The Charley Hoffman, I mean Valero Texas Open, brings us back to the great state of Texas where everything is bigger. Charley Hoffman’s wallet is especially bigger from playing in this event. We learned last week that when a guy dominates a course (cough, Luke Donald), that even if his statistics are horrible for the year that it is not wise to fade. Charley Hoffman, continue to dominate this event.
Back to the tournament. The Valero Texas Open is the 4th oldest tournament on the PGA Tour. However, it has only been held at the TPC San Antonio since 2010. This is a Greg Norman designed course with the help of the one and only major winner Sergio Garcia. Yes, we can now say that Sergio Garcia is a major winner.
TPC San Antonio is a long one coming in at a 7,522 yard Par 72. The fairways are narrow and tree-lined so you will likely see the words “300 yards to Native Area” show up on the shot tracker. Let’s just hope our core picks don’t end up like Kevin Na posting a 16 on the 9th hole back in 2011. That would end our weekend early.
2016 Charley Hoffman
2015 Jimmy Walker
2014 Steven Bowditch
2013 Martin Laird
2012 Ben Curtis
2011 Brendan Steele
As of Monday, the weather looks to have a minimal impact this week. However, this could change if the timing/strength of the thunderstorm changes. We will update throughout the week for any advantages to a certain wave of tee times.
With the course coming in at a monstrous 7,522 yards, we are going to want to target the best ball strikers. The strongest ball striking statistic that we have been using this year with much success is SG: Tee to Green. This allows us to target the premier ball strikers that can stay out of trouble off the tee and stick their approach shots. We believe this is the most predictive statistic to rely on as it will show us who is really striking the ball well from all aspects of their game tee to green.
A majority of the Par 4’s score over par. These Par 4’s are going to give the golfers a challenge. Let’s hope they can handle them better then Kevin Na did back in 2011. With that in mind, Par 4 Scoring will be a solid indicator of who can handle the Par 4’s at TPC San Antonio.
The winner has posted final scores between 8 under and 14 under the last 6 years. It will be a combination of avoiding blow-up holes along with scoring when the opportunity presents itself. This leads us to combine a mixture of Bogey Avoidance and Birdie or Better %. A 16 on a Par 4 will easily knock a golfer out of the cut line.
The final statistic that we will be putting a lighter weight on this week is Driving Distance. This is pretty self explanatory when you look at the length of the course. We have to be careful with this statistic as it is a narrow tree-lined course. Total Driving can also be used to see which golfers have the highest combination of Driving Distance and Driving Accuracy.
Brendan Steele ($9,900) – This guy checks all of the boxes we are looking into this week. And I mean every single box. Steele comes in at 13th in SG: Tee to Green, 11th in Par 4 Scoring, 4th in Bogey Avoidance, 26th in Birdie or Better %, and 30th in Driving Distance. Oh, and he’s won here before with 4 top 15’s. Lock and load.
Adam Hadwin ($9,100) – Seriously, how long can we ride the Hadwin train. I am not hopping off as he is playing the golf of his life. He hasn’t missed a cut since last October, has 5 top 15’s in that span, and is checking almost every box again this week. Hadwin comes in at 23rd in SG: Tee to Green, 28th in Par 4 Scoring, 3rd in Bogey Avoidance, and 17th in Birdie or Better %. At some point this streak will end, but I don’t see it happening this weekend.
Ryan Moore ($10,200) – I saw a lot I liked from Moore at the Masters Tournament. Lacking course history, Moore could go underowned with several options around him. Moore ranks 69th in SG: Tee to Green, 47th in Par 4 Scoring, and 40th in Birdie or Better %. In a weaker field like this, I could see Moore finishing Top-10 and possibly running away from the field. He finished 8th here in his only try back in 2012.
Tony Finau ($8,400) – You never know what you are going to get with Finau. However, I feel like Finau can use his length to his advantage this weekend. He can spray it off the tee so we will hope that his driver is on. Finau checks so many boxes this week that moves him into our core play for the first time. He comes in at 12th in SG: Tee to Green, 15th in Par 4 Scoring, 26th in Bogey Avoidance, and 28th in Birdie or Better %. Plug him in and don’t check your lineups until Friday night to avoid any mid-round tilt.
Also Consider: Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman, Ollie Schneiderjans
Luke List ($7,600) – Oh man, you aren’t writing up List again are you? He burned some beautiful lineups last weekend. However, List rebounded nicely on Friday shooting 4 under par. A few missed short putts on Thursday cost him the weekend. List should come back fully motivated and his game really suits this course. List ranks 18th in SG: Tee to Green, 19th in Bogey Avoidance, and 10th in Birdie or Better %. If people are going to jump off List this week, I think he rebounds nicely on a longer course that suits his length.
Also Consider: Keegan Bradley, J.T. Poston, Stewart Cink