What an exciting week of golf last weekend. We saw Sam Burns take down the WGC-Match Play in a thrilling battle with Cameron Young on Sunday afternoon. He took down world number one and defending champion Scottie Scheffler on his way to the title match. Meanwhile in the Dominican Republic, Englishman Matt Wallace closed with a 66 on Sunday to sneak past 22-year-old Nicolai Hojgaard. It was a special showcase of young talent on the PGA Tour. The tour remains in the Lone Star state for this week’s Valero Texas Open. Who will be taking home those fantastic black boots at the end of the week? Let's discuss!
Overall, I’m pretty glad to be done with that crazy two event week and onto the Valero Texas Open. This tournament is hosted by TPC San Antonio and has been at this course since 2010. All of my stats for players this weekend will start in 2010, all results prior to that really don’t matter. Besides the $1.6 million dollars in prize money, the winner of this event takes home a special pair of black boots. Typically, an event the week before a major has a weak field and you don't know who is just using this event to tune up their game and who is in it to win it. We will see a lot of the biggest names on tour resting this week or heading down to Augusta a week early. 2021 Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama will be teeing it up this weekend but do we know if he’s going to bring his “A” game or just trying to work on things for next week. We’ve also got a large group of players who have not earned a spot in next week’s field and a win this weekend would give them the golden ticket to Augusta.
When you see that TPC San Antonio is just under 7,500 yards, most would think, wow that’s a big course. The fact of the matter is, that’s about average for these tour pros nowadays. This track does feature very narrow fairways, extremely deep bunkers and some other nasty hazards along the way. The course is played as a Par 72 but what makes this place unique is that it features some of the longest Par 3s and Par 5s on the tour schedule. You will also see some of the shortest Par 4s as well. You’d think with a setup like that, we could see lower scores but that’s just not the case. The average winning score over the last 10 editions of this event is only 13.4 under par.
The biggest factor in the scoring has seemed to be the wind. Anyone that has played golf in Texas knows that it is a completely different animal. There are some players that know how to work it to their advantage, especially the guys that grew up in the state like Scottie Scheffler, Ryan Palmer, Jordan Spieth and others. One big gust can put these players in some awful situations. In 2015, there were recorded gusts touching 38 mph at times and the winner only ended up at 11 under. The forecast currently calls for winds in the low teens throughout the weekend, so we could see some low scores.
When you look through the history of Top 10's at this course, players with good approach numbers have had greater success. You should also be targeting good scramblers as these players will get themselves into messy situations from missed fairways to deep bunkers and they’ll need to get out as quick and painless as possible. My lineups will be filled with players who have been playing well recently, have good scrambling ability and of course, putting skills. We’ve also seen a number of first time PGA Tour winners come from this event, probably due to the weaker field.
Just a reminder that next week is the Masters and as far as my articles are concerned, nothing will change in that schedule. The PGA DFS Playbook will come out Wednesday morning at 10am ET and my Optimal Lineups will be released that same day at 2:30pm ET. I'll also do my live hit on the Fantasy Alarm show with Howard and Jim at around 7:35pm ET on Wednesday as well.
ONE AND DONE PICK: Corey Conners