Golf

VALERO TEXAS OPEN PREVIEW

The Corales championship is done for another year with Chad Ramey narrowly edging out Alex Smalley by 1 shot in the  Dominican Republic. Over in Texas the WGC Matchplay was just wild, but eventually saw  Scottie Scheffler winning the whole thing and propelling himself to world number one!

It’s almost time for the first major championship of the year, but before we get to Augusta, the tour makes a quick stop in San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. 

This is a big year for this event, as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. An event that has a rich history with past winners including Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Justin Leonard and Jordan Spieth. It’s the perfect warm up for golf’s first major and offers up a rich prize to the winner, a ticket to Augusta National if they have not qualified already.

THE FIELD

This week’s field includes 8 of the top 50 golfers in the world as they use it as a warm-up for next week’s Masters contest. Rory McIlroy returns to the Texas open, for the first time in 5 years and is joined by reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, Bryson DeChambeau, reigning champion Jordan Spieth, Abraham Ancer, Tony Finau, Tom Hoge and Corey Conners.

Jordan Spieth will be hoping to defend his title this week. Spieth has good history in his home state of Texas with 8 top 10 finishes, along with a couple of wins. He didn’t make it out of his WGC Matchplay group last week, but you shouldn’t be surprised to see him bring his game here this week.

The field also features fellow Texan’s Charley Hoffman, Hudson Swafford, Kramer Hickok, Bryson DeChambeau and Ryan Palmer. It’s worth noting as they tend to do well in their home state. Charley Hoffman is a great example with a win here and 5 runner-up finishes throughout his career.

The tournament field this week includes 140 players with one sponsor exemption to be determined on Monday and will begin on March 31st and run through to April 3rd.

RECENT WINNERS

2021: Jordan Spieth

2020: Canceled (COVID19)

2019: Corey Conners 

2018: Andrew Landry

2017: Kevin Chappell

2016: Charley Hoffman

2015: Jimmy Walker

2014: Steven Bowditch

2013: Martin Laird

THE COURSE

TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course)

Yardage: 7,435

Par: 72

Greens: Bermuda

A PeteDye/Greg Norman design that features tree lined fairways, enormous bunkers and massive rolling greens that will test the best putters on tour.

The course is incorporated within the natural terrain that creates a layout that is long and tough.The terrain features lots of elevation changes that will keep the golfers on their toes this week.

There are some interesting holes here and that is shown by hole 11 which features a centerline bunker with a fairway runout of about 300 yards. This forces the golfers into decisions off the tee. 

Hole 16 is Greg Norman’s take on hole 6 at Riviera, a par 3 which features a bunker placed in the middle of the green.This creates havoc for the golfers, even more so over the weekend with harder pin positions.

TPC San Antonio’s design is enough to give most of the field headaches, which is probably why we’ve seen so many different types of winners here down the years. 

KEY STATS 

Strokes Gained Approach

Strokes Gained Off The Tee

Strokes Gained Putting

Strokes gained on approach are key around here especially if the wind gets up. Solid iron play and ball striking can help the golfers survive a few bad breaks and it’s evident in previous winners including Charley Hoffman, who ranked first in this metric when he won back in 2016. Jordan Spieth and Corey Conners both ranked inside the top 5 in this metric when they won.

As mentioned, this course plays long! The last few years have featured some very big hitters near the top of the leaderboard including Charley Hoffman, Gary Woodland and Paton Kizzire so strokes gained off the tee are of interest this week. 

As mentioned TPC San Antonio offers some tricky greens. Jordan Spieth ranked first in this metric last year when he won and previous winners have all ranked inside the top 10, so strokes gained putting is worth a look this week. 

It is worth keeping an eye on the weather this week as this course becomes more difficult in the wind. Some game theory in our DFS lineups could come into play. I will certainly target some of the early starters as they could get the softer/calmer conditions.

When picking lineups it could be wise to sprinkle in some picks who are likely to be less owned.

THE CONTESTS 

The Valero Texas Open is an underrated stop on the PGA tour and the perfect warm up for golfers as we edge closer to golf’s first major of the year, The Masters. This week’s contest has a €12 buy-in with a €5,000 prize pool.

€12 entry – Valero Texas Open Main Event – €5,000 GTD – 31st March – 3rd April

€2 entry – Valero Texas Open Mini-Main Event – €1,500 GTD – 31st March – 3rd April

€2 entry – Valero Texas Open  Round 2 – €600 GTD – 1st April

€2 entry – Valero Texas Open Round  3 – €600 GTD – 2nd April

€2 entry – Valero Texas Open Round 4 – €600 GTD – 3rd April

€3 Main Event Satellite – 75 Tickets Masters Monster

€3 Rounds 2,3 and 4 Satellite – 20 Tickets Masters Monster

FANTASY NATIONAL GOLF CLUB PARTNERSHIP 

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Two huge pieces of news:

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We at FanTeam are delighted to announce a special sign up promo code code for Fanteam users. Use this link – fantasynational.com/FANTEAM

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