VALERO TEXAS OPEN BASIC INFORMATION
Course: TPC of San Antonio (Used since 2010)
Yardage/Par: Par 72, 7,435 Yards
Scoring Expectation: Medium, but somewhat weather-dependent. The highest winning score has been -14 but tends to be in the -8 to -12 range.
Greens: Champions Bermuda
Field Size: 152
Cut Rules: T70 + ties.
Weather: Possibility of rain for all four days of the event (50% or less chance), winds are likely to be rather constant in the 10-20 mph range which could create scoring issues.
The Valero is not quite a “B” field event this year, but it’s not far off – any week where Matt Kuchar is yet again the highest-priced player in the field should cause you to raise your eyebrows a bit, particularly when Kuchar hasn’t even found a top ten at this event since it moved to TPC San Antonio. All in all, this is a week where you’re going to have to hold your nose and believe in the fact that in a field this weak, guys who would normally not make a whole lot of sense at their listed prices become substantially more attractive under the circumstances.
TPC San Antonio is an interesting test of golf, and it’s strange that more of the upper-tier guys chose not to show up for it. Scoring tends to be relatively depressed largely due to a tough combination of length (particularly the Par 3s and Par 5s), firm Champions Bermuda greens and accompanying facades, as well as a rather persistent breeze that can sometimes turn into some pretty nasty gusts. In 2015 alone – a year of this event that I won’t soon forget – not a single player from the AM wave on Thursday finished under par due to absolutely brutal winds. While I don’t expect those kinds of issues this year, the cut line at TPC San Antonio has never been under par, only making it as far as E last year. Expect a tough test.
Overall, you are looking for well-balanced golfers, ideally with a little extra length to be able to gain some extra strokes on those big Par 5s. That’s not to say that shorter golfers can’t remain quite relevant here, particularly given the importance of chipping off tight lies onto brick-firm Champions Bermuda. Whatever you do, remember to stay disciplined and commit to a strategy – you’ll need it this week with pricing as tight as it is!
Let’s jump into some picks.
FANTASYDRAFT PICKS FOR CONSIDERATION
Charley Hoffman ($19,400)
I know the very idea of calling Charley Hoffman a lock probably makes you gag a bit, but he’s this week’s Luke Donald, and his track record at TPC San Antonio is utterly absurd. Hoffman has carded nothing worse than a T-13 since 2010, winning the event last year and managing to contend each year despite differing course and weather conditions. Clearly, he is supremely comfortable here, and you should not let his price scare you off of him.
Billy Horschel ($18,900)
Like Hoffman, Horschel tends to leave quite a bit to be desired in terms of his consistency. However, he’s clearly got a great feel for this course, and his rather exceptional track record of three top-ten finishes in the last four years shows it. You’ll probably want to duck him in cash games, but he makes an awful lot of sense for a big GPP buy this week.
Ollie Schniederjans ($17,800)
Coming off of a very strong T-3 at Harbour Town, hat less Ollie has been on an absolute tear this season, missing two cuts by exactly one shot a piece. Otherwise, I can assure you we wouldn’t be getting him at such a discount price given the high level of golf he has played this season. He’s versatile and very long – I would expect him to have a great shot at contending this week.
Ian Poulter ($16,800)
To put it bluntly, I just don’t like Ian Poulter very much, but beggars cannot be choosers this week. Poulter has been super consistent this season, missing exactly one cut at the PRO by a single shot. He contended last week at Harbour Town which at least indicates that he’s got his act together, and he’s got the little added bonus narrative of needing to cash at least $31K in this event in order to keep his tour card for the remainder of the season.
Good luck in your contests this week, stay disciplined, and trust your process! Be sure to get into the FireDFS FantasyDraft 50/50 Contest as well!