the greens can be fast, the fairways differ in width constantly, and this can be played as a very long course especially if the wind is up.

The things we’ll like to look at when picking guys here is driving distance (and accuracy), approach shots from that 150+ yard range, Par 5 scoring, strokes gained from approach, and strokes gained off the tee.

Hole #2 – 602 Yards Par 5 – Handicap 9

The first Par 5 is a long one that’ll take three accurate shots to get a birdie attempt here. There are bunkers in the middle of the fairway off the first tee shot, but I’m not sure any guy in this field can make it. There are also three green side bunkers, to the left of the green, front right, and to the back. The bunker to the back is 8,000 square ft.

Hole #4 – 481 Yards Par 4 – Handicap 1

The hardest hole on the course is a long, straight, and narrow Par 4. Three are some bunkers on the left side of the fairway, and on the left side of the green. The green has a lot of movement in it. Just like holes 1 and 2, a par here is a great score.

Hole #16 – 183 Yards Par 3 – Handicap 18

A very unique Par 3 here that reminds you of the Par 3 at The Genesis Open with the bunker in the middle of the green, this bunker is the same but much bigger. It creates a green that is divided into a few different sections and is still protected by more bunkers on the left and right. It’s not a long shot at all, but players need to be precise here.

Hole #18 – 591 Yards Par 5 – Handicap 6

We finish here with another long par 5 that is uphill. Is hole also features a creek that going through the fairway close to the green that will effect the players second shot, which you can see somewhat in the picture above. The green is split into three different levels and is protected by three bunkers short left and two other towards the back left and right. One of the harder holes on the course but does give you scoring opportunities if you can stay in the fairway.

Picks

One & Done Pick: I can’t pick Rickie or Kuchar who would be popular picks here. Spieth has been awful and I see this more as a competitive warm up for him to the juices flowing again before The Masters. I like Finau who placed 3rd here two years ago, and I also really like Horschel, Kokrak, Sung-Jae Im among a few others. Kokrak would be the popular pick here, he’s been played well and hasn’t missed a cut since The Open last year, played well here, and has the stats that line up well. I need to makeup some ground though. So I’m gonna go with a no name in Bud Cauley. Played here well before and all his stats line up for him to have a good week.

Betting Pick: Joaquin Niemann (+7500), Aaron Baddeley (+5000), Bud Cauley (+9000)

Niemann got T6 here last year and I’m just waiting for his breakout win. Niemann is 12th here in SG Total, 8th in SG Approach, and 6th in Par 5 scoring. Baddeley has two top 5’s here, finished 16th last year and played well as of late. Baddeley is ranked 9th in SG here, 1st in around the green, and 4th putting. Although those aren’t the most important, those stats are good things to be ranked highly in at TPC San Antonio.

Top 5 Picks: Grayson Murray (+2500), Bud Cauley (+1400)

Murray’s stats line up here well, he’s only played once and finished 16th. Last week he finished 12th so he’ll look to carry that finish into a tournament he know he can play well at.

Top 10 Picks : Martin Laird (+1100), Ollie Schniederjans (+800), Bud Cauley (+750)

Laird has won here, finished top 20 the past two years including 11th last year. Love his track record and in 18 rounds here he ranks 5th in Total Strokes Gained, 14th in SG Approach, 5th in SG Off the Tee, and 9th overall in SG Par 5 total. Ollie can play well at any time, look at The Players, he’s top 40 in Par 5 scoring, 3rd in SG Approach, and ranked 20th in SG Total here.

Daily Fantasy Lineup

  • Bud Cauley
  • Billy Horschel
  • Sung Kang
  • Ryan Moore
  • Jaquin Niemann
  • Ryan Palmer

One & Done History: For fucks sake, Brooks Koepka is in one of the easiest groups and he couldn’t even win a match. My guess is he didn’t give two shits about being there even though he had done well in the past. Two time there, two time he made it out of the group stage. Now I have “wasted” Koepka for the rest of the year. I mean at least he got me $53,000. Our streak has ended so it time to make some changes here at Valero and then the Masters. Let’s go Bud Cauley

  1. Waste Management Open: Matt Kuchar – $293,467 (T4)
  2. Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Shane Lowry – $0.00 (Missed Cut)
  3. Genesis Open: Hideki Matsuyama – $177,600 (T9)
  4. WGC-Mexico: Jon Rahm –$65,000 (T45)
  5. The Honda Classic: Sergio Garcia – $183,700 (T9)
  6. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rickie Fowler – $35,000 (T40)
  7. The Players: Jason Day –$350,000 (T8)
  8. The Valspar Championship: Webb Simpson – $0 (Missed Cut)
  9. WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Brooks Koepka – $53,000 (T53)
  10. Valero Texas Open: Bud Cauley –

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